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

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

Recent investment in bus fleet expansion doesn’t slow studies into alternative transportation routes

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Single parent resource centre continues operations in partially-condemned building

Victoria’s 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre moves back into heritage home

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read