Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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248                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIX.
The Dukes of Devonshire had a statutory right, I believe to compel the stoppage of any train at the Cork and Cart well station which is on their property, so on the afternoon of the day we were at Holker, a train which was not timed to stop was ordered to stop to pick us up, the Duke sending us there in one of his carriages. I suppose this right attaches to the new owner of Holker, Lord ft. Cavendish, M.P.
Fire Engines.
In 1846 when a new pond was constructed at The Gore and it was desired to fill it, it was settled that the necessary water should, in the first instance, be obtained from the Motcombe Pond, and that the Parish Fire-engine with its hose should be borrowed for the purpose. I need hardly say that in this business I took the keenest interest, for I suppose there is nothing that small boys enter into with greater zest than playing with water and getting wet and dirty. I have a vivid recollection of this old Parish engine of ancient date, and an engine still alive at Rye is very like the old East-Bourne engine which is recorded in the Parish books as bought at the comparatively modern date of 1824. This, I suppose, is the engine as to which, an entry appears in the Vestry Minute Book under date of November 15, 1838, to the effect that Mrs. Gilbert offered to take it off the Parish and keep it in repair ready for use. I do not know what became of it but think that it was probably made away with in 1853. Why I suggest 1853 will appear directly. I believe that in the " Fifties " this old engine and a more modern one kept at Gompton Place constituted the sole protection against fire which existed in the Parish. In January 1853 Major Willard's old house The Grays, in which he had died only a few months before, was almost entirely burnt to the ground, and this event suggested that the time had come for the Parish to be provided with a good modern fire-engine. I had been much interested in the fire-engines exhibited in the Great Exhibition of 1851 and I forthwith wrote
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