Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. XIX.]                Fire Engines.                               249
from London to somebody in East-Bourne (I forget now who) to suggest that the Parish should buy an engine of the type of those exhibited by the old-established London firm of " Shand & Mason, late Tilley." Soon after this, such an engine was bought but I do not remember what London firm provided it. Mr. Tilley had retired from business, and many years afterwards when I was living for a short time at Sydenham I made his acquaintance. He was a most agreeable old gentleman. I need not go farther into the modern history of fire-engines in East-Bourne except to say that in that matter, as in most others, the Town has kept pace with the times, and about 1880 acquired 2 steam fire-engines, placed under the control of the Local Board. The engines had painted on them by way of dedication the names " Morrison " and " Sutton "—a piece of toadyism quite unprecedented, I think, in the history of fire-engines. East-Bourne has had a happy immunity from fires. The most serious during my time was that at Peerless's timberyard on November 17, 1876, when property of the estimated value of £4000 or more was destroyed, and much injury done to the backs of some of the houses in Terminus Road and to Diplock's Brewery. The London and Provincial Bank was at one time so much in danger that it was deemed desirable to remove all the bullion and books to a place of safety.
Lord Randolph Churchill.
So far as I know, " Randy " (to use the coloquial name employed to designate him in the " Eighties ") never came to East-Bourne ; at any rate, for any public purpose, but it was not for want of asking. After the lamentable results of the General Election of 1880, when one of the greatest of English statesmen — Lord Beaconsfield—was replaced by a man who left no mark for good on the Statute Book of his country—Mr. Gladstone—the fortunes of the Conservative Party sank to a very low ebb, painfully accentuated by the death of Lord Beaconsfield in 1881. To the regeneration of the
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