P02 HAMILTON

2 Rescue Pump Ladders, 1 Technical Support Unit, 1 Fire Investigation Unit, Wholetime.

Stations

? to 1931 Duke Street
1931 to ? County Police Building,  Beckford Street
6/8/1955 to Bothwell Road,  Hamilton,  ML3 0EA                                        Photos
? to ? Temporary station in back yard during renovation                 Photo

 

Firemasters

? to 1917 Firemaster Purdie
1917 to 1922 Firemaster Smith
1922 to 1931 Firemaster Eccleston
1931 to 1941 County of Lanark Firemasters
1948 to 1975 Lanarkshire Firemasters
1975 to Strathclyde Firemasters

 

Appliances

1748 First fire engine for Burgh of Hamilton purchased 10/9/1748.

 

  First Second Aerial CU TSU FIU
1976 EVA386K EVA387K 1BVA & MVA133F   TGE968G  
1980 UDS728R UDS729R 1BVA BGG944B KYS916V  
1983 UGA398W UGA399W PGA310V RUS225W KYS916V  
1989 C431KDS C434KDS PGA310V   KYS916V  
1990 C431KDS C434KDS PGA310V   F898KYS F118HHS
1993 J165GUS J166GUS        
1996 N828JSU N827JSU A834WGG      
1998 N828JSU N827JSU R123JDS     F268WCS
1999 S266TSU N827JSU S835JGB     F268WCS
2001 S266TSU N827JSU S835JGB     X486RNS
2002 SG02UKF SG02XLU S835JGB     X486RNS
2007 SF05DHV SG02UKF       X486RNS
2007 SG02UKF N835JSU       X486RNS
2007 SF53PNE SG02UKF       X486RNS
2008 SF53PNE SG02UKF       SF07AKO
2008 SF53PNE SF58ANU       SF07AKO
2009 SF58ANU SF53PNE     R248JGB SF07AKO
2010 11th Aug SF58ANU SF10EHT     R284JGB SF07AKO
19/12/2011 SF58ANU SF10EHT     SG10CKF SF07AKO
2013 SF13GXU SF10EHT     SG10CKF  
2016 March SF13GXU SL64MDX     SG10CKF  

 

1BVA AEC/Merryweather TL
BGG944B Austin FGK 60 CU
MVA133F ERF/Simon SS85/LFB HP
TGE968G Bedford/Bennett Dem Unit
EVA386K Dennis F48 WrL
EVA387K Dennis F48 WrL
UDS728R Dennis R/Dennis WrL
UDS729R Dennis R/Dennis WrL
RUS225W Fiat CU
UGA398W Bedford KG/HCB Angus CSV/Fulton & Wylie WrL
UGA399W Bedford KG/HCB Angus CSV/Fulton & Wylie WrL
KYS916V Fiat TSU
PGA310V Shelvoke & Drury WY/Fulton & Wylie/Pierreville TL
A834WGG Shelvoke & Drury WY/Saxon/Simon SS263 HP
C431KDS Dodge G13/Fulton & Wylie WrL
C434KDS Dodge G13/Fulton & Wylie WrL
F118HHS Land Rover Defender 110 FIU
F268WCS Ford Transit/SFB FIU
F898KYS Mercedes 814D/Scott TSU
J165GUS Scania 93M-210/Emergency One WrL
J166GUS Scania 93M-210/Emergency One WrL
N827JSU Scania 93M-220/Emergency One WrL
N828JSU Scania 93M-220/Emergency One WrL
N835JSU Scania 93M-220/Emergency One RPL (Retro fit)
R248JGB Scania 94D-220/Fleming & Taylor TSU
S266TSU Scania 94D-220/Emergency One WrL
S835JGB Volvo FL10/GB Fire/Simon SS263 HP (Re-registered from R123JDS)
X486RNS Ford Transit FIU
SG02UKF Scania 94D-260/Emergency One RP
SG02XLU Scania 94D-260/Emergency One RP
SF05DHV Scania 94D-300/Saxon/Vema ARP (overturned, write off)
SF53PNE Scania 94D-260/Saxon RPL
SF07AKO Mercedes 816D/Cebotec IRIS
SF58ANU Scania P270/JDC RPL
SF10EHT Scania P280/JDC/Polybilt RPL
SG10CKF Mercedes EPU
SF13GXU Scania P280/JDC RPL
SL64MDX Scania P280/JDC (Euro 6 engine) RPL

 

Notes

? to 1931 Hamilton Burgh Fire Brigade
1931 Lanarkshire County Fire Brigade
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 Lanarkshire Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Strathclyde Fire Brigade
2005 Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (Name change only.)

