43 MELROSE

1 Pump, Retained  CLOSED

Stations

Pre 1900 Water Manager's House
Circa1899 Waverley Hotel Coach House
1900 Fire Store at Mr Soutar's house
1948 Gibson Park, MELROSE.             Photo
17/9/1981 to 31/8/2007 High Street, MELROSE.               Photo

Firemasters

 

Pre 1900 Mr Scott
1900 Firemaster Soutar
2002 Sub Officer Preston
2004 to 31/8/2007 Sub Officer Gordon Blaine

 

Appliances

 

 

Pre 1900   Firefighting Equipment  
1901   Shand Mason Engine  
1936   1910 Halley Fire Engine ex Edinburgh P
1940   Dennis Light 4 P
1990 LSF402T Dodge G1313/HCB Angus WrL
1998 K962DSC Scania 93M-250/Emergency One WrL/ET
2004 Y691BSX Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET

 

Brigades

 

1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 South Eastern Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade
2005 to 2007 Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service

 

Notes

 

In the Integrated Risk Management Plan 2005/2010 Melrose Fire Station is to close as it is very close to the wholetime station at Galashiels. (May 2006).

Melrose station to close 31 August 2007.

 

The South Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Self-propelled Pump 1 Leading Firemen
    9 Firemen

 

Establishment 2000

 

Equipment

Retained

 

1 Water Tender Ladder

1 Sub Officer

 

 

1 Leading Firefighter

8 Firefighters

 

 

Lothian and Borders Fire Board

 

NEW FIRE STATION, MELROSE
*******************************

 

OFFICIAL OPENING

BY

SIMON TURNEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC SERVICES
AND FIRE BRIGADE COMMITTEE OF THE GREATER LONDON COUNCIL 

ON 

THURSDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER, 1981, AT 10.45 A.M.

 

 

ORDER OF PROCEEDINGS 

RECEPTION AND TOUR OF STATION 

FIREMASTER W M G KERR WILL WELCOME MR TURNEY
AND INVITE HIM TO OPEN THE STATION

MR TURNEY OPENS STATION 

DEDICATION BY THE REVEREND R J HENDERSON 

PRESENTATION TO MR TURNEY BY COUNCILLOR J COOK
CHAIRMAN, THE LOTHIAN AND BORDERS FIRE BOARD 

DEMONSTRATION OF DRILLS BY MEMBERS OF THE MELROSE UNIT 

REFRESHMENT

 

THE LOTHIAN AND BORDERS FIRE BOARD 

CHAIRMAN                                                         Councillor James S Cook
                                                                                Lothian Regional Council
CHIEF EXECUTIVE                                             R G E Peggie, A.C.C.A., F.B.C.S.
CLERK TO THE BOARD                   
               A L McNicoll, M.A., LL.B., S.S.C.,
                                                                                Director of Administration
                                                                                Lothian Regional Council
TREASURER TO THE BOARD                         B Grosset, C.A.
                                                                                Director of Finance
                                                                                Lothian Regional Council 

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD 

LOTHIAN REGIONAL COUNCIL                    Councillor Peter Boyes
                                                                                Councillor James Cook
                                                                                Councillor Charles D Cowan
                                                                                Councillor Michael Docherty
                                                                                Councillor William Drummond
                                                                                Councillor William Hardie
                                                                                Councillor Mrs Phyllis Herriot
                                                                                Councillor George F McNeill
                                                                                Councillor John P Mulvey
                                                                                Councillor James Nisbet
                                                                                Councillor Mrs Marjorie Noble
                                                                                Councillor Paul W Nolan
                                                                                Councillor Mrs Jess Rogan
                                                                                Councillor George Theurer 

BORDERS REGIONAL COUNCIL
                                                                                Councillor Joseph P Boyle
                                                                                Councillor George Craig
                                                                                Councillor William Douglas
                                                                                Councillor William Wilson

