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  • Writer's picturemysteriesofmercia

Sun & Fire

At first glance this curious image of a sun might look like some sort of pagan imagery, a survival from past centuries. Or part of a lost local tradition perhaps?

It is actually something rather more mundane. During the later 1700s a fire insurance plaque would be fitted to the front of every building thats owners could afford the premiums. Each company kept its own firefighters and in the event of a blaze they would, initially, only put out fires on buildings displaying their plaque!

In reality most teams would douse a fire at any building, for their reputation if nothing else, and if not insured then the building owner would have to pay the entire bill for the firefighting at a later date.

Look up at the upper levels of the old buildings you walk past, some very odd looking fire plaques are still out there.

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Andrew James Chandler
Andrew James Chandler
Oct 03, 2023

I discovered an old 'fire' plaque on an old house in the village where I lived in Kent twelve years ago.🤓

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