1 Pump Wholetime, 1 Pump Retained.
|1928||Corrugated Iron Shed Barr Street|
|14/7/1934||Barr Street Photo|
|1957||Montgomery Street, ARDROSSAN, KA22 8HW Photo|
|1995?||Old Barr Street station became West Command Headquarters.|
The separate three bay extension to the station was occupied in October 1957. The drill tower was completed in January 1960. As the appliance bays were on Montgomery Street the address was changed to 32A Montgomery Street in 1962. The premises in Barr Street are still part of the station.
|1928 to 1940||Firemaster Peter Dunn|
|1869||Fire Engine (worked by a hand pump)|
|1928||AG3548||Dennis Motor Fire Engine|
|1934||Leyland Fire Engine|
|GJJ833||Austin K4/Home Office Workshops Wakefield/Barton||PE|
|GLE24||Austin K2/Home Office||ATV|
|GLR453||Austin K2/Home Office||ATV|
|GXM705||Fordson 7V/Tangye/Home Office Wakefield||MP|
|GXH600||Austin K2/Home Office (Ex ATV)||FoT|
|RCS6M||Bedford TK/HCB Angus||WrT|
|GSD401N||Dodge K850/HCB Angus||WrL|
|SGE310R||Dodge K1113/Fulton and Wylie||WrL|
|G792NGD||Volvo FL6-17/Fulton and Wylie||WrL|
|H93YUS||Scania 93M-210/Fulton and Wylie||WrL|
|H94YUS||Scania 93M-210/Fulton and Wylie||WrL|
|H104YUS||Scania 93M-210/Emergency One||WrL|
|K375MYS||Scania G93M-210/Emergency One||WrL|
|N830JSU||Scania 93M-220/Emergency One||WrL|
|P939SGE||Scania 93M-220/Emergency One||WrL|
|P943SGE||Scania 93M-220/Emergency One||RPL (retro fit)|
|SF10GVY||Scania P280/JDC/Poly Bilt||RPL|
|???? to 1941||Ardrossan Fire Brigade|
|1941 to 1948||National Fire Service|
|1948 to 1975||South Western Area Fire Brigade|
|1975 to 2005||Strathclyde Fire Brigade|
|2005||Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (Name change only.)|
The South Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948
|1 Self propelled Pump||1 Company Officer||2 Leading Firemen|
|1 Pump Escape||2 Section Leaders||14 Firemen|
|1 Towing Vehicle||2 Leading Firemen|
|1 Large Trailer pump||16 Firemen and Watchroom Attendants|
|1 Light Trailer pump|
|1 Portable Power Pump|
|1 Salvage Tender|
The South Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1957
|5 Pump Appliances||1 Station Officer||1 Sub Officer|
|1 Other Operational Vehicle||2 Sub Officers||2 Leading Firemen|
|2 Leading Firemen||13 Firemen|
|16 Firemen and Watchroom Attendants|
|2 Water Tender Ladders||4 Station Officers||1 Sub Officer|
|4 Sub Officers||1 Leading Firefighters|
|20 Firefighters||8 Firefighters|
Wholetime Firefighters operate a four watch system. (2 days, 2 nights, 4 off. Red, Blue, Green and White.)
ARDROSSAN'S FIRE STATION
Sir Neil Cochran Patrick Performs Opening Ceremony
On Saturday afternoon the new block of buildings
in Barr Street, Ardrossan, comprising Ardrossan fire station and fireman's houses, were
officially opened. The ceremony, at which Bailie Macknight, convener of the Works
Committee, presided, and which was performed by Sir Neil Cochran-Patrick, convener of the
County Council, took place on a platform placed outside the fire station in Barr Street,
and was attended by a fair number of townspeople. Lady Cochran-Patrick accompanied Sir
Neil, and, besides the civic representatives and their lady guests, there were present:-
Provost Agnew and Councillor Scullion, Kilwinning; Mr James Morrison, Stevenson; Mr Egan
and Mr Lawson, West Kilbride Ratepayer's Association; Mr Anderson , representing the
contractors; and Mr Black of Black and Shapley, Ardrossan, the architects. Provost
Kennedy, Saltcoats, sent an apology for his absence.
