The Fire Station

Another short post for this one, there’s really not much to this site but it still bears an interesting side to it so it’s worth a couple of shots.

This fire station dates back to the early nineteen hundreds and underwent some expansion in the 1950’s which tore down the original doors to accommodate the larger, modern engines. Unfortunately, these doors were one of the main, quaint, architectural features of the station with very pretty gabled windows. Their more utilitarian replacements do not seem as attractive by any measure.

The site was run by a retained staff of sixteen men in 1986. This meant the staff had other day jobs but managed the fire station as a second job in their spare time. At any point ,a crew of six was required for the station to function. The engine at the time was a  HCB Angus. Back then the firemen would have held in their coat pockets a notebook, a pair of gloves and a whistle. When their bleepers sounded, the team would make their way to the station, the first man in would press a button which would inform him of the location of the fire, and off they would go.

Upstairs in the fire station


The fire station's air raid shelter

The station continued in use up until recent times but has been empty, and slipping into dereliction for the past five years. I had driven past it almost daily, paying little attention to it until noticing the well overgrown grass one day. Given that it is in a bit of a posh area I am not surprised to see it is relatively untouched by vandals but practically nothing remains to suggest it’s former use other than where the space where the engines would have stood.

On the land beside the fire station is a small, second world war air raid shelter. This, to me is a great little feature, but unfortunately the shelter is smaller than most and packed to the brim with garden waste, making an interior shot difficult.

The site has had development plans submitted, and refused. The neighbours don’t seem too keen on having more houses built in the area and the plans have not incorporated the main features of the original building. I expect it’s difficult to build a house around a fire station, particularly when the doors are supposed to remain as they are, so it is likely the site will slip into further decay in the coming years as the dispute continues.

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