Beavertown Fire Station
Boiler, Steam

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Record 11/14
Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection Beavertown Fire Station
Date 1885
Description Beavertown Fire Station: Shand Mason steam engine boiler and coal shuttle - all that is left of the "Fire Queen". The coal shuttle is used for firing the boiler. The "Fire Queen" provided the steam to power the pump to pump the water from a static supply, like a ditch or river. It sat on a 4-wheeled frame that was horse-drawn. If a reticulated water supply was available, a stand pipe (as seen in catalogue record 0000.895.0006) would be used to access the water. The "Fire Queen" was used by the Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade from 1885 to 1953. It was purchased from them by Morgan's Boat yard and used for steaming planks for boat building.

The Shand Mason came directly to Blenheim from London at a cost of 600 pounds and was unloaded on July 21, 1885. An immediate trial was arranged, steam was got up, a five-inch suction pipe was let into the river, a length of canvas hose fixed, and the water turned on. The result was a strong stream directed right across the river for a distance of about 100 feet. On November 2nd the Mayoress, Mrs. Henderson, broke a bottle of champagne over the new engine and officially christened it "Fire Queen". [Source: Callout, the Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade 1870-1995, by Don Stephens, published 1995, page 28.]
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From Page 61 of Norm Brayshaw's duplicate letter book 18/5/1972 - 24 July 1973, which is in Archives, Bay 91, Shelf B, Box MHS Correspondence 1964-74.
Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc.
Box 308, Blenheim
3 October 1972
Mr. Jack Morgan
Boat Builder
Picton
Mr. Morgan,
This is to express our appreciation at your donation of the parts of the "Fire Queen". I had earlier collected some fittings from Mr. Henson, Koromiko, and it was a real thrill to know that the boiler was likely to remain in Marlborough. I have written to England for plans etc. to enable rebuilding some time. I am enclosing two copies of the photograph loaned to Warwick Parker. I am pleased to have this photograph also.
Kind regards
Yours Sincerely
Norman H. Brayshaw
Hon. Secretary
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Because of the above letter the Fire Queen steam boiler is being offered back to VFM.
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12 December 2012

Hello, it has come to our attention, as we have been researching the documentation of the collections that belong to the Marlborough Historical Society, that there are some outstanding issues for discussion that relate to a collection item that you currently care for.

We have been working hard in recent years to document, as well as we are able, the items of Marlborough heritage that we have been entrusted by the community to hold for the people of Marlborough. This has not always been done to the standard that we now aspire to, therefore, we have some catching up to do and we hope that we can work with you to ensure that this is resolved and put on the record.

We now have documentation that will be of interest to you relating to:

Item: Fire Queen steam boiler

Explanation: It appears this item was donated to Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc. as the following letter shows.
From Norm Brayshaw's duplicate letter book 18/5/1972-24 July 1973, page 61, MHS Archives, Bay 91, Shelf B, Box MHS Correspondence 1964-74, dated 3 October 1972.
Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc.
Box 308, Blenheim.
Mr. Jack Morgan,
Boat Builder, Picton.
Mr. Morgan,
This is to express our appreciation at your donation of the parts of the "Fire Queen". I had earlier collected some fittings from Mr. Henson, Koromiko, and it was a real thrill to know that the boiler was likely to remain in Marlborough. I have written to England for plans etc. to enable rebuilding some time.
Yours Sincerely,
Norman H. Brayshaw, Hon. Secretary.

MHS collection item number: 0000.800.0840
Current location: Beavertown Fire Station

Change of ownership from Marlborough Historical Society Inc. to Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc. has been accomplished easily. We have re-catalogue the item, giving it the Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc. number VFM0.800.0339, and explained in the record why this was done (see attached). We would ask that the Fire Queen remain in the Beavertown Fire Station where it is on display.

If you have any concerns or questions please reply within 30 days.

Kind regards,
Dale Webb
For the Committee of the Marlborough Historical Society Inc.
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Letter received from Marlborough Vintage and Farm Machinery Society (Incorporated), John Neal Hon. Secretary, dated 11 February 2013.

"Thank you for Laurie's letter of 12 December regarding legal ownership and custody of the above items. We very much appreciate your effort and care taken to establish the true ownership of items at Brayshaw Park and to maintain all records to a very high standard.

The Marlborough Vintage and Farm Machinery Society Inc. has considered your offer to transfer legal ownership of the Fire Queen boiler and is happy both to take legal ownership and to agree to continue displaying it in the Beavertown Fire Station".
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The Fire Queen was accessioned into the MHS collection by mistake so there is no record of a deaccession and no loan document to VFM (Jenny Pierson 5 February 2013).
Object ID VFM0.800.0339
Object Name Boiler, Steam
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Last modified on: December 19, 2014