Council seeks a new home for historic fire engines

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Cllr Bill Dowling with the fire engines

Two 19th Century fire engines owned by the town council are in desperate need of a new home to prevent them being lost forever.

The horse drawn fire engines, which are stored at an undisclosed council warehouse, served the town under the borough council prior to the introduction of motorised fire engines, and were built by two different companies at Blackfriars Road in London.

The engines, made by Hopwood and Tilley, and Shand and Mason, are a relic of a bygone age, but sadly there are fears that they may simply rot away if they are not restored soon.

The council do not intend to sell the fire engines, but is actively looking for the right home for them.

Over the years The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Town Council have stored the engines and ideally would now like them to be cared for by a local museum.

Museums in the region are believed to have expressed an interest in the fire engines in the past, but at the time were unable to take them.

Town Councillor, Bill Dowling, said: “Basically they’re just rotting in here and we don’t have the space for them. We would love it if they could be restored and put out on display somewhere, they’re worth more than £5,000 to £7,000 each, but we’re not planning to sell them, we just need to find the right home for them.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the fire engines or are interested in restoring them, contact Stratford Town Council by emailing info@stratford-tc.gov.uk.