1 Pump Retained.



? to ?

Market Inn Close, BANFF.

? to ?

Castle Street, BANFF.

? to ?

Boyndie Street, BANFF    (Refurbished 1955)


St Catherine Street, BANFF. AB45 1EZ.                    Photo




1907 Firemaster?  R. Stuart


Firemaster James Jamieson

? to 10/9/1956

L/Fm Duffus

18/9/1956 to 18/5/1960

L/Fm W. Still  (then promoted Sub O)

18/5/1960 to 15/6/1966

Sub Officer W. Still

16/6/1966 to 31/3/1980

Sub Officer G. A. Reid

1/2/1980 to 31/12/1980

Sub Officer A. Duncan.

1/1/1981 to 15/6/1983

Sub Officer K. McPherson

15/6/1983 to 7/12/2000

Sub Officer J. S. Ironside

9/12/2000 to 31/3/2004

Sub Officer G. C. Beaton

1/5/2004 to

Sub Officer Kevin Dingwall



?   Wheelbarrow (Branch, 6 lengths hose, standpipe.)  
?   Horse Drawn Pump P
1940s   Ford V8 fire appliance P
War years   Coventry Climax Pump  
1930 NS1147 Austin P
? GLT903 Bedford/Gregory Uxbridge Limosine  HrT
1955 MAV637 Commer QX/Carmichael WrT
1973 VSA635L Ford D1013/HCB Angus WrL



Ford D1114/HCB Angus




Dodge G13c/Mountain Range




Scania 93M-210/Emergency One


2007 Nov SV57BUO MAN TLG 12.240/Emergency One CWrL


? to 1941


1941 to 1948

National Fire Service

1948 to 1975

North Eastern Fire Brigade

1975 to 2003

Grampian Fire Brigade

2003 to Grampian Fire and Rescue Service (name change only)



The North Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Towing Unit with Light Pump inside towing Major Pump 1 Leading Fireman
    9 Firemen


The North Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1952

  Equipment Retained
  1 Pump Appliance 2 Leading Firemen
    8 Firemen


Establishment 2000





1 Water Tender Ladder

1 Sub Officer



2 Leading Firefighters



9 Firefighters



Was Station NE 26 under North Eastern Fire Brigade.

Banff T.C. –  Adopted the “Metro” registered design of leather fire helmet, made by James Hendry, Ltd., of Glasgow, for duty with the fire brigade.
(Fire, April, 1939. page 261.)

Banff had a call sign of 51 in Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to R25, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Mounthooly closed on 8/11/2016.


New station brings back old memories at Banff 

Wartime memories of the bombing of Banff Distillery were recalled yesterday when a new fire station was opened at Banff.
Provost George Wood, Portsoy, chairman of the North East Fire Area Joint Board, told a large audience in the new station that one of the largest fires attended by the local unit must have been the distillery fire in 1942 as a result of enemy bombing.
“Many casks of whisky had to be destroyed after the fire. And it is said the burn nearby was running with just the right mixtures of spirit and water.
Despite this very great temptation only one member of the crew had to be removed from the fire ground. He had drunk too deeply from the burn …”
Provost Wood, who was officially opening the new station – in Banff’s St Catherine Street – said he vividly recalled hearing that the ducks swimming in the nearby burn “were all drunk and flapping about.”
<PHOTO> Banff firemen are introduced to Provost Wood by Sub Officer George Reid. Also in the group is Provost J.A.S. McPherson.
(Press and Journal Friday, April 26, 1974. Page 1.
Highland, Moray and Nairn edition)




The first recollections of a fire appliance being based at Banff is of a wheel barrow complete with kit consisting of mainly a branch, six lengths of hose and a stand pipe, dating back to the turn of the century and probably belonging to a local distillery.
With the arrival of the 20’s, a local town clerk named Robert Cumming took upon himself the campaign to buy an updated fire tender — a horse drawn steam pump — trying to persuade his fellow councillors the value of this investment. The moment he chose to demonstrate the advantage of the forthcoming aquisition was somewhat inopportune, arranging for the ‘fire unit’ to be turned out to the Town Hall during a Council Meeting. (It is reported several local dignitaries received cardiac massage!).
Through Mr. Cumming’s efforts, Banff eventually received a horse drawn pump, though more often than not the appliance was pulled along by a lorry which was the property of local coal merchant, Mr. D. Mair. The fire station at this time was positioned at Market Inn Close.
During the 1940’s, a local joiner named James Jamieson was appointed local Firemaster, and while in this position he supervised the fire crew in the construction of a Ford V8 fire appliance.
ff was lucky enough to have two Fire Brigades during the war, the regulars who had a Coventry Climax pump which was towed along by ropes, and the AFS with a converted ambulance as their appliance.
The towns most famous blaze occurred during the war years when the Inverboyndie Distillery was bombed. Several thousand litres of whiskey escaped from the vats into the local stream, causing several head of cattle to be drunk and incapable.
During this spell Banff became a member of the National Fire Service, moving to a Clad Asbestos hut on the town’s Boyndie Road, the cost of which was £90. The building received substantial refurbishment in 1955.
The Banff Fire Service moved to St. Katherine Street in 1974, its present location where the retained fire crew along with the brigade have gone through various changes, both in personnel and equipment. However the towns fire crew, as always are ready to encounter any fire situation when the need arises.
(Northern Light Edition No. 10. Page 52.)








Thursday, 25th April, 1974, at 2.30 p.m. 


