Mangaung Fire Museum article archive
It is generally known that the largest Fire Brigade Museum in South Africa is situated in Bloemfontein in the Free State. The MMM Museum was established in2003 and boasts the following: 14 fire engines, five turntable ladders, a hydraulic platform, foam tender, water tanker, rescue unit, three mayoral cars, two traffic motorbikes, a steam engine and much more.
What is less well known is that the museum has a large collection of documents, maps and photo’s that span a period from the founding of the museum in 1899 to present day. It does not only cover aspects of the fire service but also the Bloemfontein Municipality.
Various researchers and students have visited this archival facility to obtain information.
From 1960 the secretary of the fire chief was tasked to cut out and file all fire brigade-related newspaper articles. Local newspapers such as the Volksblad, The Friend and many more placed regular articles to this effect.
Subsequently, we currently have many articles depicting the history of the last 60 years of the service. In a collaborative effort with the National Museum in Bloemfontein all the articles were scanned and digitised and can be accessed at no cost. The archive can be seen here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hqareTJcoEnqcTMNGLWk4J3JMWuee-ot?usp=sharing
Source: Braam van Zyl, divisional officer and curator, Fire Brigade Museum, Mangaung Fire and Rescue Services
Photos: Mlungisi Louw, Volksblad, Foto 24
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