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Aberdeen Fire Brigade
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Aberdeen Fire Brigade

Historic Photographs
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Aberdeen Fire Brigade
Historic Photographs
352
Aberdeen Fire Brigade
Aberdeen Fire Brigade 1875. By the end of the 19th century the brigade was run on a part time basis. Firemen were paid a retaining fee but continued in their normal jobs being called out to fires either by the ringing of the Town House bell in daytime, or being woken by the Town Nightwatchman / Policeman. Assistance with major fires was often sought from soldiers stationed in the Castlehill Barracks and from men from the Royal Naval Training Ship Clyde. Prior to 1885, when the city acquired its first steam fire engine (horsedrawn) fires were fought with a manual fire engine. It required water to be pumped by hand by about 24 men - 12 on each side. The men in the photograph appear to be posed in front of such a machine. It can also be noted that they did not have a full uniform, being only provided with a helmet and belt until 1887. It was not until 1896 that the Fire Brigade was put on a more professional footing when William Inkster was appointed as the City's Firemaster and firemen became fulltime.
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