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  • Rochdale’s Maclure Road fire station was opened in May 1933 and was the largest such project in the region at the time.

  • As well as the fire station itself, the site included 32 houses for members of the Brigade and their families.

  • The 115ft (35 metre) hose tower is one of the tallest such structures in the country. Its original function was to hang canvas fire hose at full-length so as to dry naturally after use. The tower was specially designed and built at above-average height so as to complement the architectural style of the nearby St.John’s church. From some viewpoints, the dome of the church and the fire station tower appear as one building.

  • When opened in 1933, the fire station was one of the most technologically-advanced anywhere in the country.  On the operation of a single switch, all the electric bells and turnout lights throughout the station and the firemen’s houses would be actuated, the front doors would automatically open, fire appliance engines would be started and a timer started to record the speed of the response.

  • The station was operated by Rochdale Fire Brigade (1933 to 1941), the National Fire Service (1941 to 1948), Rochdale Fire Brigade again (1948 to 1974) and then the Greater Manchester (County) Fire (and Rescue) Service from 1974 until its closure in 2014.

  • The first floor above the appliance room was originally a ballroom used for various functions and dances in the town. Its original “sprung” floor is still in situ despite the ballroom having been converted to a suite of offices several years ago.

  • The Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum opened to the public in September 1983, in the former workshop building it still occupies (for the time being!). It was conceived, designed and constructed by serving members of the fire service and has been voluntarily run ever since. In 2010 the Museum was devolved from the Fire and Rescue Service to an independent museum trust and registered charity.

  • Our oldest exhibit is a manually-operated fire engine built by Richard Newsham of Clothfair, London and dating from 1741.

Did you know these facts about the museum?

Mission Statement

”To explore, preserve and make accessible the history of fire, fire engineering and the fire and rescue services in the Greater Manchester region and, through our collections and resources, to further the education and promotion of fire safety in the community.”

Fund Raising

The Museum is currently trying to raise £100,000 towards the next stage of our major relocation project. Can you help by means of a donation to our Paypal account ? If so, click the DONATE button now. Thank you!

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Visitor Reviews

This is a great little museum

Visitor Reviews

We had the best time visiting you today !!

Visitor Reviews

Packed with facts and fireman's poles !

Visitor Reviews

Fab place !

Visitor Reviews

What a lovely little museum this is

Visitor Reviews

Absolutely amazing