Victorian-era fire helmet gets new home

The Sidney Fire Department is welcoming a piece of history into their fire hall.

Fire chief Brett Mikkelsen said that about two weeks ago, Anne and Alan Stafford had popped in and said they had an old fire helmet that could use a new home. When they dropped it off two weeks later, he thanked them by giving them a tour of the fire hall.

The brass helmet, called a Merryweather, were introduced in 1868 and used up until the end of the Second World War, when it was discovered that they were dangerous in the presence of electricity. The leather lining of the helmet is somewhat worn, and very tight — almost child-sized.

Anne said they thought the Sidney fire department would be interested because it was so old, “and I don’t think the kids are that interested in it. I mean, where else but the fire department, eh?”

Alan was stationed outside of Nottingham, England, at RAF Langar, a Royal Air Force base doing what he said was “just office work, nothing exciting.” The base was also used by the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Alan’s job kept the couple in England from 1959-1963. At some point they went antiquing in London, and while they did not find what they were originally after, they picked up this helmet and have had it ever since.

The couple, who live in Sidney, laughed as Mikkelsen insisted that a plaque be made in recognition of their gift.

“We were just going to drop it off,” said Anne.

Mikkelsen said it was important to him to recognize their gift “because we take this very seriously and we’ll look after it for, long after I’m gone for sure.”

 

Just Posted

Pacific FC signs 24-year-old defensive midfielder from Panama

González joins the roster following the team’s 2-2 tie game against York9 FC.

Victoria police investigate dumpster fire in gated alleyway

VicPD and Victoria Fire Department respond to fire on Johnson Street

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mighty Garage Sale offers boost to Metchosin groups

Metchosin Community Association holds annual sale on May 25 and 26

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read