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REUNION OF TWO GREAT WAR HEROES

As part of a new exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of two major north west disasters in 1917, the only two surviving fire engines which attended the White Lund (Lancaster) munitions explosion in October 1917 are now together again, on display at the Museum. Our own 1882 Shand Mason steam fire engine, which has been on loan to the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield for several years, has returned home and been joined by the Fulwood UDC steamer, also a Shand Mason and dating from 1898. The Fulwood appliance is now on loan to us by courtesy of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. Both steamers attended the major disaster at White Lund when No.13 National Shell Filling Factory blew up, killing several members of the works fire service and causing major damage. Fire brigades from all over the North West, including as far away as Liverpool, Salford, Bolton and Manchester were called in - unheard of at that time - with the Manchester crew being the first outside brigade to enter the works, where they found a scene of utter destruction. The exhibition, which will run until October, tells the story of White Lund, also of the great Ashton-under-Lyne munitions explosion of June 1917, which killed over 40 local people and was, in many ways, a more devastating incident. Through original photographs and reports we explore the many problems for fire brigades encountered in the First World War, also the medals and awards which were won.

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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