Borough of Heston and Isleworth Fire Brigade Display
16mm film Black & White Silent 02.03.1938 11:53
Summary: Amateur film of a display by the Borough of Heston and Isleworth Fire Brigade.
Title number: 417
LSA ID: LSA/548
Description: The film opens with a shots of the fire service personnel lined up in uniform in front of their station on London Road in Isleworth. This is followed with shots of a model of a fire engine of the 1881 period called 'Old Faithful' with brass fittings and a wagon chassis. A boy dressed as a fireman pulls the engine around the fire station yard, assisted by a real fireman. A pair of firemen illustrate the fireman's lift on a couple of colleagues lying prone. A hook ladder drill is enacted on the station's fire tower. This is followed by a mock fire exercise, with a man calling for help inside the fire tower where a small fire is burning, a passer-by rushes to raise assistance, running into town to pull on a public fire alarm situated near the Bridge Inn on London Road. The Heston & Isleworth fire station receive the call, and the men rush into action, sliding down a fireman's pole, putting on their protective clothing, boarding and engine and driving away. Men and engine are then seen at the base of the fire tower, with ladders being wheeled into position, raised and used to rescue the trapped man. An audience look on from the balconied walkways at the rear of the block of flats on Spring Grove Road, adjacent to the fire station (Central Fires Station flats). The firemen then demonstrate the use of fire hoses and how they access water. The fire in the tower is extinguished. The men next demonstrate a rescue from a building wearing breathing apparatus. An unconscious man is carried from his burning flat. The next section imagines the fire brigade of the future with the men in rubber suits and full gas masks sealing their bodies. A cutting plant is shown at work, using an intense gas flame to burn through a metal structure and release a dummy playing the role of a trapped man. The next display is of an aeroplane rescue using fire retardant foam and asbestos suits. A biplane is set alight and then extinguished by the firemen, with men in the asbestos suits rescuing a dummy pilot from the cockpit.
Credits: Director: J. Caceres; Photography: Henry Mandiwall
Further information: The director, J. Caceres, was a superintendant in the fire service. The photographer, Dr Henry Mandiwall (1903-1986), was a Hounslow amateur filmmaker and a dentist. In the late 1940s, he and Stanley Drummond Jackson made a film on venepuncture techniques for general practice that was accepted by the British Medical Association. It became the first of a series of films detailing Jackson's intravenous technique adopted by various teaching bodies (copies are held in the Wellcome Library). Jackson founded the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD); Mandiwall was the society's president in 1969. He was also a leaing figure in the Boy Scout movement, specialising in promoting scouting to disabled children.
In 2012, their fire brigade film was used in a DVD compilation about the history of UK fire services. The DVD, produced by Factory Television, was a free inclusion in a partworks series centred around diecast model fire engines. (Film London holds a copy of the DVD compilation, FL/FPC/232).
Keywords: Fire services
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Hounslow