A bit of thinking to do now…!

Right, a little quiz for you this month… a bit of fun and a history lesson in the process!

Who knows what these signs are?

In his column last month, our managing director, Alan Davies referred to the office reshuffle at Aberystwyth, and when searching for a new home for the Cornel Clecs desk, we found the above, and no-one was sure what their purpose were! But thankfully FUWIS Joint Managing Director, Roger Van Praet has been able to give us some information about them.

After the devastation of the Great Fire of London in 1666, fire insurance did not exist and people in central London had lost everything. Immediately after the fire, rebuilding work began. One man involved was Nicholas Barbon. In 1667 he founded a mutual benefit society called 'The Fire Office' which offered fire insurance for the first time.

To show that a building had insurance, a fire insurance sign was required, which was clear enough to be seen from the street. Each company had its own unique design and fire brigade and therefore the firefighters of that company would be able to identify what insurance each building would have.

These three signs are the ‘Sun Fire Office’ established in 1710 which eventually became Royal Sun Alliance (RSA),” said Roger.    “Of more local interest ‘The Shropshire and North Wales’ firemark was issued by the Shropshire and North Wales Assurance company in 1837

“The last one is the ‘Northern Assurance Company’ firemark established in Aberdeen  as the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company in 1836 but did eventually become part of Commercial Union which today is Aviva.”

Who thought we would still be talking and learning about fire signs that were first seen and used many years ago. When the batch of papers  come through the post at next renewal, think how lucky you are that you don't have to look for a suitable place to hang a heavy fire sign!!


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