Mobile Volunteer Unit.


1974 to 1999 Wooden Hut Main Road B8002                     Photo
2/2/1999 Volunteer Garage Main Road B8002              Photo

Volunteer Leader

16/4/1975 to 28/2/2002 Volunteer Leader Chis Thornhill
1/3/2002 to 2013 Volunteer Leader Alastair M. Blair
2013 to 2014 Temporary Watch Commander Simon Bevan
2014 to 2014 Watch Manager Alastair M. Blair
2014 to Watch Manager Simon Bevan

Alastair Blair had a couple of two month breaks in Australia before emigrating for good in 2014. Simon Bevan was made up temporarily during these breaks.



1999                     R932HUS                 Mercedes 814D/Angloco                             VSU


1974 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


Turn outs  
1999 10
2000 11
2001 4 to 10/2/2001

2014 this unit now has Hydraulic cutting equipment (Combi Tool). Don't know when received.


Ardfern welcomes fire station opening

ARDFERN Fire Station was officially opened on Tuesday night with a plaque being unveiled by Councillor Joe Shaw, Convenor of Strathclyde Fire Board. The Ardfern Volunteer Unit was formed in 1974 and since then has been operating from a small fire hut in the village until the building of the new purpose equipped station.
For Firemaster John Jameson it was his last fire station opening before his retirement and he commended the community on their commitment to the fire service.
'This fire station is a true community venture,' he said.
Members of the Ardfern Volunteer Unit were presented with training certificates after completion of their recent breathing apparatus course and two ex-volunteers received Long Service and Good Conduct medals. Donald Archibald Crawford and Donald Alan Peterson were presented with their personally inscribed medals at the ceremony.
A buffet reception was held afterwards in the Galley of Lorne Hotel. A full feature on the new fire station will appear in next week's Advertiser.
<PHOTO> Ardfern's Volunteer Fire Unit pictured at the official opening ceremony on Tuesday evening with Firemaster John Jameson, front left and Cllr Joe Shaw, front right. AA/H/5/5
(Argyllshire Advertiser incorporating Campbeltown Courier, Friday 5 February, 1999. Page 1.)

A new fire station for Ardfern

THE opening last week of the new fire station at Ardfern marks a milestone for the community and it's volunteer fire brigade.
It was back in the early 1970s when a serious fire occurred at the Esplanade Hotel in Oban in which 10 people were killed, that the residents of Ardfern voiced their concern at the lack of fire cover in the Ardfern area.
After representations were made to the then Western Area Fire Brigade, in 1974 the Ardfern Volunteer Unit was formed.


Chris Thornhill was appointed Leader of the unit and this is a role he has continued to carry out till the present day, remaining as committed as ever to the role of providing fife cover for the community.
However the purpose built station of today is a far cry from the original fire hut which served as a base for the fire unit's equipment. The hut was sited on a piece of vacant land next to Chris's house but was moved during the 1980s to a site adjacent to Ardfern boatyard.
The newly constructed fire station has returned to its roots and is built on the site of the original fire hut.


Ardfern Volunteer Unit with it's eight volunteers, has attended a wide range of incidents over the years including house, boat, grass and chimney fires.
Being in close proximity to the busy A816 Oban to Lochgilphead road has resulted in the crew also attending several road accidents.
Ardfern now has a 4WD Mercedes Fire Appliance with a fixed pump and high pressure hose-reel. The appliance is also fitted with road rescue equipment including Hurst Combi-Tool cutting gear and a power pack. It is the latest model in a series of specially designed fife-fighting appliances and is also fitted with stem lights which can give all round illumination on scene as required.
The official opening ceremony honoured the commitment of the unit both past and present.
Firemaster John Jameson was performing his last official opening of a station before his retirement.
Cllr Joe Shaw, Convenor of Strathclyde Fire Board said if ever there was a testament to a fire-master's vision in this part of the world, it was the building of such rural fire stations.
He emphasised that the fife station symbolised a great community aspect for Ardfern.


