Bexhill's original 1895 horse-drawn Merryweather fire engine is finally coming back to the town - but it needs some loving care to make it pristine perfect for another 128 years and more.
Bexhill’s firefighters, supported by Bexhill Museum and Bexhill-on-Sea Town Council, are looking for your help to raise £15,000 towards an expert restoration. The Town Council has already kicked off the fund with a grant of £3,000 leaving us £12,000 to raise.
It needs some decent work on its wheels & chassis to make it safe for display, and a little more to make it roadworthy for riding around the town on carnival day. Then we will buff up its lovely brasswork and restore its historic livery.
The then Earl De la Warr bought it in 1895 for the founding of a town fire brigade and it served Bexhill proudly until it was replaced by a motorised version in 1920.
It was found by a retired Bexhill fire officer and rescued from a soon-to-close collection two years ago. East Sussex Fire Service picked it up and took it into their care.
The plan is to put it on display in the museum, but once a year roll it out with a pair of horses, as was the tradition at Bexhill Carnival every year from 1895 to 1974.
Will you help?
The crews from Bexhill Emergency Fire & Rescue Service and their Sussex colleagues are planning all kinds of fundraisers to meet the target, but you can donate here.
You can also donate by card or cash at the museum itself. We are taking collections in the Museum shop & Tourist Information Point in Egerton Road, Bexhill.
Follow the progress of the campaign here, on social media or on the Museum website.
The funds will be collected by Bexhill Museum, UK Charity No.1102638, and will be exclusively used for the Merryweather restoration project.