Fire Brigade

At the turn of the twentieth century, Mr Hopkins, landlord of the Royal Oak Hotel, was in charge of Ledbury Fire Brigade. The brigade was summoned by ringing the bell at St Katherine’s. The Great Western Railway drays would be unhitched and taken in a mad dash to Church Street where they were harnessed to the fire engine. The next chief was Mr Gurney, a local surveyor who also owned Ledbury quarry, which supplied the lorry to tow the steamer fire engine, affectionately known as ‘Little Nell’. In 1924, George Hopkins & Sons converted a 1912 Austin into a towing vehicle. In 1932 a Bedford was specially constructed as a towing vehicle, which served for twenty-four years.

After the Fire Station in Church Street relocated to what is now known as the Old Ambulance Station in Bye Street, the building in Church Street was taken over by the Ledbury branch of the Royal British Legion.

Worcester Road

Worcester Road (A449) winds past The Lodge and the entrance to Upper Hall estate. Before Worcester Road was realigned and The Avenue widened, the old route east was along Back Lane (now Church Street), Green Lane (a track along Dog Hill Wood) and Cut Throat Lane. (‘Throat’ derives from a pre-seventh-century word ‘hraca’, meaning a narrow pass or cleft in a hillside.) A pedestrian shortcut in front of Upper Hall was curtailed when the footpath was stopped up and the estate road made private.