Early days of tackling crime and fighting fires

Published date: 28 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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AN EXHIBITION showing the local history of the emergency services is being held at Wrexham Museum.

‘Dial 999’ charts the eventful origins of the police and the town’s first fire brigades.

The exhibition also includes objects relating to the St John Ambulance Brigade, the ARP, Mines Rescue and Civil Defence – all emergency services in their own right.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

l A helmet from the town’s first fire brigade.

l Cutlasses, truncheons and handcuffs used by the Denbighshire Constabulary.

l Air raid sirens and equipment used by the ARP during the Second World War.

l A short film on modern policing produced by students from Glyndwr University, Wrexham.

l A roll of honour where visitors to the exhibition can acknowledge members of the emergency services who have helped them and record details of family members who have served with the police, fire and ambulance services.

l A dressing up area for children including a ‘Dial 999’ suitcase which will contain real uniforms and equipment.

l A specially designed puzzle based on Wrexham’s first steamer fire engine, which was delivered to the town in 1900.

Jonathan Gammond, access and interpretation officer for Wrexham Heritage Services, said: “The origins of Wrexham’s police force and fire brigade make a great story. The police were nearly disbanded twice at the request of local ratepayers – in 1844 and 1849. The people felt they could look after themselves.

The volunteer fire brigade resigned en masse when they were criticised for turning up late at a fire in the town.

“With this eventful history in mind, we’ve searched through the museum and archives collections to select objects, photographs and documents for this new exhibition.

“However, the exhibition doesn’t just focus on the two oldest emergency services, it also covers those many other organisations who have helped to make the Wrexham area a safer place for everyone over the past two centuries.

“As the title of the exhibition reveals, this is just the start and we are hoping the exhibition will flush out individuals who in the future will help us continue the story of our emergency services up to the present day.”

Dial 999 runs until April 26.

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