Finest small retained fire service

Portchester Fire Brigade in the 1930s
Portchester Fire Brigade in the 1930s
The Royal Pier Hotel, now Rees Hall.

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The Portchester brigade was one of Hampshire’s finest small, retained services.

It started in the 1920s with a hand cart and later progressed to a motor-cycle and sidecar which towed the hand cart.

Later the parish council bought a Bullnose Morris two-seater car which speeded things up, but the crew still had to hang on to the cart behind them. The Morris was later sold, a lorry chassis purchased and the firemen converted it themselves into a ‘proper’ fire engine complete with bell and brass handles.