| Berwick Gains Protection from the West: The West Berwick Hose Compan|
In the spring of 1902 a group of 40 public-spirited citizens got together to organize the West Berwick Hose Company No. 1. The West Berwick Hose Company became informally known as the West End Fire Company when West Berwick eventually incorporated with Berwick. Mr. I.A. Martin, formerly of New Jersey, was known as the “Father” of this new Fire Company.
The first piece of apparatus that the Company purchased was a hand cart from Henderson & Co. of Philadelphia in the fall of 1903 for $75.00. The Borough Council at that time bought 500 feet of hose for the cart to show their support of the Company. In 1911 the Company increased their efficiency by buying a combination hose and chemical wagon. In October, 1917, West End bought its first piece of motorized equipment. They purchased a Vim combination hose and chemical truck for $1,005. This truck was in service until February 1923 when a City Service Truck was purchased from the American La France Fire Engine Company for $6,500. By 1928 it was returned to the factory when the Company could no longer make the payments. By August 1933 the company bought and received a new Sanford Triple combination 500 Special Pumper. This particular piece of apparatus won numerous prizes at conventions.
The Company’s history of different uniforms has changed over the years as well. In 1904 the Company took part in its first parade, wearing black shirts, white ties and white caps. In 1908 thirty members purchased new uniforms consisting of gray trousers, coats and caps. By 1911, twenty-five members again bought new uniforms; these uniforms featured blue caps, coats and trousers.
The West Berwick Hose Company has had several different fire halls over the years also. The Company’s first hall location was the former West Berwick town hall. In July, 1925, they began having their meetings and housing their apparatus in the Southwick Machine Co.
By July 1930 the West Berwick Hose Company began the construction of a new hose house that would be 25x40 feet and in November they moved into their new home at 1433 Fairview Avenue. This is still the Company’s location today.
Historical information taken from: 1941; 3rd Annual 4th of July Berwick Firemen’s Celebration Pamphlet.
Old West Berwick Hose Company building
| West Berwick Hose Company Photographs|
Berwick Upon Tweed Fire Department