 

The Lanarkshire Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

                                                                        Equipment                                             Wholetime                                                   Volunteer

                                                                        1 Self propelled Pump                          1 Company Officer                                     10 Firemen
                                                                        1 Turntable Ladder                              2 Section Leaders
                                                                        1 Water Tender                                    4 Leading Firemen
                                                                        1 Large Trailer Pump                            24 Firemen and Watchroom Attendants

 

 

Establishment 2000

                                                                        Equipment                                                                                                                 Wholetime

                                                                        2 Water Tender Ladders                                                                                         4 Station Officers
                                                                        1 Hydraulic Platform                                                                                                4 Sub Officers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Leading Firemen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            48 Firefighters

The Wholetime establishment are split over four watches (Red, Blue, Green and White) 1 Station Officer, 1 Sub Officers, 3 Leading Firefighters and 12 Firefighters working 2 days, 2 nights and 4 days off. Water Tenders are normally manned 5 and 4. The HP is manned by a crew of 2.

 

Establishment 2009

 

Equipment

Wholetime

 

2 Rescue Pump Ladders

4 Watch Commanders

 

1 Technical Support Unit

8 Crew Commanders

 

 

44 Firefighters

The Wholetime establishment are split over four watches (Red, Blue, Green and White) 1 Watch Commander, 2 Crew Commanders and 11 Firefighters working 2 days, 2 nights and 4 days off. Rescue Pumps are normally manned 5 and 4. The TSU is dual manned by the OIC and driver of the second machine.

8/1/2009 although they have been running a spare RPL in place of an ARP for quite some time they are now officially running 2 RPLs.

19/1/2009 The TSU has been transferred to Hamilton from Govan and it will be run Dual crewed with the second appliance. The OIC and driver will go to incidents in the TSU, the pump will not follow as a support pump.

 

Hamilton Burgh Fire Brigade disbanded and taken over by Lanarkshire County Fire Brigade 14/5/1931.(Hamilton advertiser 16/5/1931 Page 6)
Lanarkshire Fire Brigade inauguration at Hamilton Place. (Hamilton Advertiser 21/1/1911 Page 4) (Stother's Glasgow & Lanarkshire Annual 1911-12)
First fire engine for Burgh of Hamilton purchased 10/9/1748.

 

