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<H1 align=center>Fire Brigade
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<P align=center><IMG SRC="bf-02.jpg">
<H1 align=center><FONT color=white>A HISTORY
<H2 align=center>OF
<H1 align=center>BELFAST FIRE BRIGADE
<H3 align=center>By Bill Broadhurst and Harry Welsh
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<H1 align=center>Fire Brigade
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<P>
<H4 align=center>Bill Broadhurst retired on 24th October 2003 from the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade while Harry Welsh officially retired on the 1st June 2003. Initially they became friends
during their service together on White Watch at Central Fire Station Chichester street
Belfast, when they discussed the history of the Belfast Brigade and where it
could be found. Shortly afterwards as a search began it quickly became apparent
that all or most of the records kept by the brigade had been destroyed or
re-cycled during the Second World War to assist with paper shortages.
<P>The first part of their journey took them to The Linenhall Library in Belfast
renound for its historical archives, and at first not knowing exactly what they
were seeking their search seemed to be one of folly. It was only as they became
more familiar with the services provided by the library that they began to put
together the first snippets of references to the fire brigade from different
sources such as. The Water Service, The Police Service, Early leglislation, Old
maps and Newspapers.
<P>An approach was then made to the Belfast City Hall and through the help and
assistance of the Town Clerk's office were they given complete access to the
various Committee minute books. The main source being that of the Police
Committee under which the Fire Brigade had operated. Starting now to acquire and
put together a mass of information which they would invariabily share with
others within the brigade, they were encouraged to compile a book about the
history of the brigade. Stepping once again into a world of which they had no
prior knowledge, they sought assistance from Michael Longley of the Arts Council
for Northern Ireland who directed them in this field. <I>e.g.</I> To confirm
anything which could be said, there had be at least two different sources.
Also to seek help from the Public Records held in the Public Records Office for
Northern Ireland. They should never rush at anything to do with history and be
prepared for days which would frustrate and appear to have been a waste of time.
<P>It has to be said that never once in all their time together gathering
information did they ever encounter anyone who did not seem interested in their
quest for knowledge, nor did anyone appear to be unhelpful. Indeed they were
constantly encouraged by those they came into contact with through; The Belfast
City Hall, The Public Record Office for Northern Ireland, The Ulster Museum, The
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, The Belfast Telegraph and Belfast News-Letter
newspapers, The Public libraries, past and serving members of the fire service.
<P>Over the years of research it was noticeable that the initial sources of
records contained in the folds of the Old Police Minute books, a puzzlement
which transpired to be the slivers from clerks sharpening their quill pens, and
as both Harry and Bill had started by writing and recording their information
with more and more coming their way they had to move onto typewriters and
photocopiers. Never did they foresee the revolution in computers and discs onto
which most of their information is now stored. Their records together with all
the photographs, scrap books and books which survived have now been placed in
the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, alongside the Police Committee
Minute books from the Belfast City Hall.
<P>The history of the Belfast Fire Brigade has now been compiled to the best of
their ability and a Book entitled "THE FLAMING TRUTH, a history of the Belfast Fire Brigade" has been published by
Flaming Publications and printed by The Priory Press, Holywood, Co.Down
after assistance with the costs were granted by the Belfast City Council.
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<H1 align=center>Fire Brigade
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<I><H5 align=center><marquee width="700 height="50"><IMG SRC="bfe-02.jpg">..................<BIG>to receive information place cursor on images.</BIG><Font color="red">.......................
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<P align=center><TABLE BORDER=15><TR>
<TD><IMG SRC="bah-001.jpg" alt="Bill Broadhurst (left) and Harry Welsh (right)."</TD></TR>
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<H1 align=center>Fire Brigade
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<p align="center"><b><font size="3">BELFAST INDEX</font></b></td>
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<td width="100%" bgcolor="RED">
<p align="center"><A href="pageone.htm"><Font size="1"><Font color="yellow"> Notable Dates through History.</a><br>
<A href="pagetwo.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Belfast Chief Fire Officers.</a><br>
<A href="pagethree.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Photographic History Belfast Fire Brigade.</a><br>
<A href="pagefour.htm"> <Font color="Yellow">Fires in Belfast.</a><br>
<A href="pagefive.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Published Book "A History of Belfast Fire Brigade".</a><br>
<A href="pagesix.html"><Font color="Yellow"> Northern Ireland Fire Authority.</A><br>
<A href="pageseven.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Lisburn Fire Brigade.</A><br>
<A href="firehistory.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Northern Ireland Fire Services Historical Society.</A><br>
<A href="pageeleven.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Bangor Fire Brigade.</A><br>
<A href="pagetwelve.htm"><Font color="Yellow"> Carrickfergus Fire Brigade. </A><br>
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