The Fire Station
|The Fire Station in the late 1950's
|Dennis fire engine of the type acquired
|Yes - they wore those helmets in action!
Winton had its own fire station for less than sixty
years. The current station at Redhill
was opened in 1960.
The first ever Winton fire station was established
in 1903 - it was a lockup shed in Withermoor Road. The firemen
were all volunteers and the fire engine was a horse drawn pump
- we haven't yet discovered if it was worked by hand or steam.
A few years later the shed was replaced by a more
substantial single-bay fire station in the Council Depot at the
end of Maxwell Road.
Although it was better than the old lockup shed,
the Maxwell Road station had no proper living accommodation to
allow it to function effectively any time of day or night.
The council came under pressure to do something
about this, but refused.
Under pressure, officials finally came up with a
plan for combined fire station and public convenience at the top
of Peter's Hill. This was approved in 1926 and construction work
began a short time later.
The Maxwell Road complex also for a time included
a police station and continued to operate as a Auxiliary Fire
Service base through the second world war - finally closing in
It was decided that the new fire station would need
a new fire engine, so an appliance was ordered from Dennis at
a cost of £650.
The new Winton fire station never had an official
opening ceremony, but offered living accommodation to two firemen
and their families. At the back of the station was a yard and
garden which still exists.
The first fireman and his family moved in with the
new fire engine in December 1927.
The fire station served Winton and the surrounding
area right through the war years and into the 1950's. In 1956
Station Officer Jim Collingbourne died while fighting a blaze
on the East Cliff.
After its closure in 1960 the building briefly served
as a police station.
The building is currently owned by the University
and is used as a storage facility. There is a picture on our "then
and now" page.
The current fire station was opened in 1960. It
was built on a plot that had once been a large pond where local
lads caught newts. The pond had been filled with bomb rubble from
the disasterous town centre air raid of May 1943.
For more about today's fire station and what it
does, see our Fire Service page.