HODRUŠA-HÁMRE, a municipality in central Slovakia, had a good reason to celebrate on September 3. A historic fire engine, provided by the nearby suburb of Kopanice, was unveiled after being restored to mark its 100th birthday.
Using a grant from a charity, the municipality refurbished the vehicle and it is now part of a permanent exhibition about the town’s fire brigade. Cleaning and preservation of the fire engine, overseen by experts from the Slovak Mining Museum in Banská Štiavnica, and reconstruction of the firehouse to house the permanent exhibition cost about €8,500.
“We asked for a grant from Nadácia VÚB (the VÚB Foundation) for €7,000 and we received it. We managed to raise the other money from our own resources thanks to the municipal office in Hodruša-Hámre and volunteer firemen in Kopanice,” Katarína Brestenská, the initiator of the project, told the TASR newswire. The fire engine is branded “R. Czermack, M. K. Priv, Feuerloeschgeräte Fabrik, Teolitz i.B.” with a depiction of the Austrian state symbol, a female eagle, and experts say it is historically valuable.
“In the words of a historian, this engine has European significance, commemorating the activities of fire brigades in this region,” Brestenská stated.
Ľubomír Šturák, the head of the local volunteer fire fighters said there is one more historical fire engine in Kopanice, a two-wheeled model from 1927. “We would like to repair and exhibit it, too,” he told TASR.
The firehouse containing the exhibition lies in the centre of the town and since it is well lit tourists cannot miss it, even at night.
10. Oct 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská