2 Pump Retained.



1836 Cotton Mills Mill Street.
? to 1910 Ladeside Street.
1910 to 28/7/1965 High Street.                                                          Photo
28/7/1965 to date Eden Drive Rothesay PA20 9HU.                     Photos



1836 Superintendent Bannatyne McNaughton
1923 to 1939 Firemaster Alex Stephen
1939 to 1947 Company Officer Devall
1948 to 1955 Company Officer Robert H. Tait
1955 to 1968 Station Officer Robert Tait
1968 to 1974 Station Officer J Clark
1974 to 1976 Station Officer Robert B. N. Connor
1976 to 1985 Station Officer James Morrison
1985 to 2002 Station Officer Daniel Mc Fie BEM.
23/7/2002 to 2020 Station Officer Rodden Shaw (Roddy) (2005 now called Watch Manager)
2020 Watch Commander Neil Gillies (there 8/5/2023)


1836 Water Engine and other apparatus  
1910 to 1925/26 Steam Fire Engine  
1914 50' Wheeled Escape  
1925/26 Timmini Pump  
  First Second
1942 GGK149 Austin Hose Reel Tender
1948 Fordson PE SJ552
1965? KHS590 WHS290
???? RHS537  
1976 YHS151H PAG148H
1989? FGA140T OYS147Y
1993? D196PGD OYS147Y
1996 N834JSU D196PGD
1997 N834JSU L724UGA
2002 M903DDS L724UGA
2008 P941SGE M903DDS
2011 Feb 22 P941SGE P939SGE
2013 June P941SGE Y544TNS
2013 October SG02UKF Y544TNS
2017 Sept 5 SF06GBZ Y544TNS
2017 Sept 20 SF06GAU SF06GBZ


SJ552 Dennis SP
GGK149 Fordson? with Barton front mounted Pump PE
KHS590 Dennis F12/Dennis PE*
RHS537 Dennis F26/Dennis PE
WHS290 Dennis F28/Dennis WrT
PAG148H Dennis F45/Dennis WrL
YHS151H DennisF108/Dennis WrE**
FGA140T Dodge K1113/Fulton & Wylie WrL
OYS147Y Bedford KD/Fulton & Wylie Fire Witch 2 WrL
D196PGD Scania G82M/Fulton & Wylie WrL
L724UGA Scania G93M-210/Emergency One WrL
N834JSU Scania G93M-220/Emergency One WrL
M903DDS Scania 93M-220/Emergency One WrL
P939SGE Scania 93M-220/Emergency One RPL (retro-fit)
P941SGE Scania 93M-220/Emergency One RPL (retro-fit)
Y544TNS Scania 94D-260/Emergency One RPL
SG02UKF Scania 94D-260/Emergency One RPL
SF06GAU Scania P270/JDC RPL
SF06GBZ Scania P270/JDC RPL

* Preserved and being done up in a garage in Rothesay. Now being restored at Greenock Fire Station by SFB Preservation Group (December 2004). Still to be restored by SFRS Heritage Trust. 2020 still awaiting restoration and in the SFRSHT Shed at Linwood.
** Preserved by SFB Preservation Group and kept at Port Glasgow.




to 1941 Rothesay 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 & Rescue (Name change only.)
1/4/2013 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

When the new call signs were being implemented in the WEST SDA over a 7 week period beginning 31/8/2020 doing 1 LSO Area per week, Rothesay was changed from L19 to E30.


In 1923/24 the Brigade consisted of a Firemaster and nine Firemen.

Firemaster Alex Stephen Master of Works
Fireman John Connor 87 High Street
Fireman R Hislop 7 Union Street
Fireman A McFie 66 Montague Street
Fireman D McFie 177 High Street
Fireman John Paterson 31 Columshill Street
Fireman J Gillies 28 Montague Street
Fireman Dan Hyudman 17 Bishop Street
Fireman Rankin Harper 3 King Street
Fireman J Gillies 22 Ladeside



Fowler's Directory of Renfrewshire.

1834/35 No record
1836/37 The Water Engines and other apparatus are deposited at the Cotton Mills, head of Mill Street. Keys for them to be found at the Cotton Mills, and Bannatyne McNaughtons, Superinteendant, Montague Street.

Extract from Rothesay Council Records

1795. January 3. - Council contributes fifteen guineas towards the expense of procuring an engine for extinguishing fires, in conjunction with the cotton works.




Lord Lieutenant "Presses the Button"

Rothesay's part-time firemen were warmly commended for their efficiency and smart turnouts when the Lord Lieutenant of Buteshire, Air Vice Marshal Ronald Graham, opened the town's new 30,000 fire station on Wednesday afternoon.
After the Lord Lieutenant unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque in the station he pressed a siren button to send the Rothesay brigade, lined behind a distinguished audience in the two-vehicle appliance room, off on a demonstration "call out."
The leading driver grabbed a pull cord suspended from the ceiling which opened automatic folding doors, and the two appliance vehicles roared out of the station with their crews, to cheers and hand clapping from those watching. The vehicles' two-tone klaxons blared triumphantly as they returned in front of the station a few minutes later.
At the end of the opening ceremony Air Vice Marshal Graham was presented with a polished hardwood cigarette box, with the Western Fire Area crest on the lid and crossed axes and helmet in front, by Station Officer Robert Tait, officer in charge of the Rothesay station.
The new Rothesay Fire Station will be open to the public on Tuesday first, from 7 till 9 p.m., announced Station Officer Robert Tait yesterday.
The chairman was Dr James W. Macfarlane, D. L., chairman of the Western Fire Area Joint Committee, who stated that Buteshire was one of the six constituent authorities represented on the committee, with a very diverse selection of people and interests. This was the first occasion when they had had a Lord Lieutenant to open a new station.


Provost James McMillan welcomed to Rothesay the members of the Western Fire Area Committee and representatives of other authorities on this "red letter day" of the town and brigade.
The Rothesay brigade, he stated, over the last number of years had achieved recognition among townspeople for a turnout of the highest standard and efficiency. He expressed thanks, on behalf of the citizens of Rothesay, to all who had contributed to the erection of this building in a relatively short time. The provost added amidst laughter: "This building stands on some of the finest - and most criticised - stone in the town, and we may be sure it will not come apart at the seams for lack of a good foundation."


He paid warm tribute to the local tradesmen who had worked on the building. As they could see, these tradesman could still produce work of excellent craftsmanship. In welcoming the Lord Lieutenant to Rothesay, the provost said they saw too little of him here and they hoped this would be the forerunner of many such occasions. He concluded by wishing the station and all attached to it every success in the future.
Dr. Macfarlane, associating himself with all that Provost McMillan had said, introduced Air Vice Marshall Graham, who said that while this was certainly the first occasion on which he had come to the main county island to carry out a function such as this he had, in fact, visited Bute some time ago when he had attended a Commonwealth Youth Sunday parade and service.
He greatly welcomed this opportunity of being connected with something for putting out fires, as a good part of his life had been spent in starting fires. He also recalled his experience as a child when his home in Japan had been burned out. Helping to start off a new fire station, in the county where he now lived, was something which he appreciated very much.


Air Vice Marshal Graham stated that fire losses in this country in a year had totalled 77m., and added that those who owned property owed a great debt of gratitude to the part-time and volunteer firemen who maintained a 24-hour service. Their excellent and efficient new building was well deserved.
After the unveiling of the plaque by the Lord Lieutenant, and the "call out" demonstration by the firemen, Bailie Robert MacLean, Bute's representative on the Western Fire Area Joint Committee, proposed a comprehensive vote of thanks to those who had taken part in the ceremony on this wonderful day for Rothesay. As the provost had said, it was a station worthy of the fine service given so consistently over the years by the Rothesay brigade. He expressed on behalf of Rothesay's citizens their appreciation of the firemen's efforts, and he also complimented the tradesmen, who were represented in the audience, on a beautiful and well finished building.
In a reference to the Joint Committee, Bailie MacLean said that if all areas were to combine in the proposed regionalisation plan for Scotland as successfully as the committee did in representing six authorities, then there could be no fears for the future of small authority units such as theirs in Bute. Their requirements and views were always given full consideration by the committee, and this was due in no small measure to the chairman, Dr. Macfarlane.
Rothesay's part-time fire brigade had to wait just under 24 hours after their new station was officially opened for their first call out, to a chimney fire alarm at 47 Marine Road, Port Bannatyne, shortly after 2 p.m. yesterday.


Dr. Macfarlane thanked Bailie MacLean, and following the presentation to him Air Vice Marshall Graham also returned suitable thanks to the firemen. Another interesting demonstration was given at the end of the ceremony by the firemen, using an escape ladder and water hoses to put out a "dummy" fire in the 44 ft. high drill tower in the station yard.
The commemorative plaque is worded: "Western Fire Area Joint Committee. Fire Station Rothesay - opened 28th July, 1965, by Air Vice Marshall Ronald Graham, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., D.S.C., D.F.C., J.P. J. W. Macfarlane, D.L., Ph.D., Chairman J. Hartil, Firemaster, W. R. Tocher, A.R.I.B.A., F.R.I.A.S., Archt."
Earlier, Bute County Council were hosts at lunch in the Glenburn Hotel to the members of the Western Fire Area Joint Committee, following a morning committee meeting. The chairman was the County Convener, Mr. Duncan Dewar, and those at the top table included the Lord Lieutenant, Dr Macfarlane, Vice Convener Lord Bute, Provost McMillan, Provost Miller, of Greenock, and County Clerk C. Ross, Renfrew, clerk to the Joint Committee. Others attending were Argyll's County Convener, Mr. J. G. Mathieson, Provost Thos. Barbour, of Paisley, Chief Constable Robert Allan, Firemaster Joseph Hartil, and H.M. Inspector of Fire Services in Scotland, Mr. A. D. Wilson. Mr. W. Morrison, assistant to the County Clerk, who made the arrangements, deputised for the County Clerk, Mr. A. H. Wood.


Among those present at the ceremony were county and town councillors, Inspector Robt. Hunter, Bute sub-division, Depute Firemaster Robt. Herbert, Messrs. R. H. Law and I. A. H. More, of the Scottish Home and Health Department, Assistant Divisional Officer A. Whyte, Greenock, Divisional Officer E. Crilley, Argyll, Station Officer J. Cameron, area transport officer, and wives of councillors and other representatives and of the Rothesay firemen.
An excellent buffet and refreshments were provided for the company, following the station opening ceremony and demonstration, in the recreation room, and the various points of interest in the station were favourably commented upon.

New Rothesay Fire Station

Is First To Have Drill Tower

The new Rothesay Fire Station at Eden Drive, built at an estimated cost of 30,000, is the first retained fire station in the Western Fire Area to have a hose drying and drill tower. No longer will hose require to be washed in a public thoroughfare and draped over roofs to dry! Instead washing and testing will be carried out in the yard and the hose hoisted up inside the tower for draining and natural drying. Used as a drill tower, many training incidents can be evolved to ensure that the efficiency of men and appliances is maintained.
The Rothesay Station has a complement of 20 firemen - one station officer, one sub-officer, two leading firemen and, 16 firemen. The office-in-charge is Station Officer Robert Tait, who has 21 years' service in the Fire Brigade.
The men are on call 24 hours a day and are summoned to fires by the sounding of sirens fitted at the Rothesay Courthouse and at the Pavilion, and also by call bells installed in each home. With the full co-operation of the Chief Constable and his staff at Rothesay, all fire calls are received at the Police Station, from where the siren and call bells are operated by a G.P.O. remote control system. There is a direct telephone line from the Police Station to the Fire Station.


The appliances housed at the Fire Station consist of one pump escape and one water tender. The pump escape, delivered in 1956, is a self-propelled appliance powered by a Dennis Rolls Royce engine and fitted with a Dennis pump capable of an output of 900 gallons of water (approx. 4 tons) per minute. Equipped with 100 gallons of water in a tank for use with a hose reel pump designed to deal with small fires, it is also fitted with a wheeled escape ladder having an extension of 50 feet.
The water tender, delivered in 1963, is also a self-propelled appliance powered by a Dennis Rolls Royce engine, but in this case the Dennis pump output is 500 gallons (approx. 2 tons) per minute. Carrying a 35-foot extension ladder, this appliance is equipped with 400 gallons of water in a specially designed tank. This supply is used as an initial source for firefighting until other supplies can be obtained. Also carried on this appliance is a portable power featherweight pump for use in rural areas where supplies have often to be obtained from streams and ponds, etc.
Both appliances are fully equipped with hose, branchpipes and all the usual equipment necessary for firefighting. The total complement of hose held at the station is about 1 1/2 miles, in 75-foot lengths of 2 3/4 in. diameter rubber-lined hose. Breathing apparatus is also held at the station for use in poisonous or suffocating atmospheres.


Rothesay Fire Brigade was formed some time before the first world war on a retained basis. Before 1910 their premises were at the gaswork in Ladeside Street and the appliance was a barrow.
In 1910 a steam fire engine was purchased second hand from Kilmarnock and the brigade moved to premises in High Street, which they have been occupying until the present time.
In 1914 a 50ft. wheeled escape and water tower was purchased and this appliance lasted until 1944. During 1925/26 the steam fire engine was disposed of and a 250/300 g.p.m. Timmini pump was purchased. A pump escape unit with a Barton front mounted pump and an Austin hose reel tender a were supplied around 1942.
During the last war, when the Fire Service was nationalised, a whole-time unit was established because of the importance of the Island as a naval base. It reverted to retained manning on coming under the control of the Western Area Fire Brigade.
It may be of interest to not that a number of young men from Rothesay are serving as whole-time firemen at fire stations in Renfrewshire.