HAMILT0N BURGH FIRE BRIGADE 

Hamilton became a Burgh in 1701, but did not consider purchasing a Manual Fire Engine until August, 1873. According to the Town Council Minutes the engine cost £140, and was delivered, during December, 1873. The Manual Engine was in commission until it was replaced by a Motor Fire Engine in September, 1915. The Manual Engine was drawn by a pair of horses which were on hire whenever a fire occurred.
Little reference is made in the early Minutes to the Brigade and although there was a Part time Firemaster, and Part time Firemen, no names can be found. The first mention of a Firemaster which can be found is Mr. Purdie, who is mentioned in a return by Firemaster Eccleston, the last Firemaster of the Burgh. Mr. Purdie was also the Master of Works of the Burgh. The return was made by Firemaster Eccleston in 1931, which shows that Firemaster Purdie was Firemaster in 1916.
The average number of fires the Fire Brigade turned out to for several years amounted to two per month. It is of interest to note that on the first occasion the Brigade attended a fire in Strathaven, outwith the Burgh boundary, the occupier of the premises was charged £5.
In quotations from the Minutes of the Town Council at a February, 1890, Meeting, reference was made to the re-organising of the Fire Brigade and an inspection of the Fire Engine and hose was to be carried out.
At a Street Committee Meeting on the 2nd July, 1901, the Minutes state that members of the Brigade had to turn out for practice at least fourteen times per year for which they would be paid two shillings per practice. The Committee had already had a surprise turn out of the Brigade which appears to have been successful, as the first branch was in action eight minutes after arrival.
On the 4th April, 1903, the Town Council decided to form a General Purpose Committee, part of its reference was the Fire Brigade. This Committee from hence on met once per month unless for Extraordinary Meetings for Fire Brigade purposes.
At the Meeting it was decided to purchase a Ladder Carriage and six ten foot ladders. This decision necessitated the hire of an additional pair of horses. Negotiations with the various Coach Hires resulted in the following: -
Pair of horses to cost 5/- per first hour and 4/- for successive hours, plus 2/- per hour for driver.
On the 29th January, 1907, it was decided that the Brigade establishment should be one Firemaster/Part-time; twelve Burgh employees and eight Tradesmen. The Firemaster to receive £1:1/- for each fire and the men a Retaining Fee of £2 per year, plus a turn out fee of 5/- per first hour and 1/- per hour thereafter.
(It could have been the result of this Meeting that Firemaster Purdie was appointed).
A further Minute entry at this Meeting was that members of the Brigade should be housed as close as possible to the Fire Engine House.
At the next Meeting the Committee summoned all members of the Brigade to the Council Chambers to ascertain how many men would be willing to change houses. Only five agreed to move to Portland Place and did so during June, 1908. Fire bells were installed in the houses of the five men, but not in the houses of the men who had elected not to move.
On the 5th January, 1909, the Committee received an offer for a Motor Fire Engine at a cost of £750. A letter was also read from the Firemaster that the Glasgow Corporation was willing to sell the Burgh a Steam Fire Engine for £200. The Firemaster also stated that the present Fire Engine was sufficient for the Burgh as the pressure in the water mains was good.
The Committee agreed that neither offers were acceptable and that the Firemaster’s suggestion should be adopted.
Letters between the Town Clerks of Hamilton, Wishaw, Motherwell and the County Council of Lanark resulted in a Conference being held at Motherwell, when representatives from the Burghs and the County were in attendance.
The subject under discussion was to find if the County Council would take over responsibility for fire cover for each of the three Burghs.
No decision was made at this Meeting.
The subject again is referred to at a General Purpose Meeting of the 4th January, 1910. Again the decision was that the Brigade for Hamilton was sufficient.
The year 1911 saw the G.P. Committee turning their attention to Fire Prevention. The Committee granted themselves the power to compel Hotel Keepers to provide proper Fire Alarms and to ensure each Hotel had adequate Means of Escape. All Lodging Houses had to erect an external fire escape from upper floors.
The above decision resulted in the co-operation of the Firemaster/Master of Works, and the Town Surveyor, for a number of years to come.
As the town increased in size and population, the Town Council at a meeting on the 7th January, 1913, moved that negotiations with the County Council and Glasgow Corporation should be opened upon the use of either of those Authorities to provide a Fire Detachment to large fires within the Burgh.
The following month a reply had been received from the County Clerk of Lanarkshire and the Chief Constable of Lanarkshire, Captain Despard, that the County was favourably disposed for the use of the
County Fire Brigade within the Burgh, if the terms could be agreed upon.
The Town Clerk was instructed to make a temporary arrangement for calling the County Brigade in an emergency and to give a standing guarantee for the payment of expenses when the County was called by either the Firemaster or the Chief Constable of the Burgh.
The Committee favoured that negotiations should be re-opened, with the Burghs of Wishaw and Motherwell as to forming a Joint Fire Brigade with a possible site for a Fire Station in Motherwell.
At a Conference on the 4th March, 1913, of the representatives from Hamilton, Wishaw, Motherwell and the County Council held again at Motherwell, the subject being to hear the terms by which the County Council required for the use of their Brigade within the three Burghs.
The terms proposed were that it was expected that the three Burghs would levy a rate equal to that of the County to meet their proportion of the expenses in providing a Brigade on first call and any balance, after paying for the local equipment would be handed over to the County Council.
No decision was agreed upon.
At a Meeting in April, 1913 of the General Purpose Committee, it was reported that representatives from Hamilton, Wishaw and Motherwell had attended a Meeting in Glasgow with Mr. Waddell, the Firemaster of Glasgow. The Corporation was to submit the terms for the services of the Glasgow Brigade within any of the three Burghs.
Negotiations continued throughout 1913, with both Glasgow and the County.
Glasgow finally decided on the following terms:-
                                                Home in one hour                                Detained 2 hours
                Hamilton                £11:  3: 9d.                                             £20: 7: 11d.
                Motherwell            £12:  1: 3d.                                             £21: 5:   5d.
                Wishaw                 £12: l8: 9d.                                             £22: 2:    -d. 

