On 31 March 1894 Ryde Fire Brigade's senior fireman, Captain Charles Langdon, called a meeting of the captain's of all the Isle of Wight fire brigades at Ryde Town Hall.
The purpose was to formalise the arrangements for a drill competition at the Jubilee Recreation Ground (Simeon Street) to coincide with the Ryde Carnival celebrations later in the year. Although some minor drill competitions had been held at various places since the 1880's, nothing had been done to formally gather all the brigades in one arena. This meeting gave birth to the Isle of Wight Fire Brigades Association.
The IWFBA, renamed the Isle of Wight Fire Brigades Federation (IWFBF) by spring 1897, became the centre-piece of Island fire-fighting development, competition and camaraderie through the next five decades until eventually fading away in 1942. The final verifiable evidence of the cessation of the Federation is detailed in the organisations own minute book following a meeting of 25 April 1942 which read "Resolved on the proposition of Mr Hurry seconded by Mr Fuller that the Federation suspend the collection of annual subscriptions from March 1942 until the cessation of hostilities...
In August 1941 when all fire brigades and the Auxiliary Fire Service were absorbed in to the National Fire Service, the government promised that after the war the authority for provision of fire brigades would be returned to the boroughs, towns and parishes of pre-war days. Come victory in war come the death of that promise and the NFS remained operative until the Isle of Wight County Brigade was launched with effect 2 April 1948. There would no longer be a need for a federation of Island fire brigades as only one brigade existed.
This website aims to bring back to life the IWFBF and is dedicated to all members of Island fire brigades, including the private and works brigades and the modern fire and rescue service throughout the course of its history.
As research continues more information will be added to the site.
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I hope you enjoy your visit and come back again soon.