Bailie Macknight, in his opening remarks, said the Fire Brigade was inaugurated about six years ago. It was then housed on this present site in a corrugated iron shed lined with wood. Sometime in the fall of last year the Committee considered the question of repairing the shed, but they decided it would be badly spent money to repair it. They got into communication with Mr Black of Black and Shapley, the architects, and between them this was the result. The first spadeful of earth was dug about three days before the New Year, the first tenant entered on 28th May, and the whole building had been completed in practically six months. It was, therefore, evident that they had not been idle. There was a room in the centre of the building to house the fire engine, and in case the district should be extended in any way, the room has been made sufficiently large to accommodate another engine. All the members of the brigade were housed in the building. The firemaster and his deputy had direct connection with the room from inside their houses. When the alarm bell was rung, they just had to slide down a pole and they were in the fire station. The others came down the stair. The houses comprised two of 4-appartments and eight of 3-appartments, with all modern conveniences. They might at some future date have to erect a hose tower on which the hose could be dried independent of the weather. Meantime they had to hang the hose on the pole at the back, and they had to rely on the weather drying it, but sometimes it rained. Time was a great factor in fire fighting operations, and recently when a deputation from Saltcoats Town Council visited the Council Chambers, an example was provided of how speedily the brigade could turn out. Mr Dunn, the firemaster, was sitting in the room, and from the time he went out of the door until the brigade was round at the front of the building was exactly two minutes. He referred to the presence of representatives of Kilwinning Town Council and West Kilbride Ratepayer's Association, and said they had been fortunate in securing the services of Sir Neil Cochran-Patrick, the Convener of the County, to open the new building. The names of Kennedy and Cochran-Patrick required no introduction to an Ayrshire audience. These names were intimately associated with the whole history of Ayrshire as far back as they could read of. And in Sir Neil they had a gentleman who had the interests of the whole county at heart, and whom the King had honoured by conferring on him a knighthood for his services to the county and to the country at large. (Applause)
Sir Neil Cochran-Patrick, in opening the
building, said that when he received the invitation to take part in that ceremony, he
accepted it with great alacrity. For many years he had felt that he owed a debt of
gratitude to Ardrossan, both personal and public. As regards the personal aspect, all
during his life he yearly got a holiday in Arran. The best part of a holiday was the first
step off, and the first step off for a holiday in Arran was to come to Ardrossan.
Therefore, among the best moments of his holiday, were his recollection of his arrival at
and sailing from Ardrossan. Regarding his public debt of gratitude, he would like to say
how much they in the County Council owed to the representatives Ardrossan sent to that
body. Their Provost stood for all that was best in the public life of the county, and for
many years ex-Bailie Hopperton had been convener of one of the most important and most
active committees of the County Council. It was gratifying that this ancient burgh of
theirs which dated back to the thirteenth century, and which had been so closely connected
with the history of Scotland, still retained the public spirit, the foresight and the
energy shown by their forefathers. In no matter could that spirit be better developed than
in the erection of that fire station which he had the great honour of coming there that
day to open. It was the first duty of every individual and of every public body to secure
the safety of the public from the terrible danger of fire. It was the duty, he was afraid,
which many private individuals neglected and which many public bodies were very far behind
in the discharge of. We in Ayrshire were no better in that regard than other counties. But
here in Ardrossan seven years ago they realized the necessity for making proper provision
against fire. They provided a thoroughly equipped fire station, a modern fire engine,
hydrants throughout the town, and the necessary appliances. One thing remained to be done,
and that was to provide a station where the firemen would reside so that they could be
ready on immediate call. Now that had been done. As Convener, he wished to tender to
Ardrossan Town Council the sincere thanks of the Town Council for the foresight, energy,
and ability with which they had carried out that great public duty. In Ayrshire they had
only three fire stations, one at Kilmarnock, one at Ayr, and one at Ardrossan, and the
County Council relied upon those different stations to assist them should fire break out
in country districts. Ardrossan had entered into an arrangement with Saltcoats,
Kilwinning, West Kilbride, and Fairlie to serve them and he had no doubt that outside of
these districts, if the occasion required it, they would also be prepared to give what
help they could. It was better to have a small number of really up to date stations than a
large number of inadequately equipped stations. That was the policy they followed in the
County of Ayr, and he was glad Ardrossan had provided one of these modern stations. He
congratulated the inhabitants and the Town Council of Ardrossan on the great help they had
given the County Council in this respect (Applause)
In declaring the station open, Sir Neil pressed the electric bell at the door and simultaneously a member of the brigade inside the building pulled a lever which caused the front doors of the station to open.