The representatives of the three Burghs decided to accept the above terms. Thus Glasgow for the first time was on call for assistance to the Burghs of Hamilton, Motherwell and Wishaw.
No record can be found in the Hamilton Minutes that the Glasgow Brigade attended any calls to Hamilton. It is known that at least twice they were called to Motherwell.
On the 3rd. December, 1913, there was a Joint Conference of the three Burghs to consider the following alternatives for providing fire-cover.
SCHEME 1:
Each Burgh to provide a local Fire Brigade to deal with small fires – and an arrangement to be made with the Glasgow Fire Brigade, or with the County Fire Brigade, whereby any of the Burghs could call on the services either of the Brigades on payment of a sum equivalent to twice the actual cost of the Brigades attending each fire.
SCHEME 2:
The three Burghs to combine to provide a thoroughly equipped Fire Brigade with a Motor Fire Engine and to provide a Fire Station House at Motherwell.
The cost of the scheme, including the cost of the local Fire Engines to be estimated at £912.
SCHEME 3:
The local Fire Brigade of each Burgh would be maintained and an arrangement come to with the County Council Fire Brigade would be available within the Burghs. The terms suggested being that each of the Burghs should pay the County Council a sum equivalent to the rate, leviable in the County, for the time being for Fire Brigade purposes, yielded if levied within the Burghs subject to the actual cost of maintaining the local Fire Brigade.
Again no decision was arrived at.
At a later Meeting of the G.P. Committee it was decided that the Meeting was favourably disposed that the Town Council should establish a fully equipped Fire Brigade for Hamilton Burgh and to remit to the Council the above proposal, plus the cost of erecting a Fire Station on a suitable site.
At a meeting of the G.P. Committee during February, 1914, it was decided that a visit would be made to Coatbridge where the local Brigade had a Motor Fire Engine and a Fire Station.
The result of this visitation, at a Meeting on the 1st July, 1914, the estimated cost of purchasing a Motor Fire Engine was to hand. 

COST OF ENGINE TO BE £1,100

Annual Charges:
                Repayment of loan over 15 years                                      £  80
                Chauffeur at £2 per week                                                    £104
                Uniform £12 per year                                                           £  12
                Maintenance                         ...                                             £  40
                Insurance                                                                              £  15
                10 Men’s Retaining Fees £3 per year                               £  30
                Other items                                                                            £  70
                                                                                                                £351 

