2 Pumps Retained.


? to 1964 High Street, PEEBLES.
22/1/1965 to Caledonian Road, PEEBLES. EH45 9DL.            Photo



1868 to ?

Firemaster John Thomson

? to 1891

Firemaster Charles T Ker

1891 to 1900

Firemaster William Fairbairn

1900 to ?

Firemaster William Forsyth

1908 to ?

Firemaster A Edgar

? to 1968

Station Officer George Fairbairn (a Firemaster Fairbairn there 1942, then Section Leader in the NFS)

1968 to 1981 July

Station Officer William Greenshield

1981 to 1985

Station Officer Duncan Ferguson

1985 to 1996

Station Officer George Napier

1996 to 2002

Station Officer Douglas Hogarth

2002 to

Station Officer Alister Clyde




1942 DS2111 ? ?
1942 S5172 ? ?
1942 DS1882 Towing Lorry with TrP D.10901 TrP
1942 GLE937 ? ATV?
1942 GLE939 ? ATV?



Dennis Ace New World  

P  (Ex NFS)



Dennis F8/Dennis           




Bedford TJ4L/HCB Angus 




Bedford TJ4L/HCB Angus    




ERF84PF/HCB Angus          




Dodge K1113/Hestair Eagle   




Dodge K1113/Hestair Eagle    



  First Second
1987 D495BSC HSG738X
1998 K959DSC D495BSC
2001 K959DSC G241FSC
2003 R889FSC K959DSC
2006 SN03NCU R889FSC
2013 Dec SN09BKD SN03NCU


HSG738X Dodge G1313/Fulton and Wylie WrT
D495BSC Dodge G13c/Mountain Range WrLR
G241FSC Dodge G13/Fulton and Wylie WrT
K959DSC Scania 93M-250/Emergency One WrL/ET
R889FSC Scania 94D-260 Emergency One WrL/ET
SN03NCU Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET
SN09BKD Scania P270/Emergency One WrL/ET


2003 The first is a Water Tender Ladder/Emergency Tender and the second is a Water Tender.

2007 Both appliances are now Water Tender Ladder/Emergency Tenders.




1868 to 1941 Peebles 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




Peebles had a call sign of 39 in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to J32, the new National Call Sign on 3/5/2017.

The fire station in Caledonian Road became operational in late 1964 and was officially opened in January 1965.



