High Street Fire of 1887

From Historical Hastings

On the 6th of January 1887 a fire broke out in the tailoring shop of Mr Joseph Lyons at 58 High Street. The flames were first discovered by P.C. Button on his patrol, who immediately gave the alarm. At almost the same time, Mr, and Mrs, Lyons, who were sleeping above the shop, made the same discovery. Rising at once, and, having awakened their maid-servant and secured a pet dog, they proceeded from the bedroom window along a parapet, having found that it was out of the question to descend the stairs, and climbed safely into a window of Mr. Richards’ house adjoining. In the meantime, the alarm had been raised at the Bourne-street , from where they summoned the firemen from all of the town by telephone. [1]

Shortly afterwards, No. 1 Section of the Volunteer Fire Brigade came upon the scene, under the command of Foreman King. The fire escape also arrived, but was not needed. The fire spread with great rapidity, with volumes of flame and smoke coming, from the burning premises, Very soon after No. 1 Fire Section got to work, No, 4 (from Halton) drove in, No, 2 Section then arrived on the scene, and all three set to work, under the command of Chief Constable Glenister, the Captain of the Brigade. Water was obtained from High Street and John Street and this, together with two fire-fighters climbing to the roof of the building and directing jets of water onto the fire from above, permitted the fire to be brought under control. Unfortunately all of the stock and the interior of the premises destroyed, although the neighbouring buildings, Mr. Richard's Chemist shop and Mr. Steward Spencer's furniture store were saved. Mr. Lyons later opened up a new shop at Mentone House in White Rock. Steward Spencer's premises at numbers 59, 60 and 61 High Street were able to open with little to no interruption to business.[1]

Complimentary Dinner

By way of thanking the fire-brigades for their work in extinguishing the fire, Councillors Stanger, Richards, Lyons (whose premises were the scene of the fire) and Spencer. The dinner was held at the Queens Avenue Assembly Rooms on the 23rd of February 1887. Many members of the fire brigades attended along with a wide range of local dignitaries. The food was provided by J. C. Miller, caterer of Queens Road and interspersed with the speeches were a number of vocal renditions from members of the assembled throng[2]

References & Notes