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The Firefighters' Heritage Trail

Glasgow's Historic Fire Stations

Although they are no longer used as fire stations and have found other purposes, eight of Glasgow's historic fire station buildings are still standing today.

We have included these in The Firefighters' Heritage Trail as they were home to many firefighters throughout the years, and have played an important part in the history of firefighting in Glasgow.

Central Fire Station, 33 Ingram Street (1900 - 1984)

Ingram Street was the second headquarters of the Glasgow Fire Brigade (replacing College Street which was HQ from 1851 - 1900).

Central Fire Station comprised a fire station, drill yard, workshops, gymnasium, admin office and rent-free accommodation including the Firemaster's house - all with laundry facilities and hot water for one shilling a week. There were even playground facilities for children of the station.

Central was the last of the fire stations in Glasgow built to accommodate horse drawn fire engines, but also the first fire station in Britain to accommodate a motorised turntable ladder. The Brigade became totally motorised by 1916.

The station was visited by Winston Churchill in 1941 in the aftermath of  the Blitz bombing raids.

Old Maryhill Fire Station, Garbraid Avenue (1892 - 1941)

Behind four sandstone archways lies the entrance courtyard for Maryhill Leisure Centre, as well as the restored Maryhill Burgh Halls complex.

The courtyard is the site of the former Maryhill Fire Station, constructed in 1892, by City Engineer A.B.McDonald. 

The stunning metal gates, showing firemen in period dress and equipment, were designed by sculptor Andy Scott, and fill the four archways that fire engines once drove through. Until the late 1960s, a three-storey tenement stood above, in which the firefighters lived.

North West Fire Station, 35 Kelbourne Street (1941 - 1995)

The station was constructed during the period 1939-1940 and replaced the former Maryhill Fire Station situated at Gairbraid Avenue, Glasgow.

The North West was used by Glasgow Auxiliary Fire Service personnel during the hostilities of WWII. It was at the time of its construction, claimed to be one of the most modern fire stations in the United Kingdom with a full range of workshops, drive through five-bay appliance room, spacious court yard with testing well, assembly and recreational facilities plus accommodation for thirty families of firefighters. All this had been provided at a cost of £86,000.

In 1942 the station was honoured to receive King George and Queen Elizabeth for a visit during which personnel performed a number of exercises involving the appliances which were based there.

During 1994, the station attended over 5,000 calls. This number of calls made the North West the second busiest station in the West Region - quite a legacy for the New Maryhill Fire Station to inherit.

North Fire Station 509 St. George's Road (1889 - 1984)

The North was built to replace Maitland Street Fire Station in 1889 and served the North of the city, with its high fire risk of distilleries and factories.

When the station opened in April 1889, The Glasgow Herald reported that "On the ground floor is situated the engine house, with accommodation for a steam fire engine, a manual engine, and a hose and ladder carriage. In the centre of the building, and also on the ground floor to the front, is the watch room, from which an elaborate arrangement of fire alarm apparatus - telegraphs, telephones and house bells - are controlled. Behind the watchroom are the baths and lavatories, in the construction of which the latest and most approved sanitary improvements have been introduced.

A reading or recreation room is situated overhead, and this, though somewhat small, is an exceedingly comfortable and cheery room, in which the men may occupy their leisure moments pleasantly and with profit.

On the other three floors of the front building, house accommodation is provided for 11 officers and their families. In the spacious court behind the main building are situated a two storey brick building, used as a stable and workshop and as dwelling houses for two coachmen. There are also two washing houses, a hose washing machine, and a hose drying stove or tower.

With these facilities the staff at the station will be able to clean and dry their own hose, and occasionally to relieve the Central staff, which during the past six months have frequently have been unable to deal with the large quantity of used and dirty hose requiring their attention."

The station closed in 1984 to combine with the Central Fire Station at the new station in Cowcaddens.

Old Springburn Fire Station 321 Springburn Road (1893-1987)

Built in 1893 at the corner of Springburn Road and Keppochill Road. Initially a horse drawn station, Springburn was converted to a motorised Fire Station by 1913.  It served an area north of the city with extensive railway engineering works, a hospital and homeless institutions.

The old station was replaced with a new build in 1987 which continues to serve a large population.

South Fire Station 180 Centre Street (1916 -1987)

The South was opened on 26th October 1916. Serving the area of the City south of the river Clyde, the South was the first Fire Station to be purpose built to accommodate motorised fire engines.

Queens Park Fire Station 52 Allison Street (1898 -1987)

Built as a new provision for the annexed areas of Queen's Park in 1898 and combined, after closure in 1987, with the South Fire station, to form Polmadie Fire Station.

Govan Fire Station 10 Orkney Street (1898 -1987)

Serving the Burgh of Govan till 1912 when it became part of the Glasgow Fire Brigade. It continued servicing the communities and shipyards on the South of the River Clyde until it was replaced by a new build station across the street in 1987.

Old Partick Fire Station 122 Beith Street (1907-1985)

Built in 1907 as a horse drawn fire station with stabling for eight horses, Partick became part of the Glasgow Fire Brigade in 1912.

The station was one of five city fire stations which received direct hits during a bombing raid in the city in 1941. A boy messenger, Neil Leitch aged 15, accompanied a Senior Fire Service officer out of the area, but was sent back to Partick Fire Station with a request for assistance during an air raid. He was severely injured on his return but continued on route. He was further injured, but again, insisted that he continue with his message. He subsequently died from his injuries.

Leitch was gazetted by King George VI for his bravery and devotion to duty and the City marked his grave with a large Celtic Cross in Dalbeth cemetery.

Some of Glasgow's earliest fire stations are no longer standing, the buildings having been lost to the ravages of time.

East Fire Station Soho Street (1887 - 1983)

The Soho St station replaced an earlier fire station in Tobago Street (which is now part of the old Calton Police Offices). It was demolished and replaced by the Calton Fire Station in 1983.

Firemen from the East Station attended the collapse of Templetons Carpet Factory in 1889 where 29 workers were killed.

West/West Marine Fire Station Cranston Street (1859 -1970)

The West fire station at Cranston Street  was built in 1859 and replaced with the West Marine fire station in 1970, a combination of the Marine division and the West Fire Station.

The fire boat St. Mungo,  a new purchase in 1959, was housed at the river Clyde, and served at major fires in the city, commencing with the dockland fires in early 1960 and the Cheapside Street Disaster in March 1960. It attended many city centre fires as it was able to travel on the river Clyde to the city centre and provide water for major incidents.  

Old Maryhill Fire Station Maryhill Road - 1995

The fourth fire station to be built to serve the North of the city (The first fire station being on Byres Road - now the site of the Library) A very modern construction built to replace the North West fire station.