Historic fire station reveals its secrets

Date published: 10 September 2019

Rochdale’s iconic former fire station, disused for over five years, is opening its doors to the public again this weekend - just before it closes for a major refurbishment which will see a brand new fire service museum opening next year.

As part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days event, volunteers from Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum, which shares part of the site, will be allowing access to the 1933 fire station building, with guided tours, an exhibition on the building’s history and a preview of plans for the new museum.

Museum Curator, Bob Bonner, said: “Many Rochdalians have fond memories of this beautiful building, especially the first-floor ballroom which is sadly long gone, but have not been allowed inside for several years. We wanted to take this once-only opportunity to show off the building’s wonderful spaces and art deco features to people before the builders move onto the site in a few weeks time.

“With the station’s future now secured as an exciting new museum of firefighting, with education and research facilities, cafeteria and new office space, thanks to major funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous providers, this wonderful building will soon be coming back to life.”


Inside the former fire station tower


Work on the £2m museum project is expected to start as early as next month and will take around a year to complete. The project was made possible through a partnership between the Museum Trust, Rochdale Council and the building’s previous owners Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, with support from several major funders.

The restoration will see many of the original architectural features uncovered or re-instated, including the re-fitting of original 1930s doors to the fire engine turnout bays.

“We are delighted to be sharing our enthusiasm and love for this iconic building with local people and would love to hear their personal recollections,” said Bob.

The fire station, together with the existing museum behind, will be open on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September, between 10am and 4pm with guided tours throughout the day.

Admission is free with free on-site parking available.

More information can be found here:

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