|Rushden Echo, 25th March 1904, transcribed by Kay Collins
The Need for a Steamer
Last night, at a meeting in support of the Labour candidates for the Rushden Urban Council several references were made to the fire, and the candidates all advocated the provision of a steam fire engine to supersede the present manual.
Mr l Baxter, in the course of his speech, said that after the fire the previous day he thought they would agree with him that a steam fire-engine was a necessity, not a luxury. Had the wind been in another quarter, the fire would have been much more disastrous, and a great deal of house property might have been destroyed. They needed an engine much more powerful than the present manual.
Mr Purslow contended that the manual was almost useless for coping with fires in the higher parts of the town. He advocated an up-to-date steamer.
The Chairman (Mr Bazeley) said that the rateable value of Rushden was now nearly £40,000, and they needed better protection against fire. It was the working men who suffered most in case of fire, as the manufacturers were generally insured. If they had an up-to-date steamer and appliances the charge of £6 6s. made for use at out-of-town fires would pay the interest on the purchase money.
Mr Turner’s Views
Mr G R Turner, secretary of the brigade asked by our representative for his opinions on the fire, said that in his opinion the brigade could have saved the factory if they had had proper appliances. They had many difficulties to contend with, the chief being the lack of water. He did not think the new water scheme would help them much without a steamer. He could not imagine why the Council hesitated over buying a steamer. The old manual engine had been in use about 20 years and was now out of date.