MIDLOTHIAN COUNTY COUNCIL FIRE BRIGADE
1938 to 1941
The 1938 Fire Brigades Act required the provision of a Fire Service by local authorities for the first time.
Midlothian's larger towns formed their own Brigades including Musselburgh and Penicuik as I suspect did Dalkeith, Loanhead and Bonnyrigg and Lasswade.
This left a large mainly rural hinterland for the County Council to protect both East and West of the Pentlands and stretching as far South as Stow.
To meet its responsibilities MCC set up two retained Fire Stations and a number of local fire parties.
Newtongrange and West Calder
A Trailer pump and a Ford V8 van to tow it were acquired for each town, premises were leased to house them and a crew recruited for whom basic training was arranged with Edinburgh Corporation.
Also retained and equipped with Hand appliances were provided for Fire Parties in each of the following locations :-
Stow, Pathhead, Inveresk, Ratho, East Calder, Balerno
Just what this involved in personnel and equipment is not clear.
There is no information on mobilising etc but I suppose the County Police would have been required to assist here.
Auxillary Fire Service
Separately an AFS was established with volunteers initially to whom government issue Trailer Pumps were supplied but no towing facilities at the following villages.
Currie, East Calder, Mid Calder and Pumpherston, West Calder and Mossend, Newtongrange and Easthouses, Gorebridge, Roslin, Wallyford.
It is interesting to note that West Calder is the only one of all the villages listed that houses a present day Fire Station. I t would appear that MCC would not fund the continuation of the unit at Newtongrange and possibly others on the creation of the South Eastern Fire Brigade in 1948 despite their continuation by the National Fire Service after 1945. Indeed 4 stations in both Mid and East Lothian closed on 15May 1948 . The view that cover was adequate without these units was proven wrong when the retained elements of both Dalkeith and Musselburgh stations effectively ceased in the mid 1950s due to recruitment problems although not offically wound up until the 1970s. Sadly no attempt has been made to create new stations at any of these villages.
(Notes by Dave Mitchell) .