1 Pump Wholetime, 1 Pump Retained.


<1913 Rear of the Police Office
1913 to 1968 3 Overton Crescent, JOHNSTONE.                                Photo
24/1/1968 Kings Road,  Johnstone, PA5 9HW.                              Photo



1912 to 1928 Firemaster James Williamson
1928 to 1936 Firemaster Andrew Brodie
1937 to 1941 Firemaster John Craig
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1960 to 1968+ Station Officer George Boyack
? Rider Station Officers
30/9/2005 Station Manager 'A' Tom Little




  First Retained RRU Control Unit Aerial Ladder Platform
? UHS711        
1949+ GXA752 LHS348L      
1954  GHS975   GXA752      
1962  GHS975  MHS162      
1970 GHS975  UHS711      
1971  GHS350 UHS711      
1974 RHS903M GHS975      
1976 RHS903M RHS536      
1980 HGE914T RHS903M      
1983 LGD631Y RHS903M      
1989 LGD631Y HGE913T RUS225N E818VYS  
1991 H107YUS HGE913T   E818VYS  
1993 H107YUS C432KDS   E818VYS  
1994 H107YUS F184FHS   E818VYS  
1994 M908DDS H107YUS   E818VYS  
1995 M908DDS H107YUS   L726UGA  
1999 M908DDS H107YUS      
2002 P934SGE H107YUS      
2004 J169GUS H107YUS      
2004 SF53POU H107YUS      
2004 SF53POU P942SGE      
2010 Sept SF10EES SF53POU      
2010 SF10EES SF53POU     SA52FKO
2013 May SF10EES SF58ANV     SA52FKO
26/6/2017 SV16NTX SF58ANV     SA52FKO


GXA752 Austin K4/Home Office ECU
GHS350 Dennis F12/Dennis (Wooden Merryweather Ladder) PE
GHS975 Dennis F12/Dennis PE
RHS536 Dennis F26 PE
UHS711 Dennis F26/Dennis WrT
LHS348L Ford D600/Fulton and Wylie HL/FoT
RHS903M Dodge K850/Fulton and Wylie WrL
RUS225N Ford Transit SWB/SFB RRU
HGE913T Dodge K1613/HCB Angus WrL
HGE914T Dodge K1613/HCB Angus WrL
LGD631Y Bedford KG/Fulton and Wylie Fire Warrior WrL
C432KDS Dodge G13 Turbo/Fulton and Wylie Fire Warrior WrL
E818VYS Dodge E08/Scott CU*
F184FHS Scania 82M/Angloco WrL
H107YUS Scania 93M-210/Emergency One WrL
J169GUS Scania 93M-210/Emergency One WrL
L726UGA Scania L93M/Leicester Carriage Builders CU
M908DDS Scania 93M-220/Emergency One WrL
P934SGE Scania 93M-220/Emergency One WrL
P942SGE Scania 93M-220/Emergency One RPL (retro fit)
SA52FKO Scania 114G-340 6x4/Angloco/Bronto 32HDTRL ALP (crewed by Retained)
SF53POU Scania 94D-260/Saxon RPL
SF58ANV Scania P270/JDC RPL
SF10EES Scania P280/JDC/Polybilt RPL
SV16NTX Scania P280/JDC RPL

* Body lying Kerse Nursery outside Kilbirnie and chassis is a lorry in the nursery. Feb 2002.





1913 to 1941 West Renfrewshire Fire Brigade
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 Western Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Strathclyde Fire Brigade
2005 to 2013 Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (Name change only.)
1/4/2013 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Johnstone was Station A3 in the Western Area Fire Brigade.



The Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Whole-time Retained
  1 Self-propelled pump 1 Company Officer  
  1 Pump Escape Section Leaders  
  1 General purpose lorry 2 Leading Firemen 1 Leading Firemen
  1 Stores van (Area) 16 Firemen & Watch Room Attendants 9 Firemen
  1 Light trailer pump *    
  1 large trailer pump (Area reserve)    

* This appliance is for alternative manning only.

Establishment 2000

  Equipment Whole-time Retained
  2 Water Tender Ladders 1 Station Officer 1 Sub Officer
    1 Sub Officer 1 Leading Firefighter
    5 Firefighters 8 Firefighters














Chairman of the Joint Committee



1.             Introductory Remarks by Chairman.
2.             Provost D.F. Blackwood of .Johnstone will extend welcome.
3.             Presentation of Long Service Medals                                                              Chairman of Joint Committee.
4.            Official Opening of Fire Station followed by unveiling of Plaque               
 Mr. Norman F. Buchan, M.P., Under-Secretary of State for Scotland.
5.             Presentation                                                                                                          Station Officer G. Boyack.
6.             Vote of Thanks                                                                                                     Vice-Chairman of Joint Committee.
7.             Demonstration in Yard.
8.             Tour of Station. 


