1 Pump, Retained
|1862||Flesh Market Street, SELKIRK.|
|1915||Water Cart Shed, Burgh Building, SELKIRK.|
|1964?||Back Feus, SELKIRK.|
|23/8/1979||Shawpark Crescent, SELKIRK. Photo|
|1862||Superintendent William Robertson|
|1942||Firemaster W. Thomson|
|? to ?||Sub Officer Hunter|
|? to ?||Sub Officer Muldoon (for 10 years)|
|1979||Sub Officer John Stoddart|
|1980 to 2015||Sub Officer John Munro|
|2015 to 2017||Watch Manager John Beveridge|
|2017 to||Watch Manager Kenny Pearce|
|1862 Jan||Shand Mason Engine||P|
|1913||Steam Engine (ex Edinburgh)||P|
|1926||Leyland Motor Engine||P|
|1998||K960DSC||Scania 93M-250/Emergency One||WrL/ET|
|2004||W644RSC||Scania 94D-260/Emergency One||WET (Changed after RTA)|
|2008||N303FSG||Scania 93M-250/Emergency One||WrL/ET|
|2008||SN05JWP||Scania 94D-260/Emergency One||WrL/ET|
|29/7/2021||SN11EGK||Scania P280/Emergency One||RP|
|1857 to 1941||Selkirk 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|
The South Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948
|1 Tender and Large Trailer Pump||1 Leading Firemen|
1 Water Tender Ladder
1 Sub Officer
1 Leading Firefighter
Selkirk had a call sign of 41 in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to J36, the new National Call Sign on 3/5/2017.
SELKIRK FIRE STATION
The Ancient Burgh of Selkirk was
granted a Royal Charter by King David I, in 1115 and was the capital of Ettrick
Forest where Kings came to hunt. It was here that William The Lion, Alexander I
and Alexander II held court and where William Wallace was acclaimed Protector of
the Realm before the start of the war of Scottish Independence. It was here Sir
Walter Scott, the famous author, held the Office as Sheriff of Selkirk from
1799-1832, dispensing justice from the Court House in the market place.
In more recent times, the main industry of the town has been the manufacture of yarns and tweeds and the products of the Selkirk Mills have always created demand both at home and abroad.
The town has a resident population of approximately 5½ thousand with an estimated growth of 4% over the next ten years. The introduction in recent years of newer industries, such as electronics and leather goods, will add to the future prosperity of the town.
HISTORY OF SELKIRK FIRE BRIGADE
The first record of a Fire Engine being acquired for Selkirk is minuted in the Burgh Records of April, 1857 when ‘The Council agreed to give the ground between Mr. Lawson’s Church and the Flesh Market free of rent for the accommodation of the Engine’. A Fire Engine Committee was formed to obtain subscriptions and by October, 1858, promises of £161.14.6d were received but this was still £40 short of the sum required for an Engine and necessary appendages such as pipes, buckets and ladders. This shortage was brought to the attention of proprietors in the town and vicinity who had not contributed and an approach was made to the various insurance offices doing business in the town. The efforts were, however, unsuccessful and the matter lay dormant for some time.
From a report in the ‘Southern Reporter’ in July 1860, there was a fire at Linglie Farm and its successful extinction was due to the Ettrick being low and some 300 men (from across the river) arriving ‘speedily on the spot’ and forming a bucket chain to the river. Various similar incidents prompted the following comment in the local press in March 1861 — ‘our utter helplessness in the case of fire through the want of a Fire Engine’. This may have led to the re-convening of the Fire Engine Committee in October 1861. Their purpose was to collect the subscriptions made in 1857 and to obtain others. They were successful, the engine being ordered from the establishment of Messrs. Shand and Mason, London, in January 1862 and delivered the following June.
It was proposed to house the engine in a new building in Flesh Market Street but there were objections to this on account of the steep incline and consequent risk of accident in an emergency. Various sites were examined but cost proved to be the deciding factor. Estimates for the ‘accommodation for the Fire Engine’ in Flesh Market Street were between £40 and £50 and eventually the ‘house’ for the engine was built by Messrs. Smith & Rutherford for the sum of £39.10.0d.
The Burgh Magistrates decided that the Brigade should consist of a Superintendent and fifteen men. Annual payments were: Superintendent £1 and Fireman 4/- or 1/- for each practice. Mr. William Robson was appointed as Superintendent with the power to appoint fifteen men.
