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HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2019

Visitors to the Museum and former fire station site for this year's national Heritage Open Days event were able to view the latest plans and visuals of the new museum scheme at a special exhibition staged inside the former appliance room. Various objects from our collection, connected with the building, were displayed including fire helmets, communications devices and items recovered from the building. Our exhibition designers, Creative Core, met with a large number of interested people and there was considerable interest in the project throughout both days. Guided tours of the empty building were also on offer with around 200 people taking this opportunity to see previously restricted areas prior to the redevelopment commencing in the near future. The latest plans and artist impressions will be uploaded to this site very soon. 

MORE SECRETS REVEALED

This interesting sign, from door manufacturers Laidlaw and Thomson, was uncovered when recent exploratory work was carried out by the volunteers inside a storeroom which had once formed part of the main engine house (or appliance room).  The company was a famous Manchester supplier of ironmongery and other building fittings and enjoyed considerable success in the 1930s supplying fire station doors of the "rapid opening" type, including those at Maclure Road.  Interestingly, the ex-Southport Fire Station doors which will soon be fitted in the fire station as part of its restoration, are of the same make.

MUSEUM DESIGN TEAM APPOINTED

We are delighted to announce that THE CREATIVE CORE of Huddersfield has been appointed as main exhibition designers for the new Museum.  The team have already commenced work on what will be a stunning, up-to-the-minute museum within Rochdale's iconic 1933 fire station building. Creative Core are having to work closely with our architectural design team, OMI Architects of Salford and, together, are creating the most exciting museum of its kind.  We hope to publish details of the exhibition plans as soon as they are ready. 

BALLROOM'S HIDDEN TREASURES

The once-famous ballroom above the Maclure Road fire station disappeared around fifty years ago when the space was reconfigured as office accommodation for the Rochdale Fire Brigade. Now, exploratory work in connection with the restoration of this area has begun to reveal some of the room's hidden art deco features, unseen for decades.  Although the first floor is not part of the new Museum project, it will be fully restored as part of the greater scheme and converted to high-class, open plan office space with the original scale and decorative features that existed when it was a ballroom.  This way the new owners, Rochdale Borough Council, will be able to provide a revenue-earning return for their financial outlay whilst still respecting the room's original function.  Now, with a portion of the 1960's fire brigade office construction being removed, the original vaulted ceiling and 1930s decor is slowly being revealed.  The "minstrel gallery" balcony, hidden behind false ceilings and walls for so long is now visible again, with its original speckled paint finish on show, whilst the blue and yellow colouring of the beautiful curved ceiling is seeing daylight again.  We even discovered a 1933 pendant light fitting - complete with its bulb - still in place !  Of course, underneath all the carpets, underlay and other materials lies the original sprung dance floor which so many older Rochdalians recall fondly.  This beautiful building is slowly coming back to life and showing its beautiful architecture.

ANOTHER MAJOR FUNDER ON BOARD

Another major funder has pledged its support for our exciting new Museum project.  We are very pleased to report that the Pilgrim Trust, based in central London, has awarded a grant of £10,000 towards the scheme.  This means that almost all the funding is now in place for the £2m project, with work expected to start on site this summer.  Many thanks to Pilgrim and all our generous supporters so far.  You can still donate small amounts by clicking the "donate" button on this website.

 

Latest News about the project

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