Hay and its Fire service The story starts way back in the latter part of the 19th century when Mr C. T. Evans, a Hay builder and decorator, was captain of the old Volunteer Brigade working a horse-drawn manual engine; when this later gave way to a steamer still horse drawn. Captain Evans personally collected £110 towards the cost of the new engine which was christened 'Firefly' with a bottle of champagne by a Mrs Wood, of Gwernyfed Park, Three Cocks.
Captain Evans's place was in due course taken by his son, Edgar, who was a local firefighter from 1892 to 1943, earning the Long Service Medal with two bars. Next came Captain Edgar's two sons: Eric, who served from 1921 to 1964 and for the last 19 years of this period was sub officer-in-charge, gaining the Queen's Medal and Long Service Medal, and his brother Rex, who retired after 25 years service from the office of fireman mechanic at Llandrindod Wells Fire Station.
The Fire Brigade was formed in Hay under the old local government board in 1892 and was promoted chiefly by C. T. Evans and assisted by Captain E. H. Cheese, a solicitor in Broad Street, Hay (who some ten years later was to become a partner with Major H. Rowse Armstrong, of the infamous murder trial).
The brigades' first fire call was at Mr Thomas Wallis's oil stores attached to his grocery and ironmongery business in Broad Street, the site of the present Cafe Royal; the fire also damaged the adjacent Black Swan Inn stables. The cause of the conflagration was stated to be 'a lad throwing lighted matches'.
Extract from Hereford Times, June 6th, 1967.
Hay and its Fire Brigade