1 Pump, 1 Incident Support Unit Wholetime, 1 Pump Retained.


1864 House for Fire Engine
1921 to 1925 Part of Burgh Buildings, GALASHIELS.
1925 to 1942 Paton Street, GALASHIELS.
1942 to 1974 Roxburgh Street, GALASHIELS.
23/3/1974 Abbotsford Road, GALASHIELS.                Photo



1864                        Superintendent Adamson





Manual Engine




Motor Fire Engine




Dennis Ace New World




Dennis N




Leyland FE




Austin K4/Leyland




Austin K2/Home Office/SEFB




Austin K2/Home Office/SEFB




Austin K2/Home Office/SEFB




Dennis F7/Dennis




Commer QX/Whitsun          (was it here?)




Bedford SLZG/HCB




Maudsley/Merryweather Marquis




AEC Mercury/Merryweather Marquis




Morris                    (6821SF?)




AEC Mercury/Merryweather Marquis




Land Rover 108/Merryweather








Dennis F108/Dennis




Dodge K1113/Fulton & Wylie




Dodge K1113/Fulton & Wylie




Stonefield P5000/Fulton & Wylie




Dodge G1313/Angloco




Dodge G13c/Mountain Range




Dodge G13c/Mountain Range




Bedford TL750/Excalibur



  First Retained Emergency Tender Incident Support Unit Water Rescue Unit
1990 NSX341Y A51EMS D927CRF    
1992 G238FSC A51EMS D927CRF    
1998 M134XSF G240FSC D927CRF    
1999 T238RFS G240FSC D927CRF    
2003 T238RFS G240FSC H94NSX    
2003 SN03XGC T238RFS   SK52HZJ  
2007 SK07BKL T238RFS   SK52HZJ  
2012 SN12DLE T238RFS   SK52HZJ  
2014 Apr SN12DLE T238RFS   R885FSC  
2016 Jan SN12DLE T238RFS   SK52HZJ  
2017 Jan SN12DLE T238RFS   W643RSC  
2017 Dec SN12DLE SK02ULP   W643RSC  
2018 June SN12DLE SK02ULP      
2019 SN12DLE SK02ULP     SV67NMZ


NSX341Y Dodge G13c/Mountain Range WrL
A51EMS Dodge G13c/Mountain Range WrL
D927CRF Bedford TL/Excalibur ET
G238FSC Dodge G13c/Fulton and Wylie WrL
G240FSC Dodge G13c/Fulton and Wylie WrL
H94NSX Volvo FL6-17/Mountain Range WrL   running as an ET
M134XSF Scania 93M-250/Emergency One WrL
R885FSC Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL running ISU
T238RFS Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET
W643RSC Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL running ISU
SK02ULP Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET
SK52HZJ Scania 94D-/Totalfleet ISU
SN03XGC Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET
SK07BKL Scania P270/Emergency One WrL/ET
SN12DLE Scania P280/Emergency One WrL/ET
SV67NMZ Mercedes Sprinter 516 Cdi 4x4/CSS WRU

When the new HRU went on the run at Sighthill in June 2018 the ISUs at Bathgate and Galashiels came off the run.





1864 to 1941 Galashiels Fire Brigade
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 South Eastern Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade
2005 to 2013 Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service
1/4/2013 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service



Before the second world war the Galashiels crew were volunteers and with the coming of the war a full time station was created. In 1964 there were 26 full time firemen and 10 retained firemen.

The South Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Whole-time Retained
  1 Self-propelled pump 1 Company Officers 1 Leading Firemen
  1 Pump Escape 2 Section Leaders 9 Firemen
  1 Tender and Large Trailer Pump 2 Leading Firemen  
  1 Salvage Tender 16 Firemen & Watch Room Attendants  
  1 Water Tender    


Establishment 2000

  Equipment Whole-time Retained
  2 Water Tender Ladders 4 Sub Officers 1 Sub Officer
  1 Emergency Tender 8 Leading Firefighters 1 Leading Firefighters
    32 Firefighters 8 Firefighters

The wholetime Establishment is split over 4 watches, Red, White, Blue and Green working an average of 42 hours per week on a 2 days, 2 nights and 4 days off rota.

Galashiels had a call sign of 34 in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to J03, the new National Call Sign on 3/5/2017.




PHOTO of station with Dennis WrT, Merryweather PE and Land Rover ET on forecourt


Opening by Councillor George Drummond

Chairman of the South Eastern Fire Area Joint Committee

Saturday 23rd March 1974





Chairman of the South Eastern Fire Area Joint Committee





Chairman George Drummond and The Firemaster will inspect station personnel on parade.