No decision could be agreed upon.
When finally the County Council forwarded their latest terms it was found that part of the terms included the payment of £20 – PLUS twice the actual cost of attending fires.
The Glasgow terms did not include the figure of £20.
The Town Council called a Conference of the three Burghs to consider this offer from the County Council.
The representatives of Hamilton and Motherwell rejected the terms. Wishaw voted in favour of them in respect that they had already a separate meeting with the County Council who had expressed their desire to erect a Fire Station in Wishaw.
During the month of June, 1914, the County Fire Brigade with the Hamilton Fire Engine did attend two fires within the Burgh. At the New Cross, the hose of both Engines had been deliberately cut. The County submitted the cost of the hose which the Town Council honoured.
By the 1st September, the Committee had visited Glasgow and Edinburgh to inspect the Fire Engines of both cities and to obtain the possible cost of a Motor Fire Engine.
Quotations were asked for from several firms making Fire Engines. The most acceptable was from Dennis Brothers of Guildford. The appliance was a Dennis Motor Fire Engine, 60 BNP, and capable of delivering 400 GPM. The cost of the Engine was £965.
The Engine on delivery would be housed at the Police Station.
Advertisements were placed in the papers for a mechanic to act as Superintendent of the Brigade under the Firemaster. The wage of the Post to be £2 per week.
From the applicants for the position, the Committee, on the 2nd March, 1915, chose Mr. John Smith, who had been a member of the East Renfrewshire Fire Brigade since 1911.
Mr. Smith accepted the post and. took up residence in Hamilton on the 6th April, 1915.
The Committee decided at a Meeting on the 26th April, 1915, that the Brigade would be reorganized and that the establishment would now consist of:-
1 Firemaster
1 Superintendent
3 Full time Men - who would be Cartwright Joiners and possibly a Blacksmith.
4 Part time Men who would be Tradesmen.

The Committee received word from Dennis Brothers that the Fire Engine was being delivered by road. Mr. Smith was sent to Carlisle to meet the appliance and to test it on the way up to Hamilton. The engine arrived in Hamilton at the end of September, 1915.
The average number of fires within the Burgh was now up to six per month, so the Engine was soon in action after it had received pump tests on its arrival.
Mr. Purdie resigned from his appointment as Firemaster on the 9th January, 1917, but continued to serve the Burgh as Master of Works. Superintendent Smith was promoted to Firemaster in his place.
On the 3rd April, 1918, the Convenor reported to the Committee that the Manual Fire Engine and Hose had been sold.
The services of the Brigade was not confined to the Burgh but did attend fires outwith the Burgh. This led the Committee to draw up charges for the attendance of fires outwith. At a meeting on the 3rd. December, 1918, the following Minute reads:

SCALE OR CHARGES OUTWITH BURGH 

                                                                1st Hour                                 2nd Hour and following hours
                Firemaster                              40/-                                                         40/-
                2nd. Officer                           20/-                                                         20/-
                Branchmen                              7/6                                                           6/-
                Firemen                                    6/-                                                           6/-
                Attendance of Motor          42/-                                                         42/-
                Working Pump                     42/-                                                         42/-
                Petrol (5 gal. per hr.)                            Current Prices
                Washing Drying Hose (1000 ft.)                        20/-
                Maintenance & Greasing                                    15/-
                Also 5/- per mile return journey beyond the Burgh Boundary.
                Minimum Charge for turn out of Brigade                         £10. 

There was a fire in a Fish Restaurant in Castle Street, when the fat boiled over and was ignited. The Firemaster was instructed to write to the Glasgow Brigade to find what method they adopted to extinguish such types of fire.
It is of interest to note that Glasgow never replied to this letter.
The Firemaster was then instructed to visit all Fish Restaurants in the Burgh to ensure that the storage of fat was in a safe place.
From time to time the Fire Engine had a mechanical breakdown and Firemaster Smith was told to notify Motherwell when this took place and again when the engine was available.
Firemaster Smith received a reduction of wages during 1922, and never forgave the Council. In turn he applied for other Firemasters appointments, and was successful in obtaining an appointment on the 5th September, 1922 as Firemaster of Paisley.
On the 10th October, 1922, the Committee appointed Firemaster Eccleston to take up Mr. Smith’s place. Firemaster Eccleston took up his duties on the 24th October, 1922.
The Committee instructed the Firemaster to ensure that when a person called the Brigade, he must obtain the name of the person and his address. Especially so, if the caller was from outwith the Burgh.
At a Meeting on the 6th February, 1923, the Firemaster asked the Committee to notify householders regarding the length of time it was taking to call out the Brigade to a fire. The Committee agreed, and handbooks were delivered to each house, shop and factory within the Burgh regarding the correct method of calling out the Brigade.
Following a Conference on Firemen’s Wages during 1922, the Town Council found that Firemaster Eccleston’s wages of £4 per week had to be reduced to £3: l5/-. The Firemaster made no protest.
It is of interest to note that the Firemen/Tradesmen/Cartwright Joiners and Blacksmith were fully employed in work for the Burgh and the saving in cost to the Burgh was duly recorded at each Monthly Meeting.
Firemaster Eccleston gained a Certificate of the Institution of Fire Engineers when he sat the examination in Edinburgh during 1924. His pre-study for the examination made him aware that there was now on the market 2 gallon Foam Extinguishers at £7: 10/- which could extinguish petrol, oil and fat fires. In addition new rubber lined hose was now being produced and the Committee agreed that he purchase hose from McGregor at £27: 10/- plus the extinguisher.
The first fatality from fires within the Burgh was recorded at a Meeting on the 31st May, 1926, when a young child died of burns in hospital.
Negotiations were again re-opened with the Motherwell and Wishaw Burghs in 1927, to find what the terms would be for the attendance of the Motherwell Brigade to fires in Hamilton.
The terms were duly forwarded:- 

