A Firemans Personal Topography
These are a series of drawings done by Fireman Bill Lumm, lent to me by his son Paul. They show what every fireman of this period had to know, a bit like the London cabbies(the knowledge) . evry fireman had to know the streets of Blackburn obviously back then there were no Sat navs and the drivers relied totally on local knowledge.
Also they were expected to know local large fire risks and water supplies as is the same today, what we don’t do is to hand draw every street surrounding fire risks as these are done for us via an onboard computer in the cab of the fire engine. You can also see that they describe the number of fire engines and type that would go to these incidents to begin with and also the directions to get there from the fire station. The knowledge of streets was also helped by a series of drop down drawers kept in the office where the duty man could help in reminding the drivers where the incident was and the directions to go
These drawings are marvellous to me for their historic value describing many mills that no longer exist as with the Royal Infirmary and old markets. they give you a snapshot in time when their were large mills dotted all round Blackburn and as you can see risks just outside the boundary that Blackburns’ fire engines would be called on to go to.
I must thank Paul for letting me use these writings of his fathers , I have had some similar maps given to me before but these were put into storage when the station museum closed. Paul has given me other writings from Bill which you will be able to view later on when I publish them on the site .
I hope you enjoy these , please feel free to comment