Councillor John Harrison, Selkirk, will welcome the Chairman and invite him to open the Station.

Dedication by the Reverend Angus McDonald

Presentation to Chairman Drurnmond by The Firemaster South Eastern Fire Brigade James Anderson, F.I.Fire E.

Vote of Thanks by Provost David Atkinson

Vice Chairman, South Eastern Fire Area Joint Committee

Demonstration of Drills by the station personnel

Selection of music by the Pipes and Drums
of the
South Eastern Fire Brigade




CHAIRMAN:                                        COUNCILLOR GEORGE DRUMMOND
VICE CHAIRMAN:                              PROVOST DAVID ATKINSON
EDINBURGH:                                       CHAIRMAN
                                                                BAILIE WALTER DALGLEISH
                                                                BAILIE JAMES S. COOK
                                                                COUNCILLOR OWEN HAND
                                                                COUNCILLOR IAN A. CRAMOND
                                                                COUNCILLOR A. DOUGLAS WILSON
                                                                COUNCILLOR WILLIAM B.
MIDLOTHIAN:                                    MR. P.
EAST LOTHIAN:                              MR. RICHARD WILSON
BERWICK:                                            MAJOR N.
ROXBURGH:                                        VICE-CHAIRMAN
SELKIRK:                                              MR. JOHN HARRISON
PEEBLES:                                              MR. W.
WEST LOTHIAN:                                MR. W. DRUMMOND

ire E.




The first Fire Station built in Galashiels came into being after a letter to the Council in February 1864 from Mr William Brown, Deacon of the Manufacturers’ Corporation who offered to present “a good and well furnished Fire Engine to the town on condition that the Commissioners (of Police) get a proper house for keeping the engine and keep also under their command the number of men considered suitable for the working of it”. The gift was unanimously accepted on the oforementioned conditions and a Committee was appointed to find, a suitable “house”.
The Border Advertiser, on 25th March 1864, reported that ‘the gift and the manner of its acceptance are creditable to both parties in the transaction and the unanimity display
ed is all the more beautiful for its rarity”.
The engine was ordered from Mr William Harkless, Glasgow, and on completion, the Superintendent of Leith Fire Brigade was asked to check the engine “to examine all its details and see its capacities tested". The engine was a manual one with a capacity of about 150 gallons per minute and equipment consisted of eight 40 foot lengths of 2½  inch leather hose, two dozen leather buckets, hammers, saws, other tools and six suits of clothing with fireproof helmets. Land was fued from Mr Scott of Gala and a “house” built at a cost of £92. Mr Adamson, Gas Manager, was appointed Superintendent and instructed to organise a force of 18 men to work the engine.
From a report at the time it was thought the engine would be of great service to the town; it would be at the very first applicable to the mills and understood that it would be equally applicable to many other properties near the dam; and though they might require to lay down pipes to extend its benefits to every property in the town, no doubt the Commissioners would try and get water some way.
By 1870, costs must have been receiving some consideration as a meeting of the Commissioners decided that persons requiring the Brigade should pay half the cost and the Commissioners the other half. This may well have been prompted by an increase in pay for the firemen from 2/- to 5/- for the quarterly drill and from 1/6d to 3/- per hour when attending fires.
On 13th March 1899, the “Rules and Regulations for the Conduct and Management of the Galashiels Fire Brigade” were printed. Under these rules, the Brigade consisted of a Firemaster, Sergeant, Engine master and five Firemen, one of whom shall be the Water Officer of the Corporation.
A number of the rules are quoted below which give, to some extent, an idea of the system under which the Brigade operated.
“Any Fireman requiring at any time to temporarily leave the Burgh must intimate the same to the Firemaster as also his return.
On an alarm of fire being received, the Chief Constable or other Officer in Charge at the Police Office, shall cause two or more Constables to be despatched to warn the members of the Brigade whose names and addresses will be supplied to him by the Firemaster, which names shall also be on slips of paper so that the Constables may invite the services of civilians in warning members.
There shall be a muster of the Brigade for practice at least four times, at regular intervals, during the year.
On the occasion of the services of the Brigade being called outside the Burgh, the Chief Constable, or Officer in Charge at the Police Office, shall forthwith obtain the consent of a member of the Corporation to the Brigade proceeding, and, upon that consent being obtained, shall order the necessary horses as speedily as possible.
A record shall be kept by each member with the streets alphabetically arranged, showing the position of all the hydrants, and he shall at all times be liable to be questioned by the Committee on his knowledge thereof”.
Included with the Rules and Regulations was the following advice