Provost M'Dowall said it was a very great pleasure to have them on that red letter day for Ardrossan Sir Neil and Lady Cochran-Patrick. In his capacity of convener of the County Council Sir Neil took a very real interest in everything pertaining to the progress and well being of the county. He asked for a hearty vote of thanks for Sir Neil. (Applause) On behalf of Ardrossan Town Council he had much pleasure in asking him to accept a silver mounted and inscribed walking stick as a momento of his presence amongst them that day. (Applause)
Sir Neil Cochran-Patrick expressed thanks and said he would treasure that gift among the family heirlooms and would look upon it with many happy recollections of that visit of Lady Cochran-Patrick and himself to Ardrossan. (Applause)
Bailie Macknight said that Black and Shapley, the architects, had given entire satisfaction. The arrangement of the building had been seen by several experts and they said it could not have been improved upon. Mr James Anderson was the building contractor, and the other contractors were:- Joiner, Dugald M'Callum, Saltcoats; slater and rough caster, James Allison & Sons, Ardrossan; plumbers, Larbert and Reid, Ardrossan; painters, James Cance & Sons, Ardrossan; glazier, A M'Phee, Glasgow; electricians, W & A Rogers, Ardrossan. The fire alarm bells were put in by the firemen themselves at the cost of the material. Every house was connected with the alarm.
Mr. James Anderson the building contractor, said it had been really a pleasure to work on that building. They had had every help from the convener. On behalf of the architect and the contractors he expressed thanks to Bailie Macknight and Firemaster Dunn for their valuable assistance, and he asked Bailie Macknight to accept the gift of a chair to remind him of his work in connection with the new fire station, and to comfort him in sitting at his own fireside. (Applause)
Bailie Macknight returned thanks for the unexpected gift, and complimented the contractors on the way they had worked.
Bailie Harvey, in proposing a vote of thanks to Bailie Macknight for presiding, spoke of the great interest the convener had taken in that work and said that that fire station would stand as a memorial to him. The Town Council, he added, were fortunate in having Bailie Macknight as works convener.
Sir Neil and Lady Cochran-Patrick were shown through the station and the houses, expressing themselves as greatly pleased with all they saw. The brigade gave a demonstration turnout, the time occupied between the giving of the alarm and the engine emerging from the station being thirty seconds. Afterwards the party partook of light tea in the Burgh Chambers.
The new buildings, which cost £3,500, consist of
a fire station, capable of accommodating two fire engines, a duty room and office, a
recreation room, two four apartment houses for the firemaster and deputy firemaster, and
eight three apartment houses for the firemen. The fire station is centrally placed in the
building and easy access can be obtained from all the houses to the station. The
firemaster's and deputy's houses are situated directly above the station, and access is
gained to the latter when required by opening a hatch in the floor and sliding down a
pole. All the houses are connected with an alarm bell and the firemaster can summon the
whole of the members of the brigade at once or any individual member separately. The main
doors of the station are automatically opened by the pulling of a cord which can be
operated by the pulling of a cord which can be operated by the driver of the fire engine
when the engine is ready to emerge from the station. The buildings are well equipped in
every way and have a good appearance.
<PHOTO>No title. (Of the station in Barr Street)
<PHOTO> The Platform Party
(Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, July 20,1934. Page 3)
YEAR'S FIRE SERVICE
Ardrossan Firemaster's Annual Report
The report of Firemaster Dunn on the work of Ardrossan Fire Brigade for
the year ended 31st December last shows that the brigade attended 38 fires, 20 more than
during the previous year. The fires attended were:- 14 in Ardrossan, 8 in Saltcoats, 5 in
Kilwinning, 2 in Irvine, 1 in Largs, and 8 in the County.