                                Chairman:                                                                                                              Vice Chairman:
                                Provost George Wood,                                                                                       Councillor Peter B. Cook
                                M.B.E., J.P.



Messrs. J. A. O. Allan, Ross & Allan, Aberdeen.


A. D. Walker Limited, Elmbank, Castle Street,


Electrical Work                                                                     Leys & Duncan, 19 Low Street, Banff
Plumber                                                                                  W.
T. B. Thomson, 9 Skene Street, Macduff
Glazier and Painter Work                                                    Forbes Watt & Son, 23 High Street,
Tile and Terrazzo Work                                                       Toffolo, Jackson & Company Limited, St. Peter’s Lane, Aberdeen.
Builders Hardware                                                               G.
H. McRobb, 16 Cairn Gardens, West Cults, Aberdeen
Metal Windows                                                                   Crittall Hope Ltd., 11 Albyn Terrace, Aberdeen
Flooring                                                                                 J. N. Stewart & Son (Aberdeen) Ltd., 67-69 King Street, Aberdeen
Curtains                                                                                 Roberts (Aberdeen) Ltd., 419 Union Street, Aberdeen


Crofton Engineering Limited, Linton, Cambridge.




Councillor Peter B. Cook, Vice Chairman,
North Eastern Fire Area Joint Board 


Provost George Wood M.B.E., J.P.,
Chairman, North Eastern Fire Area Joint Board.




J. A. S. McPherson Esq. M.A., LL.B.,
Convener of Banff County Council. 


Drill by the Banff Unit of the North Eastern Fire Brigade in the Fire Station Yard 






For over 100 years an organised fire brigade has been provided by our local citizens who live and work in Banff and the community spirit that characterises our local fire brigade remains a distinctive feature within the modem fire service.
In the early 1900’s the Banff fire brigade was a far cry from the modern service we have today, the ‘fire engine’ was a simple cart filled with hose and water mains fittings and pulled to the fire by hand or, in the better off fire brigades, a horse. The fire station at this time was situated at the market close beside Low Street but there is also mention of a station in Castle Street.
In the mid 1930’s Banff eventually entered the mechanised age with the acquisition of a petrol engined trailer pump. These versatile fire pumps could be towed behind any vehicle and it was not uncommon for private cars, taxis and even hearses to be requisitioned to get the pump and the firemen to the fire.
As war with Germany approached in 1939 an Auxiliary Fire Service was formed and Banff acquired a second trailer pump. These pumps were able to be manhandled over rubble and bomb craters and proved to be the ideal solution to scarce firefighting resources as they could be massed produced in a short time.
In 1942, as the country recovered from the initial deficiencies in equipment at the start of the war, Banff was allocated a Home Office Austin K2 auxiliary towing vehicle for their trailer pump and it was soon put to use when the Inverboyndie Distillery was bombed sending 1000’s of litres of whiskey into a local stream. The worst that happened was when several head of cattle were later found to be drunk and incapable.
In 1941 the National Fire Service (NFS) incorporating the local and auxiliary fire services was formed. This new service standardised training and equipment throughout the UK and remained in place until 1948 when control was passed back to the local authorities. In particular the standardisation of fire fighting became the backbone of the British fire service.
With the demise of the NFS the North Eastern Fire Brigade was born and provided fire protection for the area that we today we recognise as ‘Grampian’. By this time the fire brigade in Banff were housed in a simple hut in Boyndie Street. During day time hours firemen were alerted by a siren that all the town heard and during the night by a bell in their homes.
In the aftermath of WWII there were few cars and none of the chemical industries that we see today and fire service training was all about handling ladders and operating pumps. Because of the lack of training facilities at the Boyndie Street fire station firemen could be regularly seen at Banff primary school, Banff links, the Wrack and the Deveron practising their skills.
As it is today the fire station compliment was ten firemen with up to six crewing the fire engine.
Investment in the fire service has been continuous since 1948 and in 1955 the first all metal body fire engine in the shape of a CommerQX/Carmichael with a built in pump arrived at Banff
Further improvement took place on 25 April 1974 when the current fire station at St. Catherine Street was opened. The difference over previous facilities can not be over stated, for the first time physical training could be carried out on the station and technical instruction to meet the changing needs of the community could be carried out in a purpose built environment. Following regionalisation of the Grampian area in 1975 the North Eastern Fire Brigade became Grampian Fire Brigade.
In 1995 Banff was one of six fire stations in Grampian being considered for closure but a successful campaign mounted by the serving personnel and local community members saw this being withdrawn. Today the fire station is important resource within the fire service structure in Grampian and continues to develop its services in response to community needs.
Unique with the UK Grampian’s fire engines are white rather than traditional red. The decision for this colour change was based on extensive research that concluded white was the most visible colour to other road users and forms one of a number of initiatives by the service to improve road safety.
For the first time 2003 Banff fire station became the winner of the Arbuthnott Award Scheme. This closely contested award involving all Grampian fire stations requires the station personnel to demonstrate the highest levels of skill, efficiency, dedication and community service.
The legislative basis for the provision of a fire service was the Fire Services Act 1947 and although it had served the service well for over fifty years it did not reflect the role and responsibilities that the service was required to develop to protect the community, such as fire education and road traffic collisions. The Fire (Scotland) Act became law in 2005 and with it Grampian Fire Brigade became Grampian Fire and Rescue Service. Not to entirely leave behind our origins the new service badge incorporates a depiction of fire, water and the Scottish thistle. 

Brian Lamb (Firefighter Banff Fire Station)
14 April 2008



If you know of any mistakes in this or have any additional information please let me know.


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