A PIECE of town history returned to Needham Market yesterday on the way to its new museum home.
The Shand Mason steam fire pump which served the town from 1912 to 1940, has been displayed in front of Suffolk Fire Service headquarters in Ipswich since 1965.
As the headquarters is closing, it will go to Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian life but is briefly displayed at Needham Market fire station. Its steam engine only powers the pump so it was pulled by horses or towed by a motor vehicle. It may have been the last steam pump used in the UK, at a Finborough fire on July 30 1940. Among those seeing it off from Ipswich was 70 year old Glory Chenery from Nacton, whose father William Chenery is thought to have been the last to drive it with horses. The experienced carriage driver was asked by the chief fire officer to take it to Ipswich Carnival in 1962.