Historical information

1879 - The Argus, Friday 11 July 1879, page 4. The Kew Borough Council having decided to initiate a fire brigade, invited volunteers to send in their names. About 40 complied with the invitation and met at the Town-hall to choose 12 of their number to form the brigade. The 12 elected then chose their officers as follows :— Councillor Gray, captain ; Mr. Thomas Greenhill, foreman ; and Mr. H. Loxton, secretary. The brigade decided to apply to the council for uniforms and a bell; and after adopting rules for their guidance the meeting separated. The brigade now possesses a reel and 500ft. of hose, and a shed is being erected in Little Walpole-street for a station. The council have applied for six additional fireplugs in the Main-road, so that the brigade may now be considered fairly established. The Volunteer Fire Brigade was replaced in 1891 by a detachment of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and a new Fire Station in Walton Street constructed in 1893; subsequently demolished in 1941.

Significance

The certificate includes the only known image of the first fire station in Kew. It was donated by Mrs L. Bray. The donor's father, Mr. A. Wood, was a member at time of the Brigade's 'disbandment'.

Physical description

Kew Volunteer Fire Brigade: Certificate of Membership, 1886. Testifying that Herbert Woollard was an active member of the Kew Volunteer Fire Brigade between 4th May 1883 and 2nd July 1886. Signed with pen and ink H. Kellett (Captain) and F.G.A. Barnard (Hon. Sec.). The certificate is believed to include the only picture of the first Kew Fire Station.The certificate lists the original members of the brigade on the left side as: Captain H. Gray, Lieutenant T. Greenhill, and Secretary H. Loxton; [Members} F.G.A. Barnard, W. Cleverdon, L. Gurzanscky, T.G. Jellis, J.A. Kay, H. Kellett, H. Kirby, D. McLachlan; (Honorary members) W. Atkins, W. Cleverdon, H. Gray, T. Greenhill. At the right is a list of members at the time of disbandment: Captain H. Kellett, Lieutenant H. Burmeister, Sub-Lieutenant A. Wallis, Secretary F.G.A. Barnard; [Members] J. Burke, W. Gardner, L. Gillman, F. Kay, H. Kirwood, W. MacKenzie, C. Wallis, A Wood; [Honorary members] G. Hinchcliffe, T. G. Jellis, J. A. Kay, D. McLaughlan.Troedel & Co. Lith [printer].