Mobile Volunteer Unit.



1995                                    Lane on left of Main Street (going up)                    Photo

April 2013                         Garage Main Street opposite the Hotel.





1988? to   12/11/2002                            Volunteer Leader Willie Freebairn

2008                                                         Crew Commander Roger Beadle





1984   Featherweight Pump  
2008 W989WNS Land Rover TD5 Defender/SFB VSU
2012 OU57WKT Ford Ranger/JDC/SFR VSU

2012    The appliance is kept outside a house on the right of the B797 past the Hopetoun Arms heading south.

8/4/2013     The appliance is kept outside the Village Hall, Ramsay Road, Leadhills.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service upgraded to a leased premise in Leadhills. The project was undertaken in March 2013 and was opened in April 2013. 

December 2016 Leadhills have apparently been off the run for a couple of months now due to a shortage of crew.




? Leadhills 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 Volunteer
  First Aid appliances 1 Leading Fireman
  1 Large Trailer Pump 5 Firemen


On Thursday, 25th May, 1950, the Part time Volunteer Unit at Leadhills had their first fire call. At 21-03 hours the call was received to the Old School, Main Street, and the volunteers, having quickly mustered at the Fire Station, manhandled their light pump to the Glenconnar Burn and got to work with one line of hose.
The building at one time was used as the Village School and is adjoining the local Public Library which was erected in 1741 by Allan Ramsay, the famous Scottish Poet and is reputed to be the oldest Public Library in Scotland.
Appliances from Abington, Lanark and Sanquhar (South Western Area) also attended. The Abington unit brought their appliance into use and a second line of hose was directed onto the fire.
The prompt and efficient action of the Part time volunteer unit at Leadhills undoubtedly saved this historic building from disaster.
(Lanarkshire Fire Brigade Annual Report. 1950 – 1951. Page 7.)



With having stated previously in my last editorial that the magazine was here to involve all departments of our Brigade, I decided to find out some facts about the very important part of our operational personnel whose involvement is working in our volunteer units. Although I visited Leadhills for this article I am sure that the painstaking efforts made by all volunteer are parallel throughout the region irrespective of their age, sex or class.
About 6 miles into the hills off the M74 at Abington lies the village of Leadhills. Just off the main street opposite the post office amid some out buildings is sited E.5 1 Leadhill
s Volunteer Unit of Strathclyde Fire Brigade.
To someone like myself who originates from a large city where there seems to be a fire station on every corner, this small wooden structure was the type of building which I wouldn’t usually recognise as a fire station.
However, to the 250 inhabitants of Leadhills it provides the comfort and piece of mind that within it’s frame is the equipment that may make all the difference between the saving of their lives and property should a fire occur.
I arrived just before 1815 hours and had only finished taking a picture of the unit when Willie Freebairn came up the lane.
After a brief introduction and explanation as why I was there Willie opened up the unit and put on the lights and heater. It wasn’t very long before the rest of the crew arrived. I again went into my introduction only to be halted by the arrival of the units’ Training Officer Station Office Jimmy Anderson.
Jimmy a Station Officer from Lanark has been involved with the unit for the last 4 years, he comes to the unit at Leadhill about 6 times a year although the lads meet up with the retained at Abington for more training throughout the year where they again team up with Jimmy.
Knowing I was coming down the Station Officer was quite willing to let the men have a talk with me although it took some of the time away from their training session.
The personnel of the Unit numbers 7 in total, their ages vary from early twenties up to mid-forties, their occupations range from local coalmen, a game-keeper and employees of the Water Board.
The Unit’s Leader is Willie Freeba
irn, 9 years service, Gordon Pool 8 years, Dougie Aitchison 4 years and two sets of brothers James and Hugh Murry 9 years and 1 year and Colin and Frazer Cameron both 1 year.
Three of the lads Willie Gordon and Jamie all volunteered for the Unit back in the day when no payment was involved for their services.
Out of the 7 only 3 were born and raised in the village they are Hugh, Jamie and Dougie. The rest all agreed that even if you lived in the village for 90 years you were still an immigrant. Willie comes from Abington, Gordon from Portobello and Colin and Frazer from Glasgow. The lads stated that there was more people in the Village willing to join the Unit but at present none of the lads were ready to call it a day for some considerable time to come, as the Unit was very necessary and also gave them all a feeling of pride to hold such a position in the community.
Here I got the impression that all would give 100% effort should their services be required. By this time 45 minutes had passed and I decided to call time out, as the Station Officer wanted to get on with some drills.
Before leaving I took a couple of pictures of the crew and said I would send some copies down to them.
As I drove the six miles back to the M74, I realised how important a part of the Village community the Unit and Volunteers must play.
(Aye Ready, Issue 5, Winter 1988. Page 29.)

Leadhills Volunteer Unit.
The unit was not required to attend any incidents during the year. Our congratulations go to all the residents of Leadhills and the surrounding area and of course the crew for keeping themselves free from fire and other emergencies during the year. The volunteer crew has been training well during the year and look forward this year to the replacement of the current base unit with a new timber unit and the provision of a four by four vehicle for transporting their equipment. This year will also see the crew being trained in trauma care and issued with a trauma care kit.
(South Lanark Area, Area Service Plan 2007-2010.)

All systems go for firefighting team
By George Topp

VOLUNTEER firefighters in Leadhills have just been presented with their first Fire Service vehicle, a Landrover equipped with firefighting and rescue equipment.
The keys to the Landrover were handed over by councillor John McNamee, member of the Board of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, to Watch Commander Roger Beadle.
Councillor McNamee said: “I am delighted, on behalf of the board, to offer this further support to the excellent volunteer crew of Leadhills who have been very active in supporting their community for nearly 60 years.
“Through their efforts and the support of the community, Leadhills is clearly a very safe place and long may that continue.”
Replying, Karen Gillon MSP thanked councillor McNamee and South Lanarkshire Area Commander Andy Wilson for the vehicle which had long been awaited by the village.
Mrs Gillon said: “The board are to be commended for this further level of support to the village of Leadhills which, as you can see by the fantastic turnout of villagers, is warmly welcomed by all.”
Area Commander Wilson added: “Historically, volunteer units such as Leadhills did not require a vehicle as their function was to provide only first aid firefighting until the arrival of full support. With our new duty of community safety education introduced by the Fire Scotland Act 2005, we have found that the most effective way of carrying out this education is by using any local crews we have in any area, particularly in remote areas such as Leadhills.
“This vehicle will further support the already fantastic efforts of the Leadhills crew in carrying out our free home fire safety check and smoke alarm initiatives.”
The Deputy Provost of South Lanarkshire Council, councillor Beith Forrest, and councillor Hamish Stewart, both local councillors, added their thanks and support before the chair of Leadhills Community Council, Colin McGavigan, proposed a vote of thanks to the crew for their excellent work within the community.
Shortly after receiving the keys and witnessed by many of the residents from Leadhills, Watch Commander Beadle transmitted the first radio message from the vehicle to the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Operations Support Centre, officially booking the vehicle operational.
The crew were presented with a framed photograph of the vehicle, signed by guests at the hand-over and also by the Deputy Provost.
(Hamilton Advertiser, May15, 2008)



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


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