One Hundred Years Fire Fighting


 Before the opening of the new Fire Station a fortnight ago, treasurer W. D. Smith was asked at short notice to carry out some research work with a view to obtaining a brief history of the fire brigade in Peebles. As it happened, the notes prepared by the treasurer were not used in full and these have been obtained, together with photographs, for publication. Readers are likely to find these notes of interest, especially older people who recall many of the events. Thanks are due to treasurer Smith both for preparing the notes and for making them available.
The Fire Brigade of Peebles has had a long and honourable history. The records available indicate that a fire-fighting unit existed before 1868, but it is from that year that records are easily available, and the following extracts from minutes and other sources make interesting reading.
May 11, 1868.— At a special meeting of the Commissioners of Police for the Burgh of Peebles a sub-committee was appointed to undertake the task of procuring a new fire engine, this to be met by pubic subscription. The Commissioners agreed to open the subscription list with a donation of £10.
July 13, 1868.— At the quarterly meeting of the Commissioners it was remitted to the Water Committee to examine the fire plug position in the burgh and to have those in the Old Town fitted to the 5-inch main without delay.
August 26, 1868.— A list of articles required by the Fire Brigade was approved and remitted to a sub-committee to order the articles at a cost not exceeding £20. The sub-committee were also asked to try and raise the required amount by subscription.
October 15, 1868.— The Commissioners appointed the following persons as firemem: John Thomson, Eastgate (firemaster); James Small, Northgate (captain); Thomas Perrnington, Biggiesknowe (sergeant); James Ker, Northgate (No. 1 pioneer)., Charles Ker, Northgate (water officer); John Smith, High Street; Andrew Green, High Street; John Grieve, Elcho Street; R. Veitch, Bigglesknowe; Thomas Wallace, Damdale; Peter Walker, Eastgate; David Murray, Damdale; John
Oldham, Eastgate; William Forsyth, Eastgate; John Cowan, Northgate; John Rennie, Old Town; James Noble, High Street; and John Ferguson, Northgate, eighteen firemen in all.
June 28, 1869.—The treasurer authorised to pay the subscription of £10 towards the new fire engine and to advance the balance due on the account for the engine amounting to £16 6s 10d.
November 11, 1872.— The Provost intimated that the members of the fire brigade wished to have a grant of £10 per year in return for which they would take perfect care of and exercise the engine not less that six times per year. The request was remitted to the Waterworks and Fire Engine Committee.
December 9, 1872.— The Waterworks Committee recommended the Commissioners to pay each member of the Fire Brigade 1s 6d for each exercise turnout and 1s for each assistant, a member of the Commissioners’ Committee to be present each turnout to certify the payments.
July 13, 1891.— William Fairbairn, 4 March
Street, was appointed firemaster in succession to Charles T. Kerr.
(This is the first mention of a Fairbairn and prompts the question: “Where was 4 March Street?”)
February 8, 1892.— The Clerk to the Commissioners read a letter from the firemaster, stating:
“In accordance with your instructions to me at our last meeting, I have had a meeting of members of the fire brigade and laid before them the situation between you and the Inspector in reference to the position you wish him to take in connection with the fire brigade and I have to state to you that a resolution was passed unanimously that the brigade remain on the same conditions as formerly, as they considered the proposed arrangements would only lead to confusion.”
(A letter of one sentence!)
January 11, 1897.— A letter was received from Sir Thomas D. Gibson Carmichael’s agents enquiring if the Commissioners would be interested in purchasing the steam fire engine belonging to Sir Thomas. It was agreed to investigate cost of engine and also to consider approaching the County Council with a view to joint purchase.
January 19, 1897.—It was agreed to purchase Sir Thomas D. Gibson Carmichael’s steam fire engine and apparatus for £250. A sub committee was appointed to arrange for housing the new engine and to advertise the old engine for sale.
February 8, 1897.— A vote of thanks was unanimously passed to Sir Thomas D. Gibson Carmichael for the valuable gift of firemen’s outfits which he had presented to the burgh and for the large reduction he had rnade on the cost of the steam fire engine.
April 12, 1897
.—It was agreed to sell the old fire engine to Mr. Alexander Mathieson for £8.
(Many local people can remember playing on this old engine about 1905 when
it lay under Tweed Bridge.)
March 19, 1897.—It was agreed to accept the tender from Messrs D. & H. Mitchell offering to paint the door of the Fire Engine Depot for £2 17s 6d.
December 8, 1899.—An application was made to the directors of the Chambers Institution for permission to erect a stand to dry hoses behind the hall of the Institution. It was also resolved that a key of the engine house be kept at the police station and that telephonic communications be established between the police station and Dean of Guild Fairbairn’s house (firemaster).
January 8, 1900.— The space requested behind the institution hall was considered inconvenient for drying hoses and It was suggested that the Corn Exchange could be suitably altered at small cost for the purpose.
October 8, 1900.— Firemaster William Fairbairn tendered his resignation.
November 28, 1900.— Quarter Master SergeantWilliam Forsyth was appointed firemaster.
February 14, 1902.— It was agreed to have the fire engine thoroughly overhauled by Messrs Thomas Wallace & Sons, engineers, Peebles.
July 10, 1902.—It was agreed to ventilate the fire station by cutting out the words “Fire Station” on the door and covering the spaces with perforated zinc.
November 18, 1902.— Councillor Forrester, at a meeting of Council, moved
: “That the Council resolve that in the event of fire the town’s bell, after being rung for two minutes be stopped for one minute and therefore rung for five minutes to intimate in an unmistakable way the existence of a fire to the firemen and the public generally.”
February 9, 1905.— The fire brigades account for the fire at The Glen amounted to £79 18s 7d and included £20 for the use of the engine.
February 27, 1905.— The charge for the fire engine at The Glen was increased to £25.
April 3, 1905. —A letter was read from the insurance company assessors intimating that until reduction was made in the account for the fire brigade services at the fire at The Glen the account could not be passed for payment. The Town Clerk was instructed to reply pointing out (i) that the payment
