Description of the Sunshine Harvester Works fire brigade.
Fires were a serious threat in the Sunshine Harvester Works' factory. Established in 1910, the Sunshine Harvester Works fire brigade was made up of employees. By 1945, members were attending practice sessions and demonstrations once every four weeks. They were paid 2/- for every session they attended, plus a bonus for every fire that was extinguished. The unit also participated in local brigade competitions.
One of the most damaging infernos took place in February 1914 when a factory night watchman noticed flames coming from the roof of the wheel section. The fire caused £3,000-£4,000 worth of damage. Luckily, the company's fire brigade was on hand to contain the flames. Factory blacksmith Charlie Day served as the brigade's Captain and later as its Superintendent.
When Massey-Ferguson took over the company in 1956, it implemented a strong occupational health and safety program. This included seminars featuring fire demonstrations and instructions on quenching a blaze.
In 1964, the company received a new fire truck after factory workers converted a second-hand Land Rover into a fire engine. The truck featured a two-inch pump which delivered water at a rate of 7,000 gallons an hour. A 120-gallon tank was mounted to the vehicle to provide immediate water supply. The tank was replenished from factory hydrants. The vehicle also included a first aid case, a nylon life line and safety harness, breaking in tools and two sets of air breathing apparatuses. In 1967, members of the factory fire brigade were issued official uniforms and helmets.
- 'Brigade Sports', 1914, The Independent, 2 May, p.3.
- 'Fire at Sunshine', 1914, The Argus, 27 February, p.13.
- 'The Sunshine Fire-fighters', 1914, Advertiser, 6 June, p.3.
- Massey-Ferguson Outlook 1964, 'Some Tricks of Our Own in the New Fire Tender', Vol. 1, No. 10, pp.3.
- Massey-Ferguson Outlook 1967, Untitled, Vol. 1, No. 25, pp.13.
- Sunshine Review 1945, 'The Works Fire Brigade', Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.3
- Sunshine Review 1948, 'Farewell to 50 Year Veteran', Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.8.