The fire loss was as follows (the previous year's figures being within parenthesis ):-Ardrossan, £150 (£222) ; Saltcoats, £325 ; Kilwinning, £755 (£30); Irvine, £300; Largs £1300 (£730); County area, £17,350 (£7,000).
The total was £20,180, compared with £7982 for 1937.
Ten calls were received between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and 20 calls between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Fires occurred at:- dwelling houses, 20; farms, 4; shops, 4; hotel, 1; piggery, 1; sawmill, 1; store, 1; open space, 2; outhouses, 3; bus, 1.
Causes of fire were-Electric short circuit, 2; accumulation of soot, 5; heat from domestic fires (igniting flooring and joists), 3; sparks from motor exhaust piping igniting oil, 1; dropped light, 1; igniting domestic fire with paraffin, 1; children playing with lights, 3; sparks from domestic fires, 5; sparks from locomotive, 1; tar boiling over, 1; gas escaping and igniting, 1; not ascertained, 14.
The total distance travelled by the fire engine was 567.6 miles, and the quantity of petrol used, including pumping at fires and drills, etc., was 145 gallons.
How Fires Were Extinguished- Fire engines pumping water from rivers, ponds and ditches, 2; fire engines pumping water from sea, 1; fire engines pumping water from hydrants, 2; using one or more lines of hose from hydrants, 8; first-aid apparatus, 19; extinguished before arrival of Brigade, 6.
The average time for the brigade to turn out, that is from receipt of call until fire engines and crews leave the fire station, including night calls, is 2.5 minutes.
As shown in the Abstract of Accounts for year ended 15th May, 1938, receipts from local authorities- Burgh of Kilwinning- retaining fees, £75; Burgh of Saltcoats- retaining fees, £40; Burgh of Irvine- retaining fees (portion of year), £52; from sundry parties- retaining fees, £101; from sundry parties- expenses of fires, £299; total £568.
The number of fire calls and the losses for the past seven years were:-
The Brigade used 7020 feet of canvas hose at fires, all of which was
thoroughly tested, scrubbed and repaired after use. A great deal of hose was also used at
drills, of which no record has been kept.
Owing to the lack of proper drying facilities, the Brigade experience considerable delay in having in having the hose dried and in service again. The mast which was used for this purpose has had to be discarded owing to serious damage to hose by chaffing.
The personnel of the Brigade is as follows:- Firemaster, deputy firemaster (retained), third officer, 7 retained firemen, 44 Emergency Fire Brigade Volunteers.
Reference is made to the Air Raid Precautions training carried out and the equipment provided.
The Brigade is indebted to the following firms for permitting their employees to attend fires during working hours :- Ardrossan Harbour Coy. per ex-provost Hoppereton; Metallic Engineering Coy. per Mr Moir; C Price & Sons, plumbers; David Galloway, joiner; Western SMT Co. Ltd., per Mr H G Bickers.
The Brigade is on continuous duty 24 hours each day of the year.
(Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1939. Page 7)
ARDROSSAN FIRE BRIGADE'S NEW BUILDING
<PHOTO> of station. By R. V. Brown, The Studio, Saltcoats.
Workmen are putting the finishing touches to a new main building at Ardrossan Fire Station, where for the past few years the quick get-away of the unit's most modern fire engine has been hampered by the design of the old appliance room. The new building is the major part of a modernisation scheme for the station to cost in the region of £15,000. It has two storeys and faces Montgomerie Street, the access to which is provided by a wide carriageway, just completed.
The new appliance room on the ground floor provides ample space for fire engines and auxiliary equipment, and has three bays, at both front and rear. Headroom for the newest fire engine does not present any difficulty, as was the case in the old appliance room in Barr Street. There, the doors were too narrow to allow the vehicle access to Barr Street and when called out, it had to be reversed out of the appliance room into the station yard and then into Kilmahew Street.
With the completion of the new building, however, this awkward manoeuvre is a thing of the past, to be forgotten along with the old outbuilding-an oil store, small appliance room and garage-which were demolished to make room for the scheme of modernisation.