1st Attendance                     Firemaster                              £1:   -: -d. per hour
                                                Assistant Firemaster           £0: 10: -d. per hour
                                                Mechanic                              £0:   8: -d. per hour
                                                Fireman                                  £0:   6: -d. per hour
                                                Engine                                    £1: 10: -d. per hour
                                                Petrol & Oil           —            Actual cost 

The above terms were accepted by the Town Council on the 5th April, 1927.
The Town Clerk had been instructed to re-open negotiations with the County Council as to the terms which they would require for giving fire protection within the Burgh. The Burgh were agreeable to transfer the Fire Engine, equipment and personnel to the County.
The Town Clerk reported the result of his negotiations at a Meeting on the 31st March, 1930. The County Council were agreeable to all proposals except the transfer of the personnel.
Letters between the Town Clerk and the County Clerk on the personnel continued for some time, however the result was that Firemaster Eccleston could not be accepted as a Firemaster as Captain Despard, the Chief Constable of Lanarkshire and the County Fire Brigade Firemaster, said that he was not a Police Officer.
Finally the Town Council reluctantly accepted the situation and agreed to the transfer of the Engine and equipment without the personnel.
Mr. Eccleston was granted an honorarium of £50 by the Town Council and remained as Firemaster until the 14th May, 1931.
At midnight on the 14th May, 1931, the County Fire Brigade took over responsibility for fire cover in the Burgh of Hamilton.
The appliance and equipment had previously been removed from the old Fire Station and transferred to County Police Headquarters in Beckford Street.
(Type from an article in File TD1431/46/2 at the Mitchell Library.)

 

FIREMASTER TO BE DISMISSED

HAMILTON OFFICIAL’S PROTEST 

The Burgh of Hamilton has one of the most efficient fire brigade services in the country, but it will be proposed to the Town Council on Tuesday that the department should be closed and that an arrangement should be completed with Lanark County Council for the services of firemen when necessary.
A point which is likely to engender discussion is the proposal to dismiss the burgh firemaster without compensation for loss of position or the privileges to which he would be entitled under the Fire Brigade Pensions Act.
The present intention of the Town Council is that Mr Arthur Henry Eccleston should continue as firemaster of the burgh till May, and that the County Council should then find him a job as a mechanic.
In an interview, Mr Eccleston said he claimed for himself the same consideration as was shown other officials displaced under amalgamation schemes brought about by the Local Government (Scotland) Act.
The present proposal had been under discussion since March, but during all that time he had never been consulted nor his interests considered.
Mr Eccleston was responsible for the installation of fire and police call boxes throughout the town, through which are received 75 per cent. of the present calls. The magnificent switchboard at the fire station was designed and built by him, and the maintenance cost is less than £5 per annum. It has been inspected by deputations from all parts of the country.
(The Sunday Post, October 12, 1930.)

