The Bedford & District Private Fire Brigades' Association was formed in October 1938. Its aim was to establish a measure of unification and standardisation of training and equipment among the Private Works Fire Brigades maintained by the leading companies in the area, and to ensure co-operation with the public fire brigades. Membership was open to companies within a fifteen mile radius from the centre of Bedford. The Association held competitions annually for member companies, which involved completing various drills in the shortest time, and trophies and cups were awarded to the winners of each category. These competitions attracted a lot of interest and were the highlight of the Association's year.