"It's a wonderful benefit," said Mr Watters, the firemaster, on Friday of last week. "In the old building in Kilmahew Street, where appliances were stored, the conditions of storage were detrimental to the life and maintenance of the equipment.
We will find a tremendous difference in the new building."
Work on the project began in May, 1956, when the demolishers moved in on the condemned property in Kilmahew Street. Demolition still goes on at the rear of the station, but once the job is completed there will be an excellent concrete yard, giving much needed "elbow room," for the unit's day-to-day activities such as hose maintenance and vehicle cleaning.
On the second floor of the new building, there are toilets, a kitchen and pantry-the men cook their own food-a dormitory which has sleeping accommodation for eight personnel, a lecture room and recreation room combined, where there is a billiards table, dart board, table tennis equipment and a television set, and a study room where sub-officers and leading firemen can do their paper work on shift.
Including Firemaster Watters, the station has a full time staff of 22 firemen, with 16 part-time firemen attached to the unit. It covers the area from Irvine to Skelmorlie and inland as far as Beith, although there are part-time establishments at various points, in its district.
The unit's main fire engine is one of the most modern in the country. It is only four years old and powered by diesel, is capable of pumping a thousand gallons off water a minute. This appliance is specially designed for fighting fires in towns.
The station expects to receive delivery in 1958 of a new fire engine, which will be particularly useful for dealing with fires in rural areas.
(Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, December 27,1957. Page 5)
ARDROSSAN BURGH 150th ANNIVERSARY BOOK
Published by North Ayrshire Museum 1996
In 1865 the Town Council fitted fire plugs to the new
water main that the Water Company was laying in Glasgow Street. In 1869 they fitted more
plugs and purchased Ardrossan's first fire engine, a Patent Curricle Fire Engine, which
cost seventy three pounds and required twenty two men to manually operate it.
In 1928 a motor fire engine was bought from Dennis Brothers, Guildford and the brigade reorganised under a new Firemaster, Peter Dunn of the Paisley Fire Brigade. The Fire Brigade agreed to cover Kilwinning Burgh at a cost of seventy five pounds per annum in 1930. In 1933 a fire station was built at Barr Street (opened 14 July 1934) to house two fire engines and ten men. Also in this year fire cover was extended to West Kilbride and Fairlie. One year later another fire engine was brought from the Leyland company this time.
In 1940 the Ardrossan and District Fire Board took over fire fighting responsibilities from the council. Its powers extended to the three burghs of Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Kilwinning. Later in this year the Fire Board was annexed by the National Fire Service.
<PHOTO> of fire
One of the worst fires that Ardrossan ever experienced took place at Christie's storage works on 18th December 1911. Fire Engines were called in from Kilmarnock and Glasgow and the heat was so intense that railway tracks next to the works buckled.
(Old Ardrossan by R & M McSherry, Page39)
<PHOTO> of AG3548 and crew (a Dennis motor fire engine)
Ardrossan's first team of full-time firemen, photographed in the grounds of Kilmahew House in 1932. The burgh acquired its first fire engine in 1869, although it was worked by a hand pump and despite having a team of 22 to operate it gave poor water pressure and was too tiring to operate!
