CYCLOPEDIA OF NZ 1906
Nelson, Marlborough and Westland
Nelson Volunteer Fire Brigade. For equipment and efficiency this brigade ranks among the best in New Zealand. It was formed in 1866, after a disastrous fire at Mr G. McGee's Hotel, whereby the four corners at the crossing of Bridge and Collingwood Streets were consumed. The citizens then met to consider the advisableness of forming a brigade to protect themselves in case of further outbreaks, and the Provincial Council contributed liberally towards its formation. Support was obtained by annual subscriptions from the public, supplemented by a gift of £100 per annum from the various insurance companies, and £40 from the Provincial Government. In 1889 the insurance companies withdrew their subscriptions, and consequently the burden of support was cast upon the City Council, which levied a fire rate for the purpose, and now spends over £200 per annum on the brigade. The plant is most efficient, and is valued at about £1000. It consists of one 24-manual engine, one hook and ladder carriage, with over fifty feet of ladders and all necessary appliances connected therewith. There are nine hose stations in various parts of the town, equipped with all appliances for the extinction of fires. In each of these stations there are hydrants and 600 feet of hose, with branches etc. Upon the nine reels there is over a mile of canvas hose, which is the only kind of hose used by the brigade. There are twenty-five members in the brigade and the officers in 1905 were: Mr T.M. Wimsett, captain; Mr T. Woodward, lieutenant; Mr J. Lipscombe, foreman of the hook and ladder; Mr J. Whiting, No. 1 hose; Mr W. Miller, No. 2; Mr E. Boyce, secretary, and Mr J.E.
Hounsell, treasurer. Mr Wimsett, who is the only member who has been connected with the brigade from its formation, is elsewhere referred to in connection with his business.
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