WONERSH FIRE BRIGADEBy the early 1940s, Wonersh had the distinction of being the first village in Hambledon RDC to have a full complement Auxiliary Services Fire Brigade. The fourteen unpaid volunteers, with a Mr Milner in charge, had completed nine weeks training to qualify as members. Two firemen were on duty day and night with other members available to be called upon if needed.When it became apparent that there was little chance of getting equipment for some considerable time, the men decided to equip themselves. An independent Watch Committee was formed with Mrs Grover of Wonersh Parkas Chairman and Mr Lindsay,also of Wonersh Park, as Secretary and Treasurer. They raised about £70 which was spent on fire equipment and Mr Gazepromised a fire station to house it. The brigade needed a further £50 to buy the remaining equipment considered to be the absolute minimum required.The fire engine was kept in a hut which, in later years when the engine was pensioned off, was moved first to the Blackheath allotments and then to land owned by Mrs Bailey at the back of Lawnsmead Hall where it housed the mower for the cricket club. Eventually, two houses were to be built on the land and the Council had to move the hut. As luck would have it, two large elm trees on the boundary with the Common had died of elm disease and, while being felled by a volunteer, one demolished the hut thereby solving the Council’s problem and providing Mr Mead of Lawnsmead with an ample supply of firewood.Charlie Ansell, Dennis Ireland, John Heather, Ken Hammond, Len Franklin, Len Robinson, Ted Harpwood,Ted Palmer, Len Hammond, Fred Monk, ? Ayling, Dick Skinner, Lionel Riley, Ken Shravel, plus one unidentified.
Photographs of Wonersh Fireman’s Axecourtesy ofAndrew Brown