The project behind this page (and the linked pages that will follow) is to enable website visitors to access the entirety of the database collated through the research that enabled the production of the eight volumes of Isle of Wight firefighting history.

Newspaper articles, official documents, personal diaries and handwritten notes, photographs and certificates shall be digitally stored and made available via hyperlink in the chronological pages that follow.

This will take a very long time to complete so please be patient while I work on this.

If you enjoy the new feature and freely access and download the attachments, please remember my two-part objective, to promote the history of IW firefighting and to raise funds for the Firefighters Charity, so please consider clicking HERE and dropping them a small donation.

Thank you 

Damon

A1 AD300 - Brading Villa - the earliest known record of a building fire on the Isle of Wight.

A2 1687 - Newport - In February 1980, Dr J.D. Jones, MA, PhD, gave a talk to the IW Historical Association and stated that in 1687 Newport acquired its first fire engine (article). 

A3 1700 - Newport - An IW County Press article of 17 August 1912 made reference to the Ledger Book of Newport, IW, 1567-1799 in which is included a mention of the town fire engine (article). 

A4 1785 November 13 - Newport - On 3 January 1906 one Dilamgerbendy penned a letter to the IW County Press corroborating a story that appeared in the Salsibury and Winchester Journal of 1785 that referred to a devastating fire that destroyed sixteen houses and took two lives in Newport (letter). 

A5 1787 - Cowes - An IW County Press article of 1962 made reference to the Sun Fire Office donating a fire engine to the town of Cowes (article) (photo of engine taken in 1905). 

A6 1829 - Ryde - In this year the town's elected authority decided to form what was the Island's first formal fire brigade and appointed ironmonger George Woods as its superintendent (RSHG file). 

A7 1836 - Society for the Protection of Life from Fire - The SPLFF was formed this year and was to make substantial contributions to IW fire brigades during the Victorian era (Wikipedia article).

A8 1837 - Ryde - Writing in 1994, Station Officer David Potts, a fourth generation Ryde firefighter, claimed that Ryde acquired its first proper fire engine this year for the price of £43 17s. 

A9 1838 - Ryde - St Thomas's Church - An article in the IW Observer (without a precise date) reflects on a fire at St Thomas's Church caused by lightning strike (article).

A10 1847 - Ventnor - Ventnor Mill - Evidence discovered at the Ventnor Heritage Centre suggests that the town acquired 30 buckets and 2 ladders for firefighting in the aftermath of the devastating Ventnor Mill fire in 1847, and that 12 volunteers were arranged as a firefighting unit - suggesting Ventnor possessed the Island's second formal fire brigade. 

 

A11 1848 - Ventnor - An article in the IW County Press of 19 February 1894 strongly suggests that the town acquired a manual fire engine in 1848 (article).

A12 - 1850 February 14 - Norris Castle - In his journal, Charles Dickens made mention of an explosion at Norris Castle (journal extract).

A13 - 1850 July 30 - Parkhurst Prison - The Illustrated London News carried a report and sketch of the devastating fire in the juvenile block at the prison (article).  

A14 - 1851 January 17 - Binstead - Charles Dickens recorded in his journal the destruction by fire of Binstead House, seat of Lord Downes (journal extract).

A15 - 1852 September 7 - Kingston Farm - Controversy surrounded Newport's refusal to send fire engines to the farm fire - however the engines of the Northcourt estate were sent to assist (article). 

A16 - 1852 September 8 - Ryde - Town of Ryde balance sheet for 1851, published in the IW Observer, evidences the purchase of fire engines (article).

A17 - 1852 September 20 - Ryde - Mr Turtle's dye-house - A fire in a business premises (address not supplied) raises the question, where are the fire brigade? (article). 

A18 - 1852 September 25 - Newport - Pyle Street - Fire in a Pyle Street upholsterers premises (article).

A19 - 1852 October 2 - Ryde - IW Observer briefly remarks on the unsatisfactory state of Ryde Fire Brigade (article).