 No member should, when alone, enter any premises that are on fire, in case of his being overpowered by heat, smoke, etc. When others are present, he may be easily drawn back by means of his leather belt or by a rope attached thereto, in which case he may, with greater safety, enter places otherwise attended with great danger. Rooms, when on fire, should always be entered on the hands and knees, the Fireman taking the hose with him. On the discovery of fire in any buildings the doors and windows should be closed to prevent currents of air. If this is not done, the fire fanned by the air, will break out with much fury; let the doors be closed and streams of water introduced by means of scaling ladders from without, the director being pointed into the building. This is much more effective than from without.
It would appear that at about this time the post of Firemaster was combined with that of Water Officer and Inspector of Lighting and this arrangement prevailed for a number of years.
Costs appear quite regularly in reports made at the time and one where the Brigade assisted Selkirk at a fire at Linghie Mill in 1901, the cost was £22.6/-. including £7 for use of the engine and apparatus, £2.5/- for horses and £5.5/- for the services of 35 assistants. Another fire
at Earlston resulted in an account of £29.8.6d being rendered.
Obtaining payment for the services of the Brigade must have been a problem as, at a Council meeting the following statement was made - “With regard to the matter of the Fire Brigade turning out to fires outside the Burgh, the Provost indicated that there were sometimes difficulties in getting the full outlays for the Brigade. Unless these outlays were met, the Council might have to consider whether they would let the Brigade go outside the Burgh.”
In 1921 a motor pump was purchased and this was housed in part of the Burgh buildings. When the Burgh buildings were altered in 1925, the Brigade premises were moved to Paton Street.
The 1920’s was an eventful decade for the Galashiels Fire Brigade with regard to fires. During this period the largest fires in the history of Galashiels occurred. The first was in April 1923 when the Skinworks’ wool stores and drying houses were gutted by fire. The total damage was estimated at £60,000. The Brigade was complimented on their speedy turnout by Bailie Dorward at a Council meeting; the call being received at 6 a
.m., and twelve members of the Brigade in attendance within six minutes. Later that same month, the entire Skinworks was destroyed by fire, the estimated damage being £250,000. On this occasion the Galashiels Brigade was assisted by the Brigade from Hawick. Arrangements for assistance must have left something to be desired as the alarm was given at 12.15 a.m., Galashiels Brigade arrived at the fire at 12.25 a.m. but Hawick did not arrive until 03.40 a.m. The rapid development of the fire however made the efforts of the Brigades rather hopeless.
In 1928 Ladhope Old Mill owned by Laidlaw & Fairgrieve, was destroyed, the cost being about £100,000. By this time assistance arrangements had improved as the alarm was given at about 11.00, Galashiels arrived at 11.10 and the Selkirk Brigade at 11.40.
By 1938 a new appliance was considered necessary and a limousine type was purchased and remained at Galashiels during the war years. With the outbreak of war, the Paton Street station proved to be unsuitable and in 1942, the station in Roxburgh Street was opened
. The arrangement of the Brigade was typical of war time needs with mobilising control at Paton Street and appliances at Roxburgh Street and Green Street with a number of light pumps at premises around Galashiels.
On the formation of the National Fire Service in 1941, control of the Brigade passed to the Fire Force Commander, Mr. W.B, Muir who was responsible for Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland
After the war the Fire Services Act 1947 was introduced by Parliament to transfer the firefighting functions from the National Fire Service to Fire Brigades maintained by the Local Authorities. Under this Act, Scotland was divided into eleven fire areas and Galashiels became part of the South Eastern Fire Brigade in accordance with the fourth schedule of the Act.
The South Eastern Area includes the counties of Berwick, East Lothian, Midlothian, Peebles, Roxburgh, Selkirk, West Lothian and the County of the City of Edinburgh. The whole of this area came under the command of Firemaster A. B. Craig until he retired in 1962; control then passed to Firemaster F. Rushbrook who subsequently retired in 1970. Since then, and up to the present, the Brigade has been under the command of Firemaster James Anderson.
On the termination of the National Fire Service, Galashiels remained as a whole time station with additional part-time firemen.
Mobilising control of the Border Retained Stations also remained at Galashiels and these stations are still mobilised from Galashiels.
Conditions and facilities in the station at Roxburgh Street have, over the years, become more cramped mainly due to increases in the station strength and the addition of an Emergency Tender. At the present time the station strength is one Divisional Officer, three Sub Officers, three Leading Firemen, twenty-four Firemen and three Watchroom Attendants, there are also ten part time Firemen.
The station appliances consist of one 1957 Merryweather Pump Escape which carrys 100 gallons of water, a 50 foot wheeled escape ladder and has a pumping capacity of 1,000 gallons of water per minute: one 1972 Dennis Water Tender which carries 400 gallons of water, a 45 foot ladder, a portable pump with a capacity of 250 gallons per minute and has a built in pump with a capacity of 500 gallons per minute: one 1965 Land Rover Emergency Tender specially designed to carry a wide range of equipment for use at large fires, road transport, railway or machine accidents.
To accommodate the personnel and appliances, a new station was considered necessary and work was started on the new premises in the summer of 1972.


