History of Bootle Fire Brigade
1870 - Bootle cum Linacre Council purchased a hand-drawn reel cart & a ‘fly’ escape; these were kept at the Lancashire Constabulary station on Stanley Rd. An Insp & 6 PCs were trained as auxiliary firemen after a request to the Chief Constable Col Bruce, by the Council.
1873 July - The Town Clerk of Bootle wrote to Liverpool’s WC asking that an engine be sent if a fire occurred in Bootle. This was approved on 12 Aug after Bootle agreed to repair defective water mains and carry out other works
1874c - A 50-year lease was taken on a piece of land on Strand Rd as the site for a Police court and a shed which was the Borough’s first fire station
- A manual engine named ‘Pioneer’ was purchased from Hall’s of Oldham, painted blue & vermillion.
1882 - Liverpool PFB Auxiliary Station paid for by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board opened at Langton Dock, Bootle.
1883 - 1st steam fire engine named ‘’Ibbs’ purchased from Merryweather & Son, 400gpm, this along with the manual engine, 3 hand drawn escapes & reel cart it was kept in a rented shed on the lower part of Strand Rd. Injury insurance cover was arranged.
Fire cover was from now provided until 1892, for Litherland.
1885 July 06 - A Council sub-committee met to consider arrangements improving the fire brigade by now there were 8 policemen trained in fire duties
Aug 05 - Report from a deputation sent to look at the fire brigades in Burnley and St Helens received. 22 men from the Surveyors Dpt had indicated they were willing to join the new brigade. It was resolved to form a retained fire brigade with 14 members
Dec 01 - Report to Council, 39 years of the lease remained on land owned by Lord Derby’s estate leased on Strand Rd which was the site of the Police courts and the temporary fire station. Plans were drawn-up for a new 2-bay station on this site with accommodation for the Captain and stabling for horses. In addition the adjoining cottage was to be purchased for either the Engineer or stableman. The total cost was estimated at £1,600.
1886 Jan 25 - The first Captain , later called Chief Officer, George Parker took up his post, his temporary residence was at 21 Rimrose Rd rented by the Borough for £25 pa. Parker suggested several amendments to the plans including widening the entrance to the yard to allow wheeled escapes to be accommodated within.
Feb 15 - A professional brigade was formed, 1 Supt, 1 Engineer & 1 Fm full time. There were also 23 Auxiliaries: 2 engineers, 1 sub-engineer, 19 Fm and a Waterman. Scale of pay for the retained men was 2/6d for attending drills, 3/6d for attending a fire plus 3/ for the first hour and 1/- each hour after. There was a 1/- bonus for the first 8 men to turn out. Fire watching duties paid 7d per hour and attending alarms where the brigades services were not required 1/-. In addition persons giving first notice of fires received 1/-.
The steamer and the manual were now housed in the temporary station whilst the new one was built.
July - Liverpool’s Town Clerk wrote stating that a Water Turncock had been appointed for Bootle and that he had found lodgings with a fireman. It was suggested that Bootle pay the Turncock whenever he turned out to a fire, this was agreed.
There were now 4 houses on Campbell St and 7 on Summerseat to house the firemen.
- The 8 policemen who had received payment for their services at fires with the Volunteer Brigade were advised that all such payments ceased on 30 June.
- Report by the Captain on the appliance.
Steamer - adverse report re the boiler received from insurers was rejected and another company was to be asked to inspect and quote for explosion cover
Manual - defective and in need of repair.
Escape No1 - minor repairs required.
Escape No 2 - In poor condition and needs complete renovation. The Committee agreed to invite tenders for the required work.
Sep - The Council resolved to set up its own Police force.
1887 Feb 18 Fri - The 2-bay station was opened at 16 Strand Rd. Bootle The stores, hose repair shops etc were in a building in the rear yard formerly used as part of a Police Court. Fire cover was also provided for Walton UDC & Litherland UDC
The HD Steamer ‘Bootle’ was renamed ‘IBBS’ after a Councillor
Mar 25 - 43 calls in the past year
1888 May 13 - Asst Engineer Johnson was badly injured by a kick to the head from a horse
July 07 - New Merryweather steamer purchased named ‘Clemmey’ and the first steamer re-named Ibbs both members of the Watch Committee, Clemmy was tested at Hornby Dock under Engineer Harper.
Horse drawn [HD] Hose tender, a 50’ telescopic escape and a Reel Cart with escape were purchased along with 4 horses. The reel cart escape was set up outside the South Recreation ground on Stanley Rd manned day and night by a fireman
Manpower now 12 full time: Supt, 2 Engineers, 1 Assistant Engineer,4 Fm and 4 probationers with 16 Auxiliaries: 1 Engineer, 14 Fm, 1 Waterman
1889 - Supt Parkers salary was increased to £130 pa and it was resolved not to charge ratepayers for the services of the brigade except Insurance companies and ship owners.
- In Walton accounts for services were to be presented to the property owners and if they failed to pay the Walton Local Board would meet the cost as per the standing agreement.