A20 - 1852 October 26 - Little Pan Farm, Newport - A fire is attended by multiple engines from the town, the garrison and the House of Industry (article) - includes the earliest reference to the idea of county engines

A21 - 1852 November 9 - Newport - IW Observer article about Newport's council meeting with reference to inefficient fire engines (article).

A22 - 1852 November 20 - Ryde - IW Observer article about the Ryde Water Works Company which was soon to have a huge impact on the towns firefighting capability (article).  

A23 - 1852 December 4 - Fishbourne Creek - Fire involving the yacht Sibyl (article).

A24 - 1853 January 3 - Newport - The Town Council meeting makes reference to the fire brigade question (article).

A25 - 1853 March 4 - Ventnor - Mr Norris butchers shop - IW Observer article reporting the fire, but no mention of the fire brigade (article). 

A26 - 1853 March 12 - Ryde - IW Observer article regarding various aspects of the fire brigade (article).

A27 - 1853 March 13 - Newport - The fire brigade turn out, but can't find the fire and return (article). 

A28 - 1853 May 7 - Ventnor - The Paving Committee raise the issue of fire plugs (a crude early form of hydrant) (article). 

A29 - 1853 May 14 - Ryde - An IW Observer report makes brief reference to the salary for the fire brigade (article). 

A30 - 1853 June 4 - Ryde - J.G. Dashwood, wholesale dealer of George Street, Ryde, advertised his wares in the IW Observer, including suction pipes for fire engines (article).

A31 - 1853 June 11 - Ventnor - The Paving Committee report satisfaction with the town's fire engine to the Commissioners (article).

A32 - 1853 August 20 - Newport - Fire at the cement mills (article).

A33 - 1853 October 11 - Ryde - Fire at a residential abode in Cross Street (article).

A34 - 1853 October 26 - Ryde, Brigstocke Terrace - A fire at the Ryde landmark is reported and followed by several letters to the Press (article 1) (article 2) (article 3) (article 4) (article 5) (article 6). 

A35 - 1853 November 10 - Ryde - An article which follows the progress of the Ryde Improvement Amendment Act, a key stage in the plan to install mains water, including firefighting points, throughout the town (article). 

A36 - 1853 December 13 - Cowes - Fire at Debourne Lodge, engines arrived but were operated by bystanders and a detachment of soldiers (article). 

A37 - 1854 May 20 - Steam fire engine - An article in the IW Observer briefly mentions steam fire  engines in use in America - but it would be over half a century before one arrived on the Island (article). 

A38 - 1854 June 4 - Seaview - A fire at the Salterns (article). 

A39 - 1854 June 6 - Cowes - House fire at Market Hill (article).

A40 - 1854 August 3 - Shanklin - Cottage fire in the lower village (article).

A41 - 1854 September 2 - Cowes - A fire at a coach house and serious injuries sustained by two volunteers who were crushed under the wheels of the fire engine (article). 

A42 - 1854 September 13 - Cowes - following the fire of September 2, the Local Board of Health make some recommendations (article). 

A43 - 1854 October 21 - Cowes - Firefighting volunteer William Floyd is charged with making the use of obscene language in the street (article).

A44 - 1854 November 1 - Ryde - A less than satisfactory report concerning the fire brigade after a fire at Mr Green's store at 5 High Street (article). 

A45 - 1854 November 11 - Ryde - The Highway Committee voiced its thoughts following the debacle of the fire on November 1 (article). 

A46 - 1854 November 14 - Ryde - Following on from the fire of November 1, the Ryde Commissioners get involved in the debate (article). 

A47 - 1854 December 7 - Ryde - New fire brigade rules to be implemented (article).

A48 - 1854 December 12 - Ryde - Mr William Woods has returned to the role of superintendent of the fire brigade (article).

