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Education Service

Activities at the Museum

Museum staff are happy to guide young people around the Museum and to run educational sessions. The following provides an indication of what is on offer to primary schools. The activities are aimed at Key Stage 2 but can be tailored up or down depending on the requirements of the group.

Investigating uniforms

This session examines fire brigade uniforms from 1600s to the present day. Young people are able to try on uniforms and examine materials used. They are asked to design a uniform for a modern fire fighter.

The Great Fire of London

This session explores the consequences of the Great Fire of London and leads to creative work based on Fire Marks.

Victorian Fire Station - Emergency 999

The Museum has a replica Victorian Fire station. This session examines how the public called out the fire brigade in Victorian Times. It then leads on to looking at modern day communication and the problem with hoax calls.

The Blitz

This session uses artefacts to bring the Blitz to life. It then leads onto creative writing based on the artefacts.

Investigative journalism

The Museum has an archive which contains a number of newspaper stories from different eras. This activity introduces young people to newspaper stories from Victorian times, the Second World War and the 1960s. Young people can compare the different writing styles from the different eras. They can also explore similarities and differences between today’s news stories and stories from the past.

Often family members of fire fighters bring newspaper articles to the Museum. Young people can examine some of these articles and act as detectives to find out more about these fire fighters from the past.

Whistlestop science

The Museum has a wide range of artefacts that have been used by fire fighters over a period of several hundred years. Scientific development can be seen through a number of artefacts from the manual water pumps to fire extinguishers to breathing apparatus. Young people have the opportunity to examine this equipment and explore the science. Teachers can choose which equipment they would like to explore in detail, depending on the area of science they are teaching.

  • Breathing equipment

  • Extinguishers

  • Manual fire pumps

  • Motor fire appliances

  • Sprinklers

  • Wheeled escapes and hose carts


Safety is a huge theme in fire fighting and it can be divided into a number of areas:

  • Personal safety (individuals and fire fighters)

  • Equipment and technology for the home

  • Equipment and technology for the fire service.

This session looks at how to keep safe and how to write a fire escape plan. It also examines how fire fighters keep safe and how technology has developed to help them deal with the hazards they face on a daily basis.


The themes associated with the fire service provide a number of opportunities for creative work, from creating posters to keep children safe around the times of religious festivals or bonfire night through to artwork to evoke feelings around historical events such as the Great Fire of London or the Blitz.

Alfred Tozer

Alfred Tozer - The chief of a model brigade – a chat with Superintendent Tozer 1886.

This activity focuses on a Sunday Supplement article about the life of Superintendent Tozer who lived at the Chief Fire Station, Jackson’s Row in Manchester.The article is fascinating, providing an insight into the character of the man and the day-to-day life of a fire fighter in Victorian times.


London Road Fire Station was home to the families of fire fighters. In this activity we look at what it might have been like to live in the fire station by examining the toys of some of the children who lived there.

Acts of bravery

The Museum archive contains stories of heroic acts. This session allows young people to explore the theme of heroes and heroines.

For secondary schools

The museum is a great venue for live projects. It is particularly suitable for young people studying diplomas or vocational courses in IT or Creative and Media. Tailored sessions can be provided for students.