The Village Fire Station

The 1914 and 1934 Ordnance Survey maps both clearly show a Fire Station serving the village.
Fire Station - 1914 OS Map     Fire Station - 1934 OS Map

old fire stationSituated in St.Mary's Road in the small building to the left of the 'archway' almost opposite the end of Beech Road, it is reasonable to conclude that the 'fire engine' was housed somewhere in the yard beyond the arch and that the building served as a 'crew room' or something similar.

So far we have been able to obtain no significant details relating to this fire station which would have been, almost certainly, a voluntary operation run under the control of Walton Fire Brigade when the Walton and Weybridge Councils were seperate entities.

All we have to go on at the moment is its inclusion on the maps and a snippet of information given to us in an 'oral history' recording with Gordon Jones who was a long-time resident and posesses a remarkable memory.

His family having lived in Oatlands for generations, he can recall stories told to him by his parents, aunts and uncles and even his grandparents.This is what Gordon told us:

"Claggy Legg(e?) used to pull the fire wagon by hand when my grandmother was a little-'un - he used to pull the fire cart by hand. He'd go running off up the road dragging this thing - like a coster's barrow it was apparently."

Fire BarrowFrom that we can probably conclude that the 'fire cart' being referred to was very similar to the one pictured and, obviously, was rather limited in its fire-fighting equipment. The likelyhood is that this would have been a local 'first line' in the event of fire until the larger engine arrived with more comprehensive equipment.Gordon's grandmother, Maud Muggeridge, was born in 1903 so this would put the handcart story to pre-1920.