The Really Old Fire Station
Earlier this month I wrote about what I referred to as the old fire station on Shrewsbury Lane.
It was then brought to my attention that referring to the station on Shrewsbury Lane as old is a mistake, because in actual fact that was the new one, and there was another one before that, by the old police station… Now I’m not going to make the same mistake again and refer to the old police station as being the one where the hill meets well hall road, just because there’s no police stationed there any more, but judging by this postcard picture viewed from lower down the hill, the old police/fire stations can be made out, well, apparently the police station replaced the gallows, and the fire station is probably the building next door with a large entrance and lots of very tall chimneys!
Anyway, I was also provided with these pictures of the old station itself, and a little bit of history – apparently it opened in 1879 for horse drawn engines, and closed in 1912 when the new station opened in a more strategic (?) hill top location. Following the move, the building was then used as a Warrant Officer’s quarters for the War Department, and presumably fell into disuse during less warlike times, and was knocked down. Looking at the second picture is quite interesting as the firemen being photographed outside their station are joined by two little boys, I wonder what they did – given the dickensian style of the picture it wouldn’t surprise me if children did work there, although they aren’t wearing uniforms… so perhaps they didn’t make much of a public showing, and their job might have been to keep the place warm when the men were out on duty. Anyway, rather than speculating, I should probably go and do some more investigation, when I can make the time.