The iconic Hungerford Town Hall has been being worked on for the past four months. One of the results of this is that the Bellman’s Bell has been fully repaired. A glance at the before-and-after photographs above should clearly show why these repairs were necessary.
Before the advent of modern pagers, the Bellman’s Bell was used as the call for the fire service. Today it is used by the Bellman on ceremonial occasions such as the upcoming Hocktide Festival. The Bellman was present today to test out the refurbished mechanism and check that it was working to his standards.
The Bellman, Julian Tubb, said, “I’m very pleased the bell is all working again. There’s a knack to getting it to ring consistently so a little practice doesn’t go amiss!”
The Town and Manor’s connections with the local fire service have also been brought up to date, as CEO Jed Ramsay has passed the initial training course and is an on-call (retained) firefighter for the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service at Hungerford station. He will be on-call whilst also working in the Town Hall. “I’m delighted to be an on-call (retained firefighter) at Hungerford Fire Station,” Jed said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do as far back as I can remember! There’s a great team of people working at the fire station and I hope I’ll be able to play my part in providing emergency response to the local community.”
Graham Saunders, Watch Manager at Hungerford Fire Station said: “We are looking forward to working with Jed and he’ll be warmly welcomed as part of our highly skilled, hardworking team. If anyone else is thinking about becoming an on-call firefighter, we’re holding a Have a Go event on 6 April, where you can come along and find out more about the role. Alternatively, please visit our website at rbfrs.co.uk.”
The Bellman congratulated Jed on his involvement. “I was in the fire service for 30 years myself,” he said, “so it’s wonderful to see the Town and Manor continuing this traditional link through its CEO.”
Dressed in their official uniforms, both then took the controls of Hungerford’s 18th-century fire engine in the Town Hall (see picture below). “The colour is correct,” Jed said, “but its other aspects aren’t in line with modern standards, I’m afraid. You’ll all be relieved to know that, if I need to attend a fire in Hungerford, this will not be the device I’ll be using.”