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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Customs House construction site in Victoria

Investigation continues into the circumstance of man’s death

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

Teams back on the field in Langford

Soccer championships back in action after postponement

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Most Read