Built by the Western Fire Area Joint Committee to replace the existing Fire Station in Overton Crescent, Johnstone, the site clearance commenced at the end of May, 1966 and the building was completed at the end of November, 1967.
The Station was designed by Messrs. Crawford & Neil, Architects, 29A Union Street, Greenock, and erected at a cost of £127,000. A certain amount of piling was required to ensure a good foundation. The covered wash is a steel beam cantilever type. This is the seventh Fire Station to be opened in this Area since 1964.
It is a three bay Station with the usual office premises, recreation room, dormitories, workshops and garage. Provision has been made for a fourth bay to be used if future needs make this necessary. Heating is by automatic oil fired boilers. Also provided is a traditional hose drying and drill tower, 66 feet in height and a breathing apparatus training building.
The appliances housed are, one Dennis Rolls Royce Pump Escape with a 900 gallons per minute pump and a 50 foot wheeled escape ladder; and one Dennis Rolls Royce Self Propelled Pump. In addition there is one mobile deluge set and one HI-Ex Foam Generator.
The Station establishment is 1 Station Officer (Residential); 4 Sub Officers; 22 Firemen. Attached to the Station are 10 Retained Firemen.
The Station covers the Burgh of Johnston and the Renfrew County districts of Bridge of Weir, Houston, Lochwinnoch, Linwood, Brookfield, Howwood and Elderslie.



Several Works                                      Houston & Young Ltd., Cochrane Street, Barrhead.
Heating Installation             —            James Boyd & Sons Ltd., McDowall Street, Paisley.
Electrical Installation                           James Kilpatrick & Son Ltd., Kelvin House, Paisley. 

Architects                                             Crawford & Neil, 29A Union Street, Greenock.
Quantity Surveyors             —            D.Y. MacDonald & Partners, 43 Hamilton Street, Greenock. 

Firemaster: Joseph Hartil



MP to Open New Fire Station

Mr Norman Buchan. M.P. for West Renfrewshire and Joint Under Secretary of State for Scotland, is to open the new Johnstone Fire Station, at King’s Road on Wednesday, January 24.
(Johnstone Advertiser Friday, January 5, 1968. Page 1.)


Fire Station "Opened Itself"

As Provost Blackwood addressed a distinguished gathering at the opening on Wednesday of Johnstone’s new fire station in Kings Road, the alarm went – and the brigade were out and off in their vehicle within 10 seconds!
The call was to 4 Corseford Avenue, where the firemen discovered the cause of the alarm – a stewpot which had caught fire!
The new station was officially opened by Mr Norman Buchan, M.P. (see story and feature on Page 2)
(Johnstone Advertiser Friday, January 26, 1968. Page 1.)


Fire-fighters, 1968

<PHOTO> Station Officer G. Boyack parades with some of his men in front of the new fire station. (F8?, TL (RHS?), PE(F12?)) 8 Firemen, 1 Leading Fireman, 1 Sub Officer, 1 Station Officer.
Johnstone’s new fire station looks convincingly efficient. A striking modern structure, it owes much of it’s fine appearance to the strictly functional design. The architects, Messrs Crawford & Neil, of Greenock, have produced a building which is both pleasing to the eye and comfortable to work in (no one better deserves good working conditions than the men of the Fire Service).
The construction of the building was in the hands of Messrs Houston & Young Ltd., of Barrhead, as main contractors, and the first class workmanship throughout is matched by the quality of materials used.
The project was started in May, 1966, and work was completed in November, 1967. The total cost was £127,000.
Obtaining a sound foundation presented some difficulties but these were overcome by piling. The main building is of steel beam cantilever construction, and consists of three bays. Provision has been made for a fourth bay should this become necessary in the future.

Clever Layout

In so far as the accommodation for the personnel is concerned, no effort has been spared to make the hours on duty, apart from actual firefighting, as comfortable as possible.
In addition to the usual office premises, workshops and garage, there are excellent shower baths, wash rooms, changing rooms, dormitories, recreation room with full size billiards table and piano, T.V. lounge and canteen.
The layout has been cleverly planned so that on returning from a call, perhaps soaked to the skin and grimy with smoke, the men can leave their machines in the courtyard, enter one door, remove wet clothing, have a shower and wash up, change into dry clothes and emerge to garage their vehicles in comfort. All this in centrally heated quarters provided by an automatic oil fired boiler.

Pole Still There

Traditionalists will be pleased to know that on call the firefighters still slide down the brass pole (now chromium plated) and that there is the customary hose drying and training tower in the courtyard. A newer feature is the breathing apparatus training building.
Appliances at the station consist of a Dennis Rolls Royce pump escape with a 900 gallons per minute pump and a 50ft wheeled escape ladder and one Dennis Rolls Royce self propelled pump. In addition; there is one mobile deluge set and one Hi-Ex foam generator.
The station establishment is 1 station officer (residential), 4 sub officers, 22 firemen and attached to the station are 10 retained firemen who turn out on call.
The station covers the Burgh of Johnstone and the Renfrew County districts of Bridge of Weir, Houston, Lochwinnoch, Linwood, Brookfield, Howwood and Elderslie.