PARTICULARS OF MELROSE FIREMEN 

Sub Officer C H Brown                        Age 53   Engineering Craftsman        Borders Health Board
Leading Fireman G A Little
                Age 48   Joiner                                     Thomas Brown & Sons
Fireman J D Aitken                              Age 42   Bodyshop Foreman             W & J P Hardie
Fireman J M Bell                                   Age 28   Planner Estimator                 Borders Health Board
Fireman G C Blain                
                Age 23   Joiner                                     J S Crawford (Contract Borders) Ltd
Fireman W K Brydon                          Age 39   Photomec Operator              Exacta Circuits Ltd
Fireman J B Downie                             Age 34   Storeman                               W & J P Hardie
Fireman F Preston                                Age 33   Plumber                                  (Self Employed)
Fireman A Burrell                
                Age 35   Superintendent                     Borders Regional Council

HISTORY OF MELROSE FIRE BRIGADE 

From the Melrose Town Council records, prior to the turn of the century, fire fighting equipment was stored at Mr Scott, the Water Manager’s house. It is recorded that from the time he was alerted, Mr Scott could have “water playing on a fire in 7 minutes, if the fire was in Melrose Market Square”.
About 1899, the equipment was resited at the Waverley Hotel Coach House (at a cost of £4 per annum). However, consideration was being given to purchasing a “fire engine” as enquiry had been made when Hawick had an engine for sale in 1897. This had not been followed through, but in January 1900 it was proposed to form a Brigade of 10 men equipped as follows:—
                10 Helmets                             (£8.15.0)
                Waist Belts and Axes          (£6.14.0)
                Barrow                                   (£8.13.0)
                Ladders                                  (£5. 4.0) 

and that Mr Soutar (Firemaster) provide accommodation at his house for a fire store at a rent of £3 per annum. 

This proposal was carried out and on 13 February 1900 the following men were selected: —
                Charles Jardine                     J Ramsey
                William Cochrane
                J H Lawrie
                R Murray                               J Gillie
                George Brown                       Tom Shiels
                Alexander Brown                 J McGregor 

So a Brigade was formed. Later in the year, Mr Soutar visited Edinburgh to confer with the Edinburgh Firemaster, and in August 1901 the Melrose Fire Brigade Rules were printed.
Before the end of’ 1901, the Firemaster had started a fund with the object of collecting £100 for the purchase of a fire engine. By March 1902, subscriptions had reached £74. 9. 0 and the Town Council agreed to make this sum up to £120 which was the cost of a new Shand Mason Engine.
Following this, various sites for an Engine House were considered and, by October, agreement was reached to allow the Fire Brigade House to be built in Gibson Park.
The fire engine must have been a heavy model, as at various times difficulty was experienced in obtaining reliable means for pulling it. Horses were used, but in 1914 a contract was made with a Mrs Hamilton that the engine would be drawn by her “large motor car instead of by horses, owing to the heavy strain on the horses”.
A review of the Brigade arrangements was prompted by a fire in November 1919, which almost totally destroyed the Abbey School for Girls, Gardonlee, Ormiston Terrace, due to the water supply being “most inadequate”. All the equipment was tested by Edinburgh Fire Brigade, at a cost of £l6. l5. 0 and the method of calling out the Brigade considered. The result was that new equipment and a “Hooter”, to summon the Brigade, were bought.
Over the years, additional equipment was obtained, rules revised and one particular point of interest was a Mutual Assistance Agreement made with Galashiels in 1928. The next change of importance was in 1936 when a 1910 Halley Fire Engine was bought from Edinburgh for £100. The imminence of War in 1939 brought an Auxiliary Pump onto the scene, it being housed in the Stables at Buccleuch House. Then in 1940 a Dennis Light 4 engine was bought. Thereafter the creation of the National Fire Service brought Melrose into the South East Area and the prefab next to the Station was erected in 1942.
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 Local Authorities.
Under this Act, Scotland was divided into eleven Fire Areas and Melrose 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; it then passed to Firemaster F Rushbrook who subsequently retired in 1970, and then onto Firemaster J Anderson who retired early in 1980. Since then, the Brigade has been under the command of Firemaster W M G Kerr.
After regionalisation in 1975, the Brigade changed its name to The Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade, responsible for approximately the same area, and is under the administration of the present Fire Board.

