Fire Mark Circle

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  • Welcome to;

    The Fire Mark Circle

    Founded 1934

    The Fire Mark Circle was founded in 1934, as a focal point for collectors of Fire Marks and other associated historical memorabilia dating back to the 18th Century, when The Fire Insurance Companies of that and the next century provided the Fire Brigades of today.

    West of England Fire
    The Insurance Companies issued gloriously decorative insignia, or Fire Marks, to identify the buildings which they insured and to advertise their business.

    Fire Marks today are keenly collected by a variety of enthusiasts and can be bought for as little as £40 or £50, although rarer subjects may exchange hands for three or four figure sums.

    Collectors are also interested in old Fire Insurance Documents, Insurance Company Firemans Badges, leather Fire Buckets, Helmets and Medals, etc,.

    The Fire Mark Circle has just under 200 members thoughout the United Kingdom and a few Overseas Members. Some of the latter have associated societies in their own countries, including Australia, and Italy.

    Guardian Fire and Life Assurance Co

    British Crown Assurance
    The British Fire Mark Circle meets twice a year. Once in the Spring, usually April, and once in the Autumn, usually October. The April meeting is normally an afternoon occasion held at the Chartered Insurance Institute in London.

    The Autumn meeting takes the form of a weekend break at an interesting location, anywhere in the country. Past venues have included Cambridge, Liverpool, Stratford-upon-Avon and Guernsey. Many members bring their wives or partners to the autumn meetings, there is always a 'non Fire Mark' programme laid on and the Circle has become a very friendly and sociable club.

    The emblem of the Fire Mark Circle is the Fire Mark at the top of each page of this web site. This mark was designed for a very early and short lived Fire Insurance Company known as 'The Friendly Society' (1683-1730c) and the Fire Mark Circle is a most friendly society!

    Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society
    Bristol Union Fire and Life Insurance
    Sun Fire Office

    The format of the Circles' meetings normally includes one or more guest speakers, who talk on an appropriate topic, followed by an Auction of Fire Marks and other memorabilia (A useful facility for collectors and those wishing to dispose of surplus items). There is also usually a Swap/Buy stall.

    Salop Fire Office Prices achieved at these Members Auctions are generally close to those realised at professional auction houses, however, the rate of commission charged is considerably less, there being no buyers premium and only a modest sellers premium.

    The Circle publishes a Newsletter 'FMC News' twice a year and members are encouraged to provide collecting, historical or related material for inclusion. Click here for sample copies.

    Membership of The Fire Mark Circle.

    Membership is available to all who may be interested. The Annual Subscription is currently £20.

    As well as FMC News twice a year, a Spring Meeting/AGM in London and Autumn weekend meeting in the UK - both with auctions. Members also benefit from use of the Circles' library and the Lead Fire Mark rarity guide. The Circle also has an 'in situ' Fire Mark register and a Fire Marks 'in museums' register.

    Advice on identifying fakes and reproductions is also available.

    The membership year runs from 1st April to 31st March and if you join after 31st December, your subscription will start from 1st April.

    If you would like more information or to join The Fire Mark Circle please click the 'Contact us' link where you can download a membership application form.

    (Photos: British Crown & Bristol Union; R. Addis. All others P. Baldwin)
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