Old St. Andrews



Torchlight Procession 1853



 A Torchlight Procession of the Temperance Fire Brigade


Aug 3/1853
Torrent Fire Company gives torchlight procession, with engine elaborately decorated by ladies of town, drawn by two white horses. Parade through streets. Collation at Bradford's Hotel. Dancing till dawn. Biggest event in 20 years. Nice description. See photocopy.


Torchlight Procession: As stated in our last, want of time and space precluded an extended notice of the late Torch Light Procession of Torrent Fire Company, No. 1. We think the affair demands a more particular description at our hands, as being the first of the kind our town ever witnessed and also most creditable to the parties concerned.
            Torrent Company has been organized but a few months, and has charge of one of Smith Piano Engines, which will compare favorably as to finish and execution with any machine of its size in the province. The company is composed of young men of the town, and we think it no unseemly boast to say, that for zeal, activity and good conduct, they are excelled by none. Their willingness and endurance were, we think sufficiently and satisfactorily tested at the fire which consumed Mr. Watt's house.
            This company a few weeks ago, resolved on making a demonstration, either by a trial excursion among the brethren on the river, or in such other manner as might be generally acceptable; and at last fixed upon a Torch Light Procession. At sunrise, on the morning of the 26th ult., the flags from the bell tower of the Town Hall gave the signal of preparation. At a house somewhat later, the unusual display of flags across the streets excited the curiosity of our good people, most of whom could not tell why the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, with Erin's green banner, were floating over their heads as they passed along. The heaps of flowers continually arriving, and the multifarious preparations, gave note that the "Boys of the Fire Brigade," were about.
            The day, which had been gloomy all through, settled down at evening into a most appropriate darkness, and the fun commenced. The largest crowd that has been assembled in our town for the past 20 years gathered around the Engine-house, impatiently awaiting the appearance of the Machine. At a quarter before 9, the Engine, most tastefully and beautifully decorated with such flowers as St. Andrews ladies know how to bestow--and drawn by two splendid white horses, made its appearance in the square, when the Procession was formed as follows:--
            Officers, with Branch Pipes.
            THE MACHINE.
            Members, two and two, with torches.


The procession started from the Engine House,--passing through the principal streets, and halting at different localities where stunning cheers were given for the ladies who had so liberally favoured the company with flowers and decorations. On returning to the Engine-house, after three hearty cheers for the Queen, the firemen repaired to Bradford's hotel, where an excellent collation awaited them and their guests, the fire wards with other gentlemen of the town. After the usual amount of feeding and toasting, the company were enlivened by songs or speeches. But the charm of the evening was the singing of the Quartette Club of the Company, which was entirely unexpected by the guests, and was perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the whole. The company and guests separated soon after 12 o'clock, each and all highly gratified with the evening's entertainment--Some of the "boys," however, having procured a . . . and music, danced the sun up.
            The decorations of the engine elicited admiration in all quarters. The band, with one exception, was composed of members of the company. The whole affair was the most pleasing we have ever witness in this place and the general impression of the close was that Torrent Fire Company were of the right stamp.