This picture shows representatives of three prominent London based fire-fighting services, the 'County', 'Westminster' and 'Phoenix' Fire Offices, racing towards the scene of a blaze.
There was certainly an element of rivalry between the various offices, who vied against one another in skill and speed and this picture reflects that sense of competition. However in 1833 the 'Sun', 'Union' and 'Royal Exchange' fire services formed a coalition called the London Fire Brigade Establishment, whereby they agreed to work together.
James Pollard is best known for his pictures of sporting life. He was particularly passionate about fishing and cricket. Following a commission from the King's printseller, Edward Ormond, for the signboard of an inn depicting a coach and horses, he began to specialise in coaching scenes.