Drogheda’s Fire Service

Recently the Old Drogheda Society acquired a fabulous piece of Drogheda history in the form of a Dennis F12 fire engine.

So here’s a little history on the Drogheda Fire Service and its engines.

Drogheda has seen several incarnations of fire services going back as far as the late 1700’s but it was 1879 when the first brigade was formed.

In May 1878, a notice circulated local businesses inviting young men to a meeting with the intention of forming a Volunteer Fire Brigade. The response was great and within a year the V.F.B. was established with 35 members and a fire station in Fair Street, but by the early 1900’s the V.F.B. had been replaced by corporation employees run through the Waterworks Department.

Up until 1936 the brigades used hand drawn hose carts and ladders to fight fires but after a great fire in Shop Street that burned out 6 buildings and caused the insurance companies to pay out nearly a half million pounds in compensation, the corporation purchased a fire engine.

It was was a green, open cab, Merryweather & Sons engine with a Hatfield Reciprocating Pump, delivered on May 21st 1937.

Then in 1956, the old Merryweather was retired and brand new Dennis F12 took its place. This was the first laddered engine in Drogheda and allowed the fire fighters to reach the taller buildings in the town. The Dennis F12 was retired sometime around 1980.

Sources: “Drogheda’s Fire Service” by Patsy McKenna, Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 2004

Millmount Museum Facebook Page 3rd June 2016

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