A49 - 1855 January 31 - Parkhurst Prison - Fire at the prison is attended by engines from the garrison, House of Industry and the town (article). 

A50 - 1855 February 6 - Ventnor - Fire in a High Street grocers (article). 

A51 - 1855 August 28 - Shide Cross Farm - Rick fire at the farm (article). 

A52 - 1855 October 6 - Ryde - Hackles are raised with the imperfections of the waterworks (article).

A53 - 1855 October 8 - Newport - Workshop on fire at Nodehill (article). 

A54 - 1855 November 24 - Ryde - The thatching of a cottage raised fire safety concerns with the Town Board (article).

A55 - 1855 December 15 - Ryde - The terrible death of a child who fell into the fireplace (article). 

A56 - 1956 January 28 - Brook Farm - Barley rick fire at the farm (article).

A57 - 1856 April 5 - Cowes - Large fire at the yard of John and Robert White (article).

A58 - 1856 May 17 - Cowes - Gratuities paid to the hundreds of men who volunteered to fight the fire of April 5 (article). 

A59 - 1856 August 15 - Ryde - An IW Observer article refers to the fire plugs (article).

A60 - 1856 August 27 - Wellow - Harts Hole farmhouse destroyed by fire - there is no fire brigade in West Wight (article). 

A61 - 1856 October 5 - Ryde - The day after final completion of the town's waterworks, a fire breaks out at Twa House at the corner of the High Street and Green Street (article 1) (article 2) (photo of Benjamin Barrow). 

A62 - 1856 October 18 - Ryde - The Officers Committee agree gratuities for those who helped fight the fire at Twa House (article).

A63 - 1856 November 5 - Freshwater - Gunpowder Plot celebrations got a little out of hand (article). 

A64 - 1856 December 13 - Ryde - Fire brigade Superintendent William Woods revolutionizes the brigade due to the incomparable improvement in water supply to the town (article). 

A65 - 1856 December 16 - Ryde - The Officer's Committee aren't slow to spot an opportunity to save money by reducing the strength of the fire brigade following Supt. Woods modernisation (article). 

A66 - 1857 February 9 - Yarmouth - Fire in a St James's Square premises (article).

A67 - 1857 March 10 - Yarmouth - A fire which occurred at The George Hotel on this date, led to a letter being submitted to the IW Observer complaining about the lack of a fire engine (letter). 

A68 - 1857 April 28 - Yarmouth - Chimney fire at a High Street premises (article).

A69 - 1857 May 11 - Ventnor - Town water works with a reference to firefighting water (article).

A70 - 1857 June 1 - Ventnor - Further discussions about water supply and the specifying of fire plugs (article). 

A71 - 1857 June 16 - Bonchurch Down - large furze fire (article).

A72 - 1857 July 27 - Binstead - Two cottages destroyed by fire (article 1) (article 2).

A73 - 1857 December 26 - Ryde - IW Observer reports on the production of what appears to have represented the first hydrant map for use by firefighters (article).

A74 - 1858 January 8 - Cowes - Mary of Fowey, a schooner, on fire offshore (article).

A75 - 1858 January 25 - Yarmouth - Alarm caused when Royal Engineers deliberately fire the furze to create a parade ground (article). 

A76 - 1858 March 13 - Ryde - Fire at the Cross Street office of the IW Mercury (article).

A77 - 1858 April 10 - Ryde - An advertisment placed in the IW Observer by a chimney sweep who decries the professionalism of another (advertisement).

A78 - 1858 May 1 - Ryde - Ryde Commissioners desist from using the fire plugs to water the streets (article). 

A79 - 1859 February 5 - Ryde - Fire in a Union Street premises (article).

A80 - 1859 February 19 - Ryde - IW Observer published an apology for an error in the report of the fire of 5 February (article). 

A81 - 1859 April 2 - Cowes - Improved hose ordered for firefighting (article).

A82 - 1859 April 9 - Ventnor - various brigade matters reported (article).