Cllr Shaw added it was a considerable investment of resources into the community and everyone had showed dedication and commitment to live up to the vote of confidence placed upon them.
Long Service and Good Conduct Medals were presented during the evening's proceedings.
Ex-volunteer Donald Archibald Crawford (Dondi) who joined the service in January 1977 and has served 21 years with the unit, received a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Alan Peterson, another Ardfern based ex-volunteer who served with the unit for 22 years, was also awarded with a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Assistant Firemaster Stewart explained the medal history dated back to World War II when Churchill was desirous of meriting work done. The medals are inscribed with the individual's names.
The present volunteer crew received training certificates in recognition of completion of their breathing apparatus courses. Chris Thornhill, Namaste McLardy, Angus Ritchie, Alistair Blair, Simon Bevan and Chris Fox all received their certificates at the opening. And with the addition of cutting equipment on the new appliance, all the team are now fully trained in fire-fighting cutting techniques.
Firemaster Jameson also highlighted that the new fire Station was a community asset and was available for community events.
'The Fire Brigade is yours - use it,' he said.
He thanked the volunteers for their commitment and noted the unit had already attended four incidents. Mr Jameson said the unit was now fully equipped and trained to deal with road traffic incidents and with the area pinpointed for an increase in tourism the potential for more incidents occurring was greater.
The region, he said, was the second biggest local authority Fire Brigade in Europe. But Mr Jameson said the risk element was no different to anywhere else. He said there was never a time when there was enough money for such improvements but the previous hut had not even reached the minimum statutory levels required. The new station changed all this.


The dedication of the station was performed by Rev Mike Erskine.
The widows of two founder members were also present for the opening.
Lady Selby's husband Mike had been a founder member as had Elizabeth Ritchie's husband George. Elizabeth's son Angus has followed in his father's footsteps and is now the deputy leader of the Volunteer Unit. Two other retired founder members Angus McLarty and Alistair McNicol were also delighted to be at the opening ceremony.
The evening was a great success with guests going on to the Galley of Lorne Hotel for a buffet reception following the opening ceremony.
And on top of the commitment to fire-fighting is the news that two of the Ardfen Volunteers are to be married in June. Namaste McLardy and Simon Bevan may well set their own record to be the first fire-fighters to be married to each another!
Is this another community. first for Ardfern?
<PHOTO> Ardfern's Volunteer Fire Fighting Team - L-R Front Namaste McClardy, Jos Marriot. Back Simon Bevan, Norman McNiven, Angus Ritchie and Chris Thornhill. Missing from the picture are Chris Fox and Alistair Blair. AA/C/5/4
<PHOTO> Angus Ritchie, Deputy Volunteer Leader and Chris Thornhill, Volunteer Leader with the new pump and cutting gear. AA/C/5/13
<PHOTO> Volunteers Simon Bevan and Jos Marriot operating the fire hose. AA/C/5/10
<PHOTO> Jos Marriot receives a routine fax report. AA/C/5/2
<PHOTO> Namaste McLardy at the wheel of the new fire engine. AA/C/5/20
<PHOTO>Ex-volunteers Donald Crawford, left and Alan Peterson received Long Service and Good Conduct Medals with certificates at the opening ceremony. They are pictured with Firemaster John Jameson. AA/H/5/2
<PHOTO> The new fire station at Ardfern. AA/B/5/3a
<PHOTO> Cllr Bruce Robertson and Cllr Joe Shaw with the commemorative plaque. AA/H/5/7
(Argyllshire Advertiser incorporating Campbeltown Courier, Friday 12 February, 1999. Page 9.)


In 2000 Vol Ff Alastair Blair married Vol Ff Taryn Dromey in Craignish Parish Church and they were conveyed from there to Ardfern Village Hall for the reception in Ardfern's Mercedes VSU.
In 2000 Vol Ff Kathy Potter-Irwin joined the crew.
Chris Thornhill was volunteer leader for 26 years and 10 months and retired on age on the 28th February 2002, quite a feat.


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


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