Harborough Museum

Firefighter’s Helmet

Firefighter’s Helmet

The Helmet

Do you want to know more about Market Harborough’s firefighting heritage? Then pop into Harborough Museum and have a look at our brilliant fire station display.

This fireman’s helmet, from the early 20th century, is made from papier-mache. They were typically better for identification purposes than protection!

Stronger brass helmets were also used, but as these conducted electricity, they were normally only worn at ceremonies. Leather helmets, which were a lot safer, eventually replaced both. Phew!

A black helmet with gold letters saying 'Fire Brigade'
A black helmet with gold letters saying ‘Fire Brigade’

A History of Firefighting in Harborough

Firefighting has been known in Market Harborough since 1679 when water was pumped manually from the Folly Pond, next to the present day fire station on Fairfield Road.

In 1870 a volunteer fire brigade was created with horse-drawn fire engines. But by the end of WWII locally organised fire brigades like this had been merged into the National Fire Service.

In 1903 a new fire station was built on Abbey Street which you can still see today with its distinctive red doors and polished tiles. Since the current fire station on Fairfield Road opened in 1989, the Abbey Street building has been home to a variety of businesses. Today it houses Keals and the Abbey Cottage Chinese.

Fire fighters standing in front of display
The display in Harborough Museum

Market Harborough – Christmas Shopping Heaven!

Harborough is a haven for both shoppers and foodies with many quirky, independent retailers and numerous eating places – ideal for your Christmas shopping. On Abbey Street alone you can sample cuisine from Thailand, China, Spain and the US A, find vintage gifts and new shoes plus have your hair done! Why not come and make use of the free Saturday parking throughout December?

The former fire station on Abbey Street. Image courtesy of Kevin Hale on Geograph.
The former fire station on Abbey Street. Image courtesy of Kevin Hale on Geograph.

Our Partners

Logos for the partners of Harborough Museum including Harborough District Council, Leicestershire County Council, Market Harborough Historical Society and supported by Market Harborough and the Bowdens Charity

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