MELROSE FIRE STATION 

Melrose Fire Station is sited on High Street, next door to the Police Station and opposite the Greenyards. The site is long and narrow and the drill yard is situated behind the building, retaining as its boundary the lower part of the stone walls of the industrial building which formerly occupied the site.
The Station, because of the restricted site width, is designed on two floors, and has accommodation for one appliance and up to 10 personnel on a Part Time Retained basis.
The building has been kept domestic in scale and is finished in traditional materials: slate, lead and rendering. 

The Station contains the following accommodation:—
                On the Ground Floor:          Appliance Bay
                                                                Muster/Locker Bay
                                                                Workshop
                                                                Dirty Area
                                                                Drying Room
                                                                Male and Female Washrooms and Toilets
                                                                Watchroom
                                                                Switchroom
                On the Upper Floor:             Lecture Room
                                                                Kitchen 

Heating is by electric convectors and water heating is instantaneous. Particular attention has been paid to designing a heating control system to ensure that heating is only provided at the times it is actually needed. 

 

ARCHITECT                                         Lothian Regional Council                   Department of Architectural Services
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER                Lothian Regional Council                   Department of Architectural Services
QUANTITY SURVEYOR    Lothian Regional Council                   Department of Architectural Services
SERVICES ENGINEER                         Lothian Regional Council                   Department of Architectural Services
MAIN CONTRACTOR                                       R & J Grieve Limited (Maxton) 

SUB CONTRACTORS
STRUCTURAL STEEL                                       Readman Engineering                                         Earlston
SLATE ROOFING                                               W F Hollands                                                       Earlston
CARPENTRY & JOINERY                 
               Thos Brown & Sons                                            Melrose
PLUMBING                                                          J W G Miller & Company                                    Earlston
ELECTRICAL                                                       Lawrie Contracts Limited                                    St Boswells
INTERNAL PLASTERWORK                           Halliday Brothers                                                 Earlston
EXTERNAL RENDERING                 
                Halliday Brothers                                                 Earlston
CERAMIC TILING                                               Halliday Brothers                                                 Earlston
COATED MACADAM SURFACING              Kings & Company Contracting                         Earlston
GLAZING                                                              J W Hay                 `                                               Hawick
PAINTING & DECORATING                            B.C.S. Limited                                                       Galashiels 

The next page has elevations and plans of the station and the last page shows Melrose Station’s Area.

 

Station Shutdown

<Photo> Watch Manager Gordon Blain, right, closes the door for the final time with fellow-firefighters, Steve Callow and Sandy Fairbairn.
There were tears and a lump in the throat as Melrose Fire Station was consigned to the history books recently. Gordon Blain, Watch Manager, pulled down the door for the last time. And, after more than 28 years as a retained firefighter, he admitted that he was gutted. Lothian & Borders Fire Board agreed in March of last year to close the station as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Two of the remaining six crew, David Brown and Neil Redhead, are transferring to Galashiels while the others handed back their fire suits and bleepers to the Brigade. “I will miss it,” said Gordon. “It has been a huge part of my life for many years. You give up so much, but my family will be able to see more of me now. “It is very sad. I will miss the training nights, the exercises and so on. I took my bleeper with me everywhere, even to Benidorm on holiday. “It was just one thing you did and put it in your pocket.” Gordon, a self-employed joiner, thanked the Border Telegraph for supporting the campaign to save the station. “You gave us great support,” said firefighter Sandy Fairbairn, who will now go back to full-time to running the Spar shop in Melrose. And, pointing to the ‘Save Our Fire Station’ banner added: “We will need to change it to ‘closed’.” Local councillor Nicholas Watson, said: “It is tragic that the enormous work made by the volunteers is not recognised. “I just wonder if the Fire Brigade properly considered the expansion of housing that the Borders is expecting in the next few years. “The roads are also getting busier and it is becoming more difficult for the fire service to get to incidents quickly.” Councillor Watson is writing to the Brigade to ask members not to dispose of the building yet to see how ‘things pan out in the future.’ There has been a fire station in Melrose for over 150 years and the current station opened in 1981. A campaign to save the station was orchestrated in the town, and the Telegraph ran it own campaign – but to no avail. “Now we have only the memories,” added Gordon.
(Border Telegraph Newsroom, Wednesday, August 29, 2007.)

 

 

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

 

 

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