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West Dock, LERWICK, Shetland Islands.
1960s to 2003
Road, LERWICK, Shetland Islands. ZE1 0NT.
12/4/2003 Sea Road, LERWICK,
Shetland Islands. ZE1 0RD
With the new brigade structure introduced in the summer of
2003 the 3 Divisions were re-organised into 2 Commands North and South, Lerwick
was put into North Command. Call signs remained the same.
By Hans J. Marter
The first of a new generation of
fire stations for retained fire fighters in the Highlands and Islands has been
opened in Lerwick, in Shetland, on Saturday.
The £1.5 million station, at Sea Road, was officially opened by the convenor of
the Highlands and Islands Fire Board, councillor Drew McFarlane Slack MBE.
The purpose-built station has been described by station officer Jim Moar as
“absolutely great”. It replaces the old fire station at Grantfield, which was
converted from a Territorial Army garage in the 1960s.
Mr Moar said: “This is the flagship of what is to come in the future. We have
been waiting for this for a long time. It has been on the go for about 10 or 15
years now. It is finally here and it has been well worth waiting for.”
The spacious building has ample car parking for Lerwick’s 20 retained fire
fighters, has good access for the station’s three fire engines and provides for
extensive drill ground facilities.
It also incorporates the Shetland district office and provides accommodation for
offshore fire fighting equipment.
Shetland’s assistant district officer Duncan MacDougall said: “We have never
been in a better position to provide a dedicated fire brigade which will respond
to any emergency promptly and effectively and help make the Shetland district
(Shetland News, Monday, 14 April, 2003.)
Messenger boy remembers
During the Second World War Lerwick
man Douglas Smith was employed as a messenger with the NFS. Here he recalls some
memories of what the fire service in Lerwick used to be like.
“I remember the fire station at the headquarters of the ‘scaffies’ in a shed,
commonly known as the Art Gallery, where the entrance to the museum now stands.
The park there was the communal drying green for the folk in the lanes who had
no gardens. “My first memory of a fire was when, from King Harald Street, I saw
smoke billowing from the property known as ‘Post Office House’ at 47 St Olaf
Street. Mr Anderson, who was the waterman, arrived with a barrow on which there
was an old hose with wire wrapped round it. He attached the hose to a hydrant in
the street but more water came out of holes in the hose than out of the nozzle!
“During the war the NFS has a base in the former Anglo Scottish Curing station
at the foot of Browns Road. Weekly practices were held. I don’t think that there
was an actual fire engine but I do remember being driven in a truck with a
trailer attached that contained hose-reels and standpipes.
“Jeffrey Arthur and I were employed as messengers. We were issued with black
battle tunics and trousers, a peaked cap and tin hat. We used our own bicycles
and received a retainer of 2/6 per week.
“The full-time fire master was Mr Gray and among the fire crew were Charlie
Alger, ‘Black Ertie’ Pearson, Dodie ‘Currants’ and ‘Boon’ Bain, well known local
characters who are long gone but not forgotten.
“One incident comes to mind when there was a simulated fire at the army quarters
at Kveldsro. We set off with truck and trailer at high speed along the Esplanade
but the trailer mud wing became rather attached to the barbed wire entanglements
that protected the harbour at the time and we were brought up all standing. The
defence authorities were not amused; nor were the ‘victims’ at Kveldsro at our
<PHOTO> The heroes line up outside their old fire station. (Station Officer, Sub
Officer, 2 Leading firefighters and 13 Firefighters.)
(Post April 2003)
HIGHLAND & ISLANDS FIRE BRIGADE
official opening of the
Lerwick Fire Station
12th April 2003
It gives me great pleasure as
Shetlands District Officer to welcome you to the official opening of the new
Lerwick Fire Station. The proposal to build the new station was presented to the
Fire Board at their meeting in 19 April 2001 which was coincidentally held at
the Lerwick Town hall. The Fire Board unanimously agreed to proceed with the
build and £1.5 million was earmarked for the project. This further confirmed the
Fire Boards commitment to provide an effective, well equipped and adequately
resource fire brigade.
This station is unique, it is the first build of the next generation of retained
Fire Stations. Not only is it a fire station, it also incorporates the Shetland
district office and provides accommodation for the off shore fire fighting
These facilities offered here are excellent and they will be a tremendous morale
fillip not only to the Lerwick unit, but also to the Shetland fire fighting
personnel as well. We have a new station of which we can be extremely proud, the
vehicles and equipment are modern, the personnel are fully trained and
competent. We have never been in a better position to provide a dedicated fire
brigade which will respond to any emergency promptly and effectively and help
make the Shetland district safer.
Assistant District Officer, Lerwick
Since reporting at Lerwick Fire
Station at Grantfield on a cold dark Tuesday night in October 1971, I have seen
some change over the years. From being the youngest in the station. I am now the
oldest, so there has been a complete change in personnel.
The fire appliances were an old Bedford pump escape (the one with the big wheels
on the back), a Bedford TK with split windscreen and an old Green Goddess,
painted red of course.
We’ve had Renaults, Dodges and Mercedes appliances since then and now we have 2
new Volvo FL6’s and an Isuzu Midi, major changes have also occurred over the
years with equipment being updated regularly.
The new Fire Station however surpasses all of the above, it is modern spacious,
well laid out and finished to a very high standard, for the first time ever we
have a purpose built station with ample car parking, good access and with
extensive drill ground facilities.
The Highland & Islands Fire Brigade, the architect, contractors and everyone
involved with the project, can be proud of their achievement.
All personnel at Lerwick are excited, proud and honoured to be part of a new era
in the history of Lerwick Fire Station.
Station Officer, Lerwick
Order of Ceremony
Master of Ceremonies Assistant District Officer Duncan
Firemaster Mr Brian A. Murray, BA (Hons.) MA MIFireE
Convenor of our Fire Board Mr Drew McFarlane Slack, MBE
Reverend Gordon Oliver
Convenor of the Fire Board Mr Drew McFarlane Slack, MBE
Station Officer Mr Jim Moar
Tour of Station and facilities followed by buffet and
A page with eleven photos of
incidents and drills etc. (photos not on this site)
A page of individual photos of
the present twenty crew members. (photos not on this site). Their names are as
Station Officer J. Moar(1360), Sub Officer K. Thomason(2862), Leading
Firefighter C. Nicolson(3316), Leading Firefighter G. Mouat(3754), Firefighter
M. Younger(2663), Firefighter G. Nicolson(2956), Firefighter P. Stevenson(3532),
Firefighter S. Hunter(3848), Firefighter S. Sutherland(4142), Firefighter G.
Stevenson(4401), Firefighter J. Waterhouse(4453), Firefighter L. Chapman(4666),
Firefighter D. Scott4668), Firefighter D. Stewart(4709), Firefighter G.
McMillan(4715), Firefighter P. Spence(4913), Firefighter D. Hunter(4938),
Firefighter J. MacLeod(4951), Firefighter L. Nicolson(5215), Firefighter J.
(The Official Opening Programme)
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