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

PHOTOS: West Shore students rally for 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students, community members gather, sort food donations

Saanich seeks contractors for Shelbourne Street upgrade project

The three-phase project is expected to begin in 2020

Saanich allows retail sale of recreational cannabis for specific zones

Amendments to the 2003 bylaw allows retail sale of recreational cannabis in Saanich

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read