1911 - 30th September article in Northampton Independent
Spratton Fire Brigade, photographed at the junction of Church Lane and Yew Tree Lane.
The article reported their call out to Cank Farm (Brampton) with their 'one-horse manual' at 1.42 p.m. They left the station in Church Lane at 1.50, and arrived at 2.04 about an hour before the Northampton Brigade. The latter left at 6 p.m., and half an hour later fire broke out again in the hayricks and barley ricks. The Spratton Brigade of 15 men, which was still at the scene, were kept busy all night dousing the fire.
Shown left to right are:
Front: Police Constable Jones, John Higgs (aged 60, shoemaker), George Taylor (aged 41, shoe finisher), Samuel Blundell (aged 46, blacksmith), George Dunkley (aged 49, bootmaker), Henry Surridge (aged 58, master sweep), William Higgs (aged 27, shoemaker), Levi. Richardson (aged 52, shoemaker and captain of the brigade)
Back: Edward Austin( aged 39, carpenter), William Richardson (aged 30, shoemaker), John T. Manning(aged 34, carrier), George Voss (aged 41, bootmaker), Ashley Bates (aged 39, bootmaker), Harry Cheney (aged 51, bricklayer), Albert Green (aged 44, corn and hay merchant and superintendent of the brigade).
According to articles in 'Mercury' of 17 October 1885, 16 June 1886, and 8 August 1890, the fire brigade was active. There was rivalry between this and the Northampton 'manual' and the Spratton 'manual, which required up to 12 people to operate it, was disparagingly called a 'donkey' engine. Not known when it started in Spratton, but not there in 1851 ('Mercury' 1 April 1851)