This section is devoted to brief biographies of some notable past Worlingworth residents. First, though, we would like to draw your attention to the youthful members of the Worlingworth Fire Brigade.

The Worlingworth Fire Brigade
A local fire brigade would need a fire engine and the parish was given one by Sir John Major, Bt., in 1760 (pictured on the St Mary's Church page). This contraption was surprisingly effective in producing a jet of water, reputedly being able to reach a height of 75 feet. Whether it was at all effective in damping down cottage fires, particularly of thatch, is doubtful. It would seem that the greatest disadvantage lie in the inability of the men to get the machine to the location of the fire quickly. They had to pull it themselves!

The engine was tested every year on May 29th. It was recorded in minute books that the "ingine was played" on that date and a sum of money was paid out to the men who carried out the drill. Each man would receive about 6d each. This was then spent in the Swan Inn!

One of the first men to be recorded as "Captain of the Fire Brigade" was Samuel Collins, a wheelwright and carpenter who lived with his brother David at the Wheelwright's Cottage opposite the church.

The photographs shown were taken in December 1914 on the unhappy occasion when David and Emma Collins's cottage, "The Wheelwright's", was nearly burnt down. This fire engine served the parish for 167 years; the last occasion it was used was at Town Farm on Water Lane in November 1927. A few months before that, the Swan Inn was saved from destruction by fire whilst the landlord's wife gave birth to a girl upstairs!

The fire engine now stands in a corner of the nave "on stand-by"!

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