(Old Ardrossan by R & M McSherry, Page41)
TIMBER YARD ABLAZE
Big Fire At Ardrossan
The biggest conflagration which Ardrossan has witnessed for many years
occurred on Monday, when a portion of the timber yard of Messrs Wm. Christie & Co.,
Ltd., took fire. The outbreak was first noticed shortly before one o'clock in the
afternoon. Smoke was seen to be issuing from one of the huge piles of sleepers which
occupy a large portion of the yard. A strong south-westerly breeze was blowing, and,
although every effort was made to check the blaze, the wind quickly fanned the fire and in
a very short time it was apparent that serious damage was inevitable. In less than half an
hour the whole pile, about 80 feet high, was ablaze. Strenuous efforts were then made to
save the adjoining piles, but the sleepers are so heavy and the piles were so high that
this was seen to be impracticable. The Harbour fire brigade was meanwhile working
heroically, and ere long the municipal brigade was on the spot. The joint efforts of these
bodies were, however, of little effect, and, the wind continuing to blow freshly, the fire
spread from pile to pile. About two o'clock the heat of the conflagration had become so
intense that the G. & S-W. railway between the town station and the harbour became
unworkable, and in course of time the rails began to buckle and twist. Urgent appeals for
help had been sent to Kilmarnock and Glasgow, and the Kilmarnock motor engine and brigade
responded promptly to the summons. Early in the evening, unfortunately, the motor engine
broke down, and this means of combating the fire was lost. To make matters worse, the
Glasgow engine, which left the city in good time, got stuck in the mud at Montgreenan, so
that only the local brigades were during the greater part of the time carrying on the
conflict with the flames. Excellent work was done by both. The town brigade, in
particular, wrought magnificently, and through their efforts the fire was prevented from
spreading in a northerly direction. The Glasgow engine arrived about one o'clock on
Tuesday morning by which time the worst of the blaze was over. The city firemen set to
work immediately, and with their powerful pumps all danger of the fire spreading still
further was removed. Until midday they poured water on the fire at the rate of 600 gallons
a minute. By that time only a smouldering heap of embers remained of the great
conflagration. At one time, owing to the fury of the blaze and the direction of the wind,
fears were entertained that some of the buildings in the town might take fire, for pieces
of burning timber and multitudes of sparks were blowing over the principal streets.
Valuable assistance was lent by the crew of the Messrs Christie's steamer, the Drumloist,
under Captain Baillie, by the police, and by a number of private individuals. After
darkness set in the spectacle presented by the burning timber-yard was magnificent, and
large crowds of people gathered at various points of vantage to view it. The glare was
visible at a great distance. The people on the east side of Arran saw it distinctly, and
the cause of the unusual illumination was easily surmised. On the whole it was fortunate
that the wind was south-westerly in direction, for had it blown from the east or from the
north a much larger quantity of timber would have been consumed. As it was, the damage,
including that to the railway, which suffered severely, is roughly estimated at a figure
not much under £10,000. Owing to the heat and the destruction of the rails trains could
not pass the scene of the fire, and passengers from the Arran boat had to be conveyed to
the town station by waggonettes.
On Wednesday afternoon the debris was still smouldering over a large area, and it was deemed advisable again to call out the local brigades.
We are informed that when the Glasgow engine stuck through swerving into the roadside ditch and sinking to the axles in mud, the farmers in the neighbourhood did all in their power to lend assistance and to seek more. It was through the efforts of Mr Reid of Dvkeneuk that a relief engine was brought from Glasgow about midnight, with the result that the fire engine was extricated and enabled to proceed on it's way.
(The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald. 22/12/1911.)
This fire occurred on Monday 18th December, 1911.
FIRE ONBOARD WEATHER SHIP
At Ardrossan Harbour
Wireless was used for the first time by Ardrossan Fire Brigade early
last Sunday morning when they were called to an outbreak of fire in the engine room of a
weather ship berthed at Ardrossan harbour. Radio messages concerning the outbreak were
sent to area headquarters at Kilmarnock.
The fire onboard the "Weather Reporter" which arrived at the harbour on Saturday. The officer of the watch, Mr Caldwell, kept the fire under control using extinguishers until the arrival of the firemen, who had to wear breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze.
Damage was caused to wiring installations and the paint on the outside
of a 40 gallon tank containing paraffin was also alight. Using foam extinguishers, the
firemen put out the flames and the danger of the paraffin catching fire was averted.
The "Weather Reporter" (269 tons) is one of four weather ships operated by the Air Ministry. She came to the port after a spell of duty off the Irish coast. Another weather ship, the "Weather Observer", berthed at the harbour on Tuesday.
(Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, January 15, 1960. Page 5)
Ayrshire Streets Directory 1935-1940 Firemaster Mr Dunn.
<PHOTO> means there was a photo in the newspaper article, the photo is not on this site.
If you know of any mistakes in this or have any additional information please let me know.
History of Ardrossan Fire Brigade by George McGratten
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