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Throwback Thursday: Crowds throng to watch Harpenden fire engines contest

PUBLISHED: 15:47 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 18 October 2018

Crowds on Church Green, on their way to watch fire engines compete in sporting events. Picture: Collection of John Cooper

Crowds on Church Green, on their way to watch fire engines compete in sporting events. Picture: Collection of John Cooper

Archant

Back in the 1800s, rival fire brigades would compete against each other at regular sporting events, complete with a brass band.

Although that seems like a bizarre concept now, here is a picture to prove it - throngs of people are making their way across Church Green to Rothamsted Park in Harpenden for one of these competitions.

Our Throwback Thursday highlight aims to show just how much the town has changed and evolved over time, using old snapshots of what it used to be like.

This photo was taken in 1893, when firefighters used horse drawn engines.

Indeed, on August bank holiday in 1912, a local fire service had fund raised enough cash to buy a second-hand steam powered Shand and Mason “steamer”, worth £185.

This picture is from the collection of John Cooper, an author who pens pictorial history books about Harpenden.

He has written A postcard from Harpenden, Harpenden Through Time, and Harpenden: The Postcard Collection.

His next book, Harpenden: A Village in Wartime, was published on October 15 and John is hosting a book signing at Harpenden Books on November 17, from 10.30am to 1pm.

Do you have an old picture to share? Let us know at enjoyhapendenmore@archant.co.uk

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