The Museum, which opened in 1983, portrays the history of firefighting, particularly in the Greater Manchester area. It was conceived and assembled by a group of interested firefighters who were keen not to let the service's proud heritage disappear. The Greater Manchester region has played an important role in the development of fire brigades and fire engineering over many years. Manchester had the first municipal fire service in England in 1826 and was also the first wholly-professional brigade. Eccles acquired the country's first motorised fire engine in 1901 and ever since, the area has been noted for innovation and progress within the field. The area – Salford in particular – was also a centre for the fire engineering industry, with fire engines, hose and ladders being made here and exported worldwide. The Museum's collection includes several full-size fire appliances, equipment, uniforms, models, medals and insignia, some displayed in appropriate period settings. The earliest exhibit is a 1741 Newsham fire engine, whilst the largest is a 125ft Dennis-Metz turntable ladder appliance. Many of the larger, mechanical exhibits are maintained in working order. There is an extensive photographical archive of fires, emergency incidents, personnel and equipment, which also incorporates the Clifford C. Ashton collection. Other significant objects include items from the famous firefighting Tozer family. The Museum is a registered charity which works in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, assisting the Brigade with its public relations and educational roles, particularly the engagement and teaching of younger visitors.
Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum
Maclure Road, Wilmslow Road, Rochdale, Greater Manchester OL11 1DN England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit