Mansfield Woodhouse Urban District Council Fire Service

Photo:Roy Harbor, volunteer at the Mansfield Woodhouse Heritage Link

Roy Harbor, volunteer at the Mansfield Woodhouse Heritage Link

Photo:MWUDC firemen circa 1940s

MWUDC firemen circa 1940s


Photo:The Floods of 1947, West Bridgford, Albert Road

The Floods of 1947, West Bridgford, Albert Road

Picture the Past, NCCS000304

Photo:Chad article, 1954

Chad article, 1954

© Mansfield Chad

Roy Harbor's memories

By Ann Sewell

Roy Harbor, pictured, a volunteer at Mansfield Woodhouse Heritage Link writes about his life and that of his father, Ted.

The firemen pictured on photo 2 are back left, Jack Orton, council ostler; back right, Capt Jack Tyers; front left, George Mills; front centre, B. Rathbone; front right Ted Harbor, my father.

My father took a job at Mansfield Woodhouse Urban District Council as a lorry driver for the dustbin wagons (no hydraulic lifts), tap man and lamplighter (in those days they had to be turned on and off manually). He also became a part-time fireman for the Council’s fire service when it had motorised engines. The station was on the corner of Park Road and Vale Road. As a young boy I was allowed to climb on the engine and help to polish the brass headlamps. One of the biggest fires was at Savidge’s Farm, on Ley Lane, all gone now for housing.

After the very severe winter of 1947, the firemen and engine had to spend several weekends in Nottingham pumping out cellars because the River Trent had burst its banks at Trent Bridge, flooding houses in West Bridgford.

In 1948 the Fire Service was nationalised and Woodhouse Fire Station closed. Dad then left the council and had a brief spell at Ollerton Pit. He then went to work as a steam roller and lorry driver for Harold Ashley, where he stayed until he had to retire through ill health.

The closed fire station was turned into a joiners shop and in August 1950 the Council advertised for an apprentice joiner and carpenter. I applied and was successful, beating two other lads to the job and where I stayed for six years before I had to do National Service in the Royal Air Force.

During my time at Mansfield Woodhouse Urban District Council, I had to attend Technical College at Mansfield and twice became Best Student in College, beating five hundred other students, a prize which one of my grandsons Matthew Harbor won some fifty years later.

This page was added by Ann Sewell on 04/10/2014.

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