The new Fire Station, for which site clearance commenced in April, 1964, comprises an appliance room for two vehicles, with two sets of automatic opening doors, controlled by a pull cord within easy reach of the driver's doors at each vehicle.
Each vehicle re-enters the appliance room by rear doors. There is a wash area for the vehicles at the rear of the appliance room.
There is also a watch room, muster bay, office, recreation room and kitchen, toilets with showers, drying room, workshop and stores. Lighting generally is by fluorescent fittings and switches are arranged so that the watch room, appliance room and all external lights can be controlled from one point inside the watch room. The watch room and office have wall-mounted convector fires, the recreation room, muster bay and workshop wall-mounted 3 kw. fan heaters, and the appliance room and toilets storage heaters on off-peak tariff.
In the drill yard there is a 44ft. high hose drying and drill tower, divided into two sections. The drill section has three floors, interconnected with steel ladders, and there are two windows to each floor for fitting fire hoses for practice. The hose drying section can accommodate 24 hoses.
The building was designed by the Argyll County Architect, Mr. W. R. Tocher, A.R.I.B.A., F.R.I.A.S.


The contractors engaged on the new Rothesay Fire Station were: Excavator, concrete and brick, etc., works, John Brown (Strone) Ltd., Tyneshandon, Strone; carpenter and joiner works, McMillan and Turnbull, Broadcroft Lane, Rothesay; glazier work, McMillan and Turnbull; roughcast work, J. R. Hunter and Sons (B.S.) Ltd., 10 Union Street, Rothesay; plumber work, J. B. McEwan, 71 High Street, Rothesay; plaster and cement works, J. R. Hunter and Sons (B.C.) Ltd.; electrical installation, S. Buckeridge and Son, 5 Bishop Street, Rothesay; and painter work, D. C. Murray and Co., 86 Montague Street, Rothesay.
(The Buteman and Rothesay Express Friday, 30th July, 1965.
Page 1,3 and 5. Photo on page 3 of the station with the two machines on the forecourt.)



Part-time and volunteer firemen were yesterday commended for their efficiency and enthusiasm by the Lord Lieutenant of Bute, Air Vice-Marshall Ronald Graham, when he opened a new 30,000 fire station at Rothesay.
The station, at Eden Drive, is the first on a retained basis in the Western Fire Area to have a hose drying and drill tower 44ft, high.
There is a complement of 20 part time firemen covering the island of Bute and operating two modern fire appliance vehicles. Before 1910 the unit's appliance was a barrow.
Air Vice-Marshall Graham stated that fire losses in the country in a year totalled 77m, and added that those who own property owed a great debt of gratitude to the volunteer firemen who maintained a 24 hour service.
Their excellent and efficient new building was well deserved.
(The Glasgow Herald, Thursday, July 29, 1965 page 6)



The Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Pump Escape 1 Company Officer
  1 Self -propelled Pump 1 Section Leader
  1 Light Trailer Pump * 2 Leading Firemen
    17 Firemen

*This appliance is for alternative manning only.


Letter from Firemaster Alex Stephen to Mr. A. Ferguson, 21 Columshill Street, Rothesay.

Dear Sir, You might be pleased to note that in calling out members of the Fire Brigade , the Klaxon Horn will not be sounded between the hours of 11pm and 6am, but as usual the individual Fire Bells will be rung.
The Klaxon Horn will be sounded at all other times in the event of an outbreak of fire.
You might also please note that special slides have been supplied to the Picture Houses, and in the event of an outbreak of fire, a calling up notice will be projected on the screen for any members who may be attending the Picture House. Yours Faithfully etc.



  D. Hyndham J. Paterson
  A. Ferguson J. Gillies
  A. Brown D. Campbell
  A. McFie C. McNab
  D. McFie J. Hislop
  R. Harper  

CAPTAIN:- T. Noble
FIREMASTER :- A. Stephen

On turning out for any practice or fire, Fireman are expected to attend to the running out and fitting up of hose pipes etc., connected with their particular post, and at practices it is expected that the duties will be performed with every possible expedition, just as if attending an actual fire.

                                                                                                                                            Signed Alex Stephen. Firemaster

Corporation Works Office.
Rothesay. 26th. May 1927.


1949 Order placed for two 1 hour Compressed BA sets for this station.

1962 Rothesay Pier Fire
1975 Church Fire

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


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