EXIT BURGH FIRE BRIGADE - The change over of the Hamilton Fire Brigade to County Council control took place on Thursday at Twelve noon, the engine and equipment being removed from the fire station in Duke Street to their new quarters at the County Police building in Beckford Street. The fire station now houses the Burgh Police's "Black Maria".
(The Hamilton Advertiser, May 16,1931. Page 6.)

PASSING OF THE FIRE BRIGADE - With the passing of the local Fire Brigade, there has also closed the several social activities connected with the brigade, of which the Widows and Orphans and the Homeless Funds were in principal. In the Fire Station on Wednesday evening the balance sheet of the Homeless Fund was submitted to the members, and, after careful consideration and several explanations, it was agreed that the balance sheet showed the affairs of the fund had been kept in a very satisfactory state, and the meeting thanked the treasurer, Mr Eccleston, for his work connected with these services. The fund showed a total income of £45 12s 7d, while the expenditure had been £31 14s 5d, leaving a balance of £13 18s 2d, which had been passed over to the hon. treasurer (Mr A. P. Smith) of the local branch of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Nursing Association. Before bidding goodbye, the firemaster addressed the men, and thanked them for their loyalty and attention to duty at all times.
(The Hamilton Advertiser, May 16,1931. Page 6.)

RED-LETTER DAY FOR FIRE BRIGADE

County's New Fire Station Opened

FIRST PHASE OF HEADQUARTERS COSTS £35,000

The first phase of the new fire station in Bothwell Road, Hamilton, costing £35,000, was officially opened by Provost Mrs Mary S. Ewart last Saturday afternoon. When completed the new fire station will become the headquarters of the Lanarkshire Fire Brigade.
In thanking the Fire Brigade Committee for the honour conferred on her, Provost Ewart said that some years ago, when the question of the new fire station was before the Town Council, she had been opposed to the idea because she felt it would not fit in with the surroundings of such a lovely part of the town. However, having seen the new station, she had changed her opinion because it was a work of art.
Today, she said, fire fighting and prevention of fire was a very highly skilled art indeed, but the men and women of the Lanarkshire Fire Brigade were well trained and equipped for these tasks.
The committee had realised the great need for extending the service and providing the best facilities possible for their personnel. She congratulated the architect on a splendid job of work. The building had enhanced the already beautiful approach to the burgh from Bothwell.

Hamilton's Strategic Position

Bailie John Fox, chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee, in introducing Provost Mrs Ewart, said he was pleased at the large turnout of people who had been sufficiently interested to come along to the opening of the new station.
He described it as a unique occasion, for not only were they opening a new station at Hamilton, but they were opening a new central Fire Brigade Headquarters for Lanarkshire. Hamilton had been chosen because of it strategic position in the centre of the county.
As the committee included representatives from all the burghs in the county, the members felt that since the delegate from Hamilton Town Council was none other than Provost Mrs Ewart they could find no better person to perform the opening ceremony. He then handed over the key of the new station to Provost Ewart, who in turn presented it to Station Officer George Cathro. Little Miss MacIntosh presented the Provost with a bouquet of flowers.
At the dinner in the new fire station after the annual inspection and sports at Hamilton Park Racecourse, Firemaster A. S. Nisbet extended a sincere welcome to all those who had attended the opening of "a very small part of the new fire brigade Headquarters in Hamilton." This was the first time, he said, that a function of that kind had been held inside a fire station.

"Reaches the Hearts of the People"

In proposing the toast of "The Fire Brigade," Bailie Fox said it was one of the services which reached right to the hearts of the people. It was one service which could never be measured in steps of safety. They could lay out great plans for fire prevention, but it was never really possible to measure or gauge how much good the fire service could do. When anyone talked about the fire service they talked about the service the people got, but never about the service the fire brigade gave.
"The last twelve months will go down as a record for the number of lives lost in fires in Lanarkshire," he said. In one fire nine lives had been lost, and in another four.
"What would you regard as the topmost price you would pay for a fire service which could prevent the loss of life?" he asked. "Surely," he continued, "there is no price which you could put on a service which saves lives.
"The fire service is one of the most essential services there is, because it is dedicated to service: dedicated to the preservation of life and property."

