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 Page last updated: 24/08/2022 Sawbridgeworth Fire Brigade - Special Occasions  
Church Parades

Below left - The 1929 Parade, Sunday 23rd June.  In London Road, marching towards the Sports (Cricket) Field and crossing the head of Bell Street. If anyone knows about the Cinema Film taken of the event, or the whereabouts of it or a copy,  please contact the Webmaster!

  The very foot of the article confirms that a film was made of the parade to be shown at the Sawbridgeworth Cinema later.
Please contact the Webmaster if you know where any film might be!

Photograph taken on the town Cricket Field.
For some reason that has remained a mystery the small town of Sawbridgeworth was able to attract fairly large parades up to and in the 1930's, that included attending Great St. Mary's Church as part of the 'requirements' of the occasion. These were in fact always referred to as Church Parades and usually took place on the town's Cricket Field. They were very much a Fire Brigade affair and included brigades from several - for those days - quite distant towns. There is in fact very little information to hand about the parades but it is believed they included some small demonstrations of drilling skills rather than competitions, again these taking place on the Cricket Field. It is not known when the parades commenced but as far back as 1908 they were in being and on the 4th of October that year £10. 1. 11d was collected at Church in aid of the Widows, Orphans & Benevolent Fund of the National Fire Brigades Union. The Inclusion of Bishop's Stortford Band was at the cost of £5. 5. 0d.

The 1930 parade passing along London Road.
This picture is believed to have been taken from an upper window of the house that was part of and belonged to White's Garage (now a filling station) in London Road. The Gate Public House is in the picture. The visitors on these occasions included Brigades from Harlow, Bishop's Stortford, Epping and Leytonstone. As well as still pictures, there were various cine films of these parades, presumably now lost for ever! In attending a social and games evening when very young, probably in 1939, and seeing one of these cine films presented by Bill White (of White's Garage), it included scenes of a number of fire engines turning from London Road - from the South - into the top end of Bell Street. The thing that stuck in my memory as a very young lad was the number of them! Does anyone know of the existence of any of these films?

Appliances standing in Fair Green road - left, the base of an unused water pump. It was still there in the 1950's.  (photo date unknown) Waiting in The Square.
(photo date unknown)
Assembling on the Fair Green for a Church Parade in earlier times.  
Both photos above courtesy of John Dear & Andrew Ballisat Picture courtesy of Richard Dyer.  

The leading appliance in the left hand photograph is the Sawbridgeworth Leyland ARO 480 - Driver is William (Bill) White (White's Garage), accompanied by 2nd Officer Harry Taylor (The Gate Public House). These two photographs give credence to the number of brigades that attended these events and the left one is obviously the head of the parade. The second photograph is presumably taken about half way through the line of appliances to represent the end of the parade of appliances. As far as I can remember from my 'experience' referred to in the previous item above, the firemen paraded behind the appliances. The reverse of one of the photographs is endorsed "Sunday" but with no actual date.

Church Parade 1937 in Knight Street.  
(Both photos above courtesy of Eileen Griffiths (née Riches)  
Appliances indentified at the 1937 Church Parade above
Brigade Registration Type Date Make
Sawbridgeworth (Herts) ARO480 Pump 1935 Leyland FK
Borough of Leyton (Essex) EV2868 Pump Escape 1931 Dennis Big Six
Bishop's Stortford (Herts) AUR551 Pump 1935 Leyland FK
Stansted (Essex) Unknown Pump 1927 Dennis
Harlow (Essex) EV1639 Pump 1931 Ford A or AA
Saffron Walden (Essex) Unknown Pump 1931 Dennis 30cw
Epping (Essex) UR7069 Pump 1913 Leyland FE1
Cheshunt (Herts) Unknown Pump 1931 Dennis 30cwt
Hoddesdon (Herts) UR7069 Pump 1931 Morris Commercial
Ware (Herts) UR9029 Pump 1931 Albion Merryweather
Waltham Abbey (Essex) AN070 Pump Escape 1933 Leyland FK1
Wanstead (Essex) ATW47 Pump 1932 Bedford WLG
Walthamstow (Essex VX152 Pump 1929 Dennis 30cwt
Hatfield (Herts) JH6981 Pump Escape 1934 Albion Greenwich Salamander

The webmaster is indebted to Clive Shearman for the Appliance data provided left.

Other Parades      

Parade at Bishop' Stortford.

Rye Street Bishop's Stortford Opening Hospital Extension 19/05/33
Guard of Honour.
Firemen in the picture - Left to Right: William (Bill) Searl; Unknown; Reginald (Reg) Wright; Frank Wright; Jack Clements?; Unknown.


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