A83 - 1859 May 18 - Cowes - Fire at the Star Inn (article).

A84 - 1859 May 24 - Cowes - West Cowes Local Board discuss brigade matters (article).

A85 - 1859 May 29 - Cowes - Fatal fire at St Mary's Street (article). 

A86 - 1859 May 30 - Cowes - Inquest into the fatal fire of 29 May (article).

A87 - 1859 June 7 - Cowes - Insurance companies requested to contribute to firefighting volunteers reimbursement (article). 

A88 - 1859 June 18 - Ryde - Fire escapes (wheeled ladders) on the agenda (article).

A89 - 1859 June 25 - Cowes - Fire escape is on the agenda in Cowes too (article).

A90 - 1859 July 16 - Ryde - Brookfield, the home of Lord Burghley, involved in fire (transcript). 

A91 - 1859 July 16 - Ryde - Officers Committee reject cost of fire escape (article).

A92 - 1859 July 25 - Arreton - Hay ricks on fire at Haseley (article).

A93 - 1860 February 9 - Ryde - Fire at Buckingham Villa (article).

A94 - 1860 February 23 - Ryde - Fire at brick kilns at Rosemary Lane (article).

A95 - 1860 February 29 - Newport - Fire destroys the steam powered saw mill (article).

A96 - 1860 April 19 - Bembridge - Fire at Foreland Farm (article).

A97 - 1860 April 28 - Bembridge - Letters published in the IW Observer relating to the Foreland Farm fire (article).

A98 - 1860 September 10 - Ryde - Fire in George Street (transcript).

A99 - 1860 October 20 - Cowes - Report of a fire when volunteer firemen Charles Jeffery fell from the roof (article). 

A100 - 1860 October 31 - Binstead - Fire involving three cottages (article).

A101 - 1861 January 12 - Ryde - Retirement of Superintendent William Woods (article).

A102 - 1861 April 21 - Cowes - Fire at Marine Parade (article).

A103 - 1861 April 26 - Ryde - Fire at Stone Pits, Binstead (article).

A104 - 1861 April 27 - Newport - Fire plugs (article).

A105 - 1861 May 6 - Newport - Fire at West Mill, New Village (article).

A106 - 1861 September 16 - Newport - Fire at Mr Pragnell's premises, Staplers (article).

A107 - 1861 September 26 - Newport - Fire at St John's Terrace (article).

A108 - 1861 November 26 - Newport - Fire behind the Royal Soldiers Institute in St James's Street (article). 

A109 - 1861 December 27 - Shanklin - Fire at Mr Cooper's stable (article).

A110 - 1862 February 10 - Newport - Fire in Cosham Street (South Street) (article). 

A111 - 1862 April 28 - Brixton (Brighstone) - Cottages on fire at Pit Place Farm (article).

A112 - 1862 April 1 - Ryde - Fire at Elvington House, Belvedere Street - first mention of brigade Superintendent William Stannard (article 1) (article 2). 

A113 - 1862 May 3 - Newport - Drama at a married quarters fire at Parkhurst (article).

A114 - 1862 May 27 - Ryde - Chimney fire at Claremont Cottage, West Street (article).

A115 - 1862 July 19 - Ryde - Advertisement in the IW Observer for Henry Buckett, Town Crier, who was also a fireman and later became brigade captain (advertisement). 

A116 - 1862 October 6 - Cowes - domestic fire at The Diggings (article).

A117 - 1862 October 18 - Ventnor - Fire at Rew Farm, Superintendent John Burt is officer in charge (article).

A118 - 1862 November 18 - Ventnor - Mr Hobly is appointed keeper of the fire engine (article).

A119 - 1862 December 9 - Brook - Church destroyed by fire (article).

A120 - 1863 January 3 - Cowes - Fire in a High Street store (article).

A121 - 1863 January 10 - Cowes - An article from the IW Observer that questions the efficiency of Cowes fire protection following recent incidents (article).