On Friday, 29th August, 1862, the first practice was carried out at the dam where ‘The engine was set in operation with remarkable promptitude and the members manifested an acquaintance with the workings of the apparatus which was scarcely to be expected in a first turn out’.
The Brigade was thus established and continued with little change for many years. In 1894, the section of the Burgh Police Act 1892 relating to fire, caused the Committee to consider the question ‘should the Council maintain the Fire Brigade and other appurtenances or should The Commissioners of Police take over’, but it was agreed that the Council would maintain control.
Payments for the Brigade’s services in the Burgh were discontinued in 1902 when it was decided to maintain the Brigade out of the rates. Annual payments at that time were: Firemaster £10, Engineer £5, Firemen, 12 practices a year at 2/-.
In 1913, a replacement engine was being considered and it is interesting to note that the Treasurer, Surveyor and Firemaster visited Mr. Pordage, Firemaster of Edinburgh, for his advice. Mr. Pordage advised that a 50 h.p., 500 gallon per minute motor engine would cost £1,400 but as ‘large municipalities’ were dispensing with horse engines, these could be bought second hand for £100-£200. Mr. Pordage was of the opinion that a horse drawn engine would be most suitable for Selkirk as the men could run the engine to most parts without the use of horses.
Subsequently, a horse drawn steam engine was bought from Edinburgh for £120 and arrangements were made with Mutter and Howie for the provision of horses. Incidentally, Shand and Mason bought the old engine for £15
The only change in the premises in the history of Selkirk Fire Brigade was in 1915 when the water cart shed at the Burgh building was converted into a ‘Fire Engine Station’ at a cost of £61.6.5d. The steam engine rendered excellent service until 1926 when, mainly due to the problems of obtaining horses, the station was enlarged and a Leyland Motor Engine was purchased. This arrangement continued until nationalisation of Fire Brigades with the onset of the Second World War. Control of the Brigade passed to the Fire Force Commander, 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 fire fighting 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 Selkirk became part of the South Eastern Fire Brigade in accordance with the Fourth Schedule of the Act. The whole of this area came under the command of Firemaster A. B. Craig until he retired in 1962, being passed to Firemaster F. Rushbrook who subsequently retired in 1970. Since then and up to the present time, the Brigade has been under the command of Firemaster James Anderson. After Regionalisation in 1975, the Brigade changed its name to the Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade, responsible for approximately the same fire area and is under the administration of the present Fire Board.
SELKIRK FIRE STATION
Selkirk Fire Station is sited just off Shawpark Road on the northern outskirts of the town and has for its boundaries Shawpark Road and the right of way from Shawpark Road to Pringle Park and Selkirk Common. The other boundaries are formed by an area of undeveloped land which is zoned for housing.
The station is designed on one floor and has accommodation for one appliance and up to ten personnel on a part-time retained basis and is constructed in brick/block cavity construction finished with Tyrolean render with a simple timber flat roof. The ancillary accommodation is grouped tightly around the appliance bay and this has necessitated the use of rooflights, not only in the muster bay and corridor but in order to adequately light the rear of the appliance bay.
The station is designed to be viewed against the trees in the grounds of Shawpark House which, while softening the lines of the building and tending to reduce its mass, also mask the height of the tower.
As this is not a town centre site, it seemed inappropriate to use hard landscaping and therefore the bank down to Shawpark Road is planted with grass and a number of trees.
The station contains the following accommodation:
Heating is by a low pressure hot water system heated by gas with fan convectors in the muster bay, appliance bay and lecture room to supplement the background heating on training evenings.
(Vulcan magazine Autumn 1979. Pages 13 and 15)
– Article about the Firefighter’s of Selkirk Burn’s Supper in the Fleece Hotel.
The health of Mr W Thomson, Firemaster was proposed by Mr Nicolson, Senior
Company Officer (Galashiels), in a racy manner.
(The Southern Reporter, Thursday, January 29, 1942. Page 4)
– At a meeting of the Selkirk Town Council, on Monday evening, a recommendation
by the Works Committee that the fire station be enlarged to accommodate the new
engine, at an estimated cost of £80, was approved.
(The Southern Reporter, Thursday, June 17, 1926. Page 4)
If you know of any mistakes in this or have any additional information please let me know.
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