A Proud History

"A little fire is quickly trodden out, which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench altogether." So must have run the minds of the Johnstone town fathers, when they first approached Renfrew County Council regarding a fire brigade for the town. The result of that approach was the setting up of the West Renfrewshire Fire Brigade with the fire station at Thornhill on June, 1913.
The brigade was put under the command of Firemaster James Williamson, who, in a very short time, had a very efficient body of men attending fires and emergencies in the Johnstone area. Firemaster Williamson remained in charge of the brigade until his retiral in 1928.
The Deputy Firemaster, Mr Andrew Brodie, was appointed in Mr Williamson’s place, and served as Firemaster for eight years until he died in 1936. In turn his deputy, Mr John Craig, became Firemaster and remained in this position until the nationalisation of the Fire Services in 1941. Then the West Renfrewshire Brigade was absorbed into the Western Area No. 2 and Firemaster Robert Bowman was appointed Fire Force Commander. Mr Craig became Divisional Officer in charge of Ayrshire.


After de-nationalisation in 1948 the present Western Area Fire Brigade was instituted under the command of Firemaster Bowman. This brigade is responsible for the fire cover of Renfrewshire, Argyllshire, Buteshire and the large burghs of Paisley, Greenock and Port Glasgow.
In 1961 Firemaster Bowman retired and Assistant Firemaster Joseph Hartil was appointed Firemaster.
The present officer in charge at Johnstone Fire Station is Station Officer George Boyack, who was appointed in 1960.

False Alarms

It is interesting to note that in 1913 the brigade had 22 calls. During 1967 it had 339 calls which included 149 fires, 61 chimney fires, 12 grass fires, 61 assisting other units, and, sadly, 101 false alarms, 21 of which were malicious. There were also 15 calls for special services such as freeing persons trapped in accidents, hosing down petrol spillages, etc.
With the new station and all of it’s most up to date equipment maintained at the highest pitch of efficiency the people of the area can be assured that today as in the past the brigade lives up to it’s motto, "Ready, Aye Ready", and that trained and resolute men are mounted on the appliances and on their way to a call within 30 seconds of receiving it.

Fire Engine 1765 Model

<PHOTO> Kilbarchan’s Pump
Built 19 years after the Battle of Culloden Moor, this fire engine is still going strong! One of the earliest horse drawn engines, and originally based at Kilbarchan, the vehicle is housed and cared for at the new Fire Station, Johnstone.
Eight men were required to operate the hand pump, four on each of the two arms, and in its heyday the engine was capable of exerting a hefty flow of water. A length of the original hose is still intact and, after 203 years, almost as watertight as the day it was manufactured.
It is noteworthy that the entire hose system was made of leather. Not in tubular form, but in flat lengths riveted over. The brass couplings of bayonet design were known as the "Glasgow Coupling", and were standard fittings for many years.

Mr Buchan Performs the Opening Ceremony

The clanging of the alarm bell, the roar of the engines and the sound of running feet brought drama to the official opening of the new Johnstone Fire Station as two emergency calls punctuated the proceedings.
After the introductory remarks by Dr. James W. MacFarlane, chairman of the Joint Committee, Provost D. F. Blackwood, of Johnstone, rose to extend a welcome to the distinguished guests. As he was speaking the first alarm was given, and within ten seconds an appliance had left the main bay, where the ceremony was taking place, and was on it’s way.
Mr Norman F. Buchan, M.P., Under Secretary of State for Scotland, performing the opening ceremony, referred to “the station which had opened itself without waiting for the official blessing”.

Hurricane Work

A handsome tribute was paid by Mr Buchan to the brigade for their valuable work on the night of the recent hurricane. Like the miners and the fishermen they were often taken for granted, but when disaster struck their work was fully realised.
Mr Buchan then unveiled a plaque and officially pronounced the station open.
Scarcely had he done so when the second alarm sounded, and two more appliances left the building with lights flashing and warnings sounding. This, however, it was explained, was a drill for the benefit of the guests, but the genuine first call left no doubt as to the stations efficiency.
Station Officer G. Boyack then presented Mr Buchan with a handsome cigarette box, the contents of which the recipient promised to use with great care.
Earlier in proceedings Long Service Medals were presented to Sub Officer Walker, Fireman Lambert and Retained Fireman McClymont.
(Johnstone Advertiser Friday, January 26, 1968. Page 2.)


See also West Renfrewshire Fire Brigade


In 1999 the Command Unit was moved to Springburn to release Control Room staff and also as the establishment for a TL was still at Springburn and this retained them. The Control Unit retained the call sign of C017.


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


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