Proud Record

Bailie Fox said that in Lanarkshire they had a record of which they could be proud indeed. It had been a struggle since 1947 to get all the fire services on to the level they were at today. The ceremony that afternoon was only a stepping stone towards the completion of an ideal to provide a great fire service to the people. A fire service could not operate successfully if it did not have the co-operation of the people it had to deal with, and the county service had been fortunate in its dealings with the Scottish Home Department.
In a short and witty reply, Mr A.S.Nixon of that Department said he thought the committee would have taken the opportunity to prepare some sign or placard for the wall of the fire station recording their "undying appreciation of the attitude taken by the Scottish Home Department"!
The new station was a very fine one indeed, and he thought the committee, the firemaster, and the architect would view it with a certain amount of pride.
The toast of "The Builders" was proposed by Mr W. Lockhart Hutron, the architect, and replied to by Mr. J. T. Robertson. A vote of thanks was proposed by County Councillor J. Aiton, vice chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee.
Mrs Nisbet presented the prizes won at the annual competition and sports.

The New Building

The complete scheme as planned for a central fire station envisages central administrative and training facilities, maintenance workshop and stores, as well as an operational station serving the Hamilton area and providing accommodation for the larger and specialised fire fighting equipment which can be sent to the assistance of any other section of the brigade in any part of the county.
Behind the main building facing Bothwell Road, there will be a training quadrangle with ground for stores buildings, maintenance workshops capable of dealing with minor and major repairs of the brigade's fleet of vehicles and appliances, special training facilities, and a hose tower.
The main building will comprise a six bay appliance room flanked on one side by operational quarters, and on the other by the central administrative buildings, while over the appliance room will be situated the indoor training accommodation.
The portion of the building now completed represents a three bay appliance room with the operational facilities necessary to serve the needs of a local station.
The accommodation on the ground floor consists of the appliance room, a muster bay on which the firemen converge from this floor and by means of the poles from the upper floor immediately the "bells go down", a changing room and a drying room where returning crews may change and dry their clothing, a wash room with shower baths, and a mess room and kitchen facilities. Adjoining the appliance room is the watch room, the nerve centre of the station, containing a comprehensive switch board where all messages are received and from where instructions can be issued immediately by means of alarm bells and signals.
On the upper floor is the duty crew accommodation, consisting of locker rooms, wash room, dormitories, duty officer's room, and the necessary stores. From each of the upper floors there is a "pole drop" to the muster bay. There are also two small rooms , a quiet room, and a recreation room.
Externally the building is faced with the mellow coloured brick imported from Lancashire, while the appliance bay is faced with synthetic stone blocks produced locally. Internally the finishings are simple and are provided primarily to give surfaces which will be easily maintained and will stand up to the hard wear to be expected where everything is done "at the double." The rooms are painted in light, attractive colours.
<PHOTO> Above left. A general view of the first phase of the new fire station.
<PHOTO> Above Provost Mrs Ewart accompanied by Firemaster Nisbet, opens the door. (The front door)
<PHOTO> In the control room Fireman R. Duncan explains the mechanics to the Provost. Looking on are Firemaster Nisbet, Bailie Fox, Mr J.C. Millar, depute county clerk, and Mr Edward Daly, vice convener of the County.
<PHOTO> Bailie Fox addresses the large number of people who attended the opening ceremony. On the extreme left of our picture is Station Officer George Cathro.
(The Hamilton Advertiser, August 13, 1955 Page 6)

Hamilton Fire station was officially re-opened on the 9th   March,1993 after major refurbishment (Phase 3).

Life Saving partnership in Fire Stations
Paramedics with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) are to be based in three Strathclyde fire stations on a trial basis.
The 12-month trial will help the SAS to meet its target of attending top priority Category A calls within eight minutes. Under the scheme, SAS Rapid Response crews will share washroom and other facilities with firefighters based in three Lanarkshire fire stations – Hamilton, Lanark and Bellshill. (11/8/2006)

 

 

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

 

MAIN INDEX                         1975 INDEX                         STRATHCLYDE INDEX