of the brigade was a matter of contract between the Council and the brigade; (ii) that the Council's claim for the services of the brigade and the use of the engine was against the owner of the property and that the insurance company were not concerned; and (iii) the Council declined to make any reduction in the account.
March 16, 190
5. — A letter was received from the insurance company assessors asking if the charge for cleaning the fire engine after the fire at The Glen could lot be reduced. The Town Clerk was instructed to reply that there could be no reduction for the following reasons (i) the engine, hose and appliances had been sent a distance of 11 miles and this represented a capital value of at least £800 and the charge of £25 for the engine was not excessive; being about 3 per cent of the value of the property sent to The Glen fire (the engine was purchased for £250 it will be remembered); (ii) that there were three jets kept playing from the Peebles engine whereas there were 2 and not always that from the Innerleithen engine whilst the Galashiels engine had never been used; (iii) the hose was dragged about over rough ground and much of it was damaged; (iv) the engine (which is rather an intricate piece of mechanism) was sent in perfect condition and on return had to be overhauled and cleaned.
March 28, 1905.—Letter from the assessors asking for a reduction in the charge for cleaning the engine in The Glen fire account. The Town Clerk was instructed to reply that the Council would agree to the charge being fixed at £4 2s 3d but that only 6s 1d had been charged for refreshments for the firemen while the amount of time and hard work warranted a larger sum
A reply from the assessors intimated that they had advised Sir Charles Tennant that the account was exorbitantly charged.
May 8, 1905. — Letter received from the factor of The Glen enclosing cheques for £64 18s 7d and £20 and stating that the insurance company had objected to the charge of £25 for the engine and that the cheque for £64 18s 7d was their payment. Sir Charles Tennant wished to have the account paid in full, however, and the cheque for £20 was his personal payment.
August, 1905. — Fire brigade charges for Hydropathic fire amounted to £48 15s 9d.
July, 1909.—Firemaster reported on fire at Fever Hospital stating that it was near the end of the water main in Rosetta Road and that there had been insufficient water for the engine. The mill fire brigade from March Street Mills had laid a hose from the mill and were “due great credit for their work.” The report also stated that a ladder had been forgotten
when the brigade had to withdraw and it “perished in the flames."
April, 1912.—Firemaster reported that he had been called by telephone to a fire at the bakehouse of Messrs Wilson & Sime and had at once instructed a runner to call out the rest of the brigade and they were on the scene eight minutes after the alarm was given.
August, 1905.—A claim was submitted from Mr Wallace in respect or an accident to his foot sustained at the Hydro fire an
d enclosing accounts for services of Drs Wilson and Gunn (£3 and loss of wages £11 18s 6d).
March, 1907. —Firemaster was instructed to enquire from Mr Gordon, Commercial Hotel, his charge per hour for his horse to draw the fire engine when required for practice.
November, 1908.—New rules and regulations were drawn up for the fire brigade and these included an order that no liquor was to be accepted when offered by any other person beside the firemaster
. It was also ordered that if a fire occurred in the burgh when the brigade was engaged at a fire in the county, the engine must return immediately when called.
November, 1908.— Mr A. Edgar, plumber, Biggiesknowe, was appointed firemaster.
August 29, 1914.—Firemaster reported that on August 26 at 3.20 p.m. he had been called by the town’s fire alarm bell to a fire at March Street Mills
. "I ran to the fire station and all members of the brigade answered the call promptly. The horses arrived and within 10 minutes we arrived at the seat of the fire . . . Later I sent three men for the barrow and the hydrant hose . . . to prevent the fire spreading .  .. had the fire under control in half-an-hour. Damage was estimated at £1000 and covered by Insurance.”
April, 1917. — Letter was submitted from. James Thomson, Ellerslie, Peebles, stating that because of scarcity of labour he was unable to provide a man and horses for the fire engine in future. The Town Clerk was instructed to contact the Town Councils of Edinburgh and Leith to see if they would send out a motor engine and on what terms.
A letter was received from Edinburgh Town Council agreeing that a contract might be drawn up provided the local authority or proprietor guaranteed expenses, whatever they might be. The engine turnout would cost £30, covering the first three hours, and the average cost thereafter being £4 10s per hour and 1s 6d per hour for every length of hose used. In addition a subscription to the Edinburgh Fire Brigade’s Widows and Orphans Fund would be necessary. The Town Council agreed to the terms.
<PHOTO> Returning via Young Street in the days of horse power. (front view of horse drawn appliance with four firemen on it.)
<PHOTO> In the early days beards were really fashionable. (Eight firemen on a horse drawn appliance.)
(Peebleshire News, 5th February, 1965. Page ?)

There is a photo in the Peebleshire News (don’t know date) of a Dennis F8 with the crew lined up along the side of the appliance with the caption:-
Peebles fire fighting team in 1965. Standing (left to right): Firemen G. Raeburn, J. Robinson, V. Beaumont, W. Banks, D. Ferguson, R. Turnbull and H. Bauchop. Seated: Fireman G. Fairbairn, Leading Fireman R. Fairburn, Sub Officer W. Greenshields, Station Officer G. Fairbairn, Leading Fireman T. Summers, Firemen T. Learmouth and R Wilson.



The South Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Self-propelled Pump 1 Section Leader
  1 Tender and Large Trailer Pump 2 Leading Firemen
    17 Firemen


Establishment 2000





2 Water Tender Ladders

1 Station Officer



1 Sub Officer



2 Leading Firefighters



11 Firefighters


Crew 2008




2 Water Tender Ladder/Emergency Tenders

1 Watch Manager



3 Crew Managers



14 Firefighters


Crew 2010




2 Water Tender Ladder/Emergency Tenders

1 Watch Manager



2 Crew Managers



13 Firefighters



A special committee formed by Peebles County Council to consider the best and most economic way of providing fire protection has reported to the full county council that it cannot solve the problem.
(Fire magazine November 1931.)



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



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