As a small market town it was well into the 19th century before Bromyard had a properly controlled Police Force and the previous Union Workhouse was later extended and improved to provide medical facilities for the locality. As for the Fire Service the town had one small appliance which is now housed by the National Trust and is a far cry from the sophisticated response we receive today. These services which today we take for granted will be followed through the past century and a half with the help of contemporary photographs and documents; newspaper stories such as the devastating fire at Cheyney Court at Bishops Frome in 1888, and Thomas Powell of Thornbury who had his arm amputated after a farming accident. It is also hoped to make good use of our mannequins to provide real-life settings of the situations which faced those stalwart guardians of our local health and wellbeing in days gone by.
Between 1857 and September 1967 Bromyard & district was policed by the Herefordshire Constabulary, when it was superseded by the West Mercia Constabulary. Proir to thi there were unpaid parish constables, appointed annually, who were later under the control of a superintendant, to enforce the law.
Originally the Bromyard division of the county constabulary was comprised of a superintendant and constable in Bromyard and constables at Stoke Lacy, Cradley and Collington. The outstations varied over the years as did the structure. In 1922 Bromyard eased to be a division and became a section under Ledbury and then in 1925 it was transferred to Leominster , still with the same strength f one sergeant, 2 Bromyard constables and 6 outstation constables. There have been police houses in several of the villages at different times.
The war years when the Bromyard Fire Brigade was involved in the blitz of Plymouth and Bristol – Attending house and barn fires, through to road traffic accidents, a plane crash and animal rescues – Several generations of the same family have been part of the retained crew and many men have received long-service medals.
The history of Bromyard’s fire crews portrays the variety which has been the life of these dedicated men over the century.
For more details regarding exhibitions please contact Mandy Palmer at: The Local & Family History Centre, 5 Sherford Street, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4DL or by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org