Congleton Fire Station History
Congleton Fire Station, currently operating from West Road, was opened on 3rd November 1967 by Sir Arthur Vere Harvey CBE MP. Earlier records report previous locations of the station were:
Tanner Street - opened in 1858 for the Corporation Brigade
Back Park Street - opened in approximately 1861 for the Volunteer Brigade
Park Street - opened in approximately 1900 when both the Corporation Brigade and the Volunteer Brigade merged and operated from these premises
A History of Congleton's Fire Engines
The first fire engine, "Old London", was purchased second hand in 1765 for two guineas by the Congleton Lighting and Improvements Committee, having been built in 1754. It was a hand drawn 12 man operated manual pump, giving an output of up to 60 gallons per minute.
In 1780 a second 28 man hand drawn manual named "Globe" arrived in Congleton. It was named after the London Liverpool & Globe Insurance Company who presented it to the Borough. It was used by the 15 members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. They operated from the station in Back Park Street.
In 1890 the 19 members of the Corporation Brigade received "Victoria", a single horse drawn manual pump, which was kept in Market Place. "Victoria" was purchased for the price of 105 from William Rose and Co, Metropolitan Works, Salford.
A Shand Mason Steamer, named "George" after George Banks, Captain of the Volunteers, was purchased new in December 1911. It was a 3 horse drawn "small" steamer.
In about 1900 the Volunteer Brigade, with its steamer "George" and the Corporation Brigade with "Victoria", the horse drawn manual, moved into a new fire station in Park Street at the rear of the Town Hall.
A small hand drawn hose cart was used in the Borough in conjunction with the steamer. In July 1927 the Council offered it to the Gas Works for use by their maintenance department.
In December 1926, a Dennis solid tyred trailer pump was purchased for £400 by J H Banks and was towed by various vehicles, including a Ford T Van.
In April 1932 Captain Banks was authorised to purchase a new fire engine. In order to keep the cost as low as possible he purchased a second hand charabanc. It was converted into a unique fire engine by a bodybuilder in Stoke for a cost of £300.
The charabanc carried a built in pump, a 60 foot wheeled escape ladder and the Dennis trailer pump which could be winched up onto the tail board between the wheels of the escape. Up to 14 firemen sat along either side of the vehicle facing inwards.
The above information was kindly supplied by Congleton Museum.
Here are a few photos of firefighters over the years:
Congleton firefighters in 1989:
Last updated: Tuesday 29 August 2017