The new station is built in traditional construction with a warm coloured facing brick to all elevations enabling the station to blend sympathetically with the amenity of the area.
The dominant feature on site is the 60 feet high drill tower which accommodates six external training balconies and provides internally the facilities for drying the operational hoses. The tower is of reinforced concrete construction with facing brick cladding.
Other features on the station include the warm ivory coloured sculptured glass fibre fascia to the appliance room, and pyramid type glass fibre rooflights to the main administration block. Less noticeable but essential for the requirements of the station are the electrically operated up and over doors, to the appliance room and 30 foot deep underground pump testing wall in the drill yard and a 30 foot long underground crawl tunnel leading from the smoke room to the drill yard
The station has been designed to accommodate 4 fire appliances and is staffed by a personnel of 46 which include 3 Watchroom Attendants.
Accommodation of the station includes Watchroom, 3 Admin. Offices, a Lecture/Recreation/Dining Room, Kitchen, Quiet Room, Dormitory, Leading Firemen’s Room, Locker Room, Drying Room, Scrub Area, Toilet accommodation and Muster Room.
Ancillary accommodation includes a Switchgear Room, Boiler house, Smoke Room, garage accommodation for two vehicles with a workshop and stores for batteries, breathing appliances, hoses, cleaning materials and foam containers.
A five apartment residential house has also been provided which overlooks the adjoining public park area.
Internal finishes to the station have been selected for their hard wearing qualities. In the heavy duty areas quarry tiling floors, facing brick walls and plastic faced plasterboard ceilings have been incorporated whilst the remainder of the station makes use of vinyl tile flooring, timber wall panelling and carpet tiles. The station buildings are heated throughout by an oil fired system.
The building is operated from the Watchroom which is so positioned to oversee the general station activities and is adjacent to the steel framed appliance room.
The Locker Room, Showers, Scrub, Drying and Toilet areas have been designed en-suite and are laid out in sequence approved by the Fire Authority.
The dormitory and quiet rooms are situated on the quieter eastern side of the building and face on to a paved patio area which in turn is screened by a pierced concrete wall.
A large dining room and modern fitted kitchen fulfil the eating requirements for the personnel. The administrative area of the station is contained within three offices situated on the southern side of the building and in close proximity to the main entranceway.
The contract period was 15 months to be completed by October 1973 and the tender figure amounted to £163,000.

ARCHITECT:                                                        J & J Hall.

CONSULTING ENGINEER:                                Maurice Barker & Associates

MAIN CONTRACTOR:                                      Melville, Dundas & Whitson Ltd.


Decking & Bit-Felt Roofing                                Briggs Amasco Ltd
Screeding & Floor Finishes                                Dunlop Semtex Ltd
Plasterwork                                                           David Fisher & Sons.
Structural Steelwork                                            Grampian Engineering Co.
Glass Fibre Fascias & Rooflights                      Glasdon Ltd.
Metal Windows, Doors & Screens                   Jas Gibbons Ltd.
Ceramic & Quarry Tiling                                     Douglas James & Co.
Glazierwork                                                            Geo. Lindsay & Co.
Suspended Ceilings                                             Kelsey Roofing Industries.
Landscaping                                                         Lothian Landscape Co.
Plumbing Installation                                          Plumbing & Heating Services.
Electrical Installation                                           Jas Scott Ltd, Edinburgh.
Heating & Mechanical Installation                   Jas Scott Ltd, Glasgow.
Precast Concrete Roofing                                   Siporex Ltd.
Excavation & Drainage                                       Tractor Shovels.
Metalwork                                                             Osbourne Metal Ltd.
Painterwork                                                           A.T. Rolland.
Road Surfacing                                                     Kings & Co Ltd.



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


MAIN INDEX                         1975 INDEX                         LOTHIAN & BORDER'S INDEX