Mar - CO’s 3rd Annual Report, 47 fires attended in the year including 4 outside the Borough and 6 false alarms. One life was lost. Brigade kept 4 horses
- Street Fire Alarm [SFA] 10 boxes set up at
Carolina St (Private) on a pole. land rented form the L&Y Railway for 5s pa
Hornby Dock west side
Langton Dock - double storey shed
Alexandra Dock - Nos 1, 2 &3 branches
- Direct telephone links between the fire station and
Stanley Rd escape station
Anfield Police station
Warbreck Moor Police station
- The Supt of the Liverpool Fire Brigade wrote disputing the right of the Bootle brigade to operate in the Dock Estate. But after some time this was acknowledged.
May 13 Fri - Mr R A Matheson handed over a HD ambulance for use by the brigade
- Sub-fire station to be established on Exeter Rd by Messrs Bell and Burnie at a cost of £16, it is unclear if this reel station was actually built
1890 Oct - 8 fires and 59 ambulance calls in the month. Fireman’s houses on Summerseat and Campbell St said to be unfit and it was proposed to try and obtain tenancies on properties on Ivanhoe Rd.
- The sum of £13-7s was paid for the assistance of Crosby fire brigade at a warehouse fire on Effingham St.
- A new fire alarm to be installed at Strand Rd -Stanley Rd
May - The houses on Summerseat and Campbell St had been inspected by the Medical Officer of Health and on his recommendation had been fitted with WC’s in lieu of privies the firemen were ordered to move back into 1-15 and 12-20 and to be asked to resign if they refused.
Aug - PC’s assisting at fires to be paid 6d per hour if off duty or 3d per hour on duty
Sep - Two fire stations to be built on the dock estate to be used by the brigade and the
1892 - Feb 10 - The Council approved an increase in Supt Parker’s salary to £180pa
- The Council announced that unless a retainer was paid they would not allow their Brigade to attend fires outside the Borough. Only Walton Local Board accepted their proposal and continued to receive cover.
- Supt Parker resigned upon being appointed Chief Officer ob Belfast fire brigade
July 13 - New Supt, selected, Engineer Roberts to take up his duties 01 August
July 29 - A major fire in Ralli Bros 7-storey warehouse on Effingham St. whilst damping down in the evening a wall collapsed an escape turned over and 10 men injured. Fm Robert Irvine later did of his injuries. Damage amounted to £30,000; the Council had taken out injury Insurance cover for its firemen only 3 months before for £500 each with the Imperial Union Accident. Fm Paton injured.
1893 - Horse ‘Jack’ suffering from rheumatism and the Supt was authorised to hire-in a horse.
- Order placed with Shand-Mason for a new escape on delivery this would replace an existing escape which after being refurbished was to be placed outside the Borough Hospital
Mar - Order placed with Merryweather’s for a new steamer.
- Strength increased to 17 Fm & 25 Auxiliaries: 1 Supt, 3 Engineers, 13 Fm, 1 Driver with 24 Fm and 1 Turncock Auxiliaries
July - 2nd Merryweather steamer delivered named ‘Platts’, 1,000gpm cost £598
1899 - A 3rd Merryweather steamer named ‘Cain’ delivered, 450gpm, cost £398
1901 Oct 10 - Contract signed for the new 6-bay Strand Rd fire station £24,750, the land having cost £7,000.
1904 Apr 13 - Strand Rd fire station was formally opened by the Mayor Mr J J Metcalf, having cost £32,000. The accommodation included houses for the Chief and Deputy Chief Officers and their families as well as the 2 Station Officers houses, with 9 cubicles for single firemen were sited with a recreation room over the engine house and flats on Irlam Rd and Pacific Rd were also provided.
- CFO Roberts resigned due to ill health.
- 2/O Cole appointed Chief Officer.
1915 - 1st Motor appliance delivered, Merryweather Aster, cost £1,257 named ‘Ashcroft’, it had a 450gpm Hadfield reciprocating pump
Nov - Collins retired, he was replaced by 2/O Cole
1918 - Further agreement to provide cover for Litherland UDC
1919 - 2nd motor delivered a Leyland FE named ‘Eachus’ cost £1,285,
- An ex War Department AEC tender was purchased and fitted with a Braidwood body. It proved to be too large for the engine house however and the chassis was sold ex the body
1920 - A Commercar chassis was purchased to replace the AEC at a cost of £1,050 and the body from the AEC fitted
1925 - A 350gpm Dennis Tamini trailer pump was purchased named ‘Bellamey’, cost £450
1926 - CO Cole retired
Nov - 2/O Monk was promoted CO
- An 85’ Magirus turntable ladder was purchased on a Dennis G chassis for £2,550.
1929 - A 3rd motor pump was purchased from Dennis Bros with a 750gpm pump, cost £1,450 named ‘Webster’
1935 - A Leyland FK motor with a Gwynne 500gpm pump was delivered
1941 - The station was hit by a bomb and the Chief Officers house was destroyed.
- Chief Officer Collins was relieved of his duties and a London Fire Brigade Officer A P L Sullivan appointed as Chief pending nationalisation of the n brigade.
1951 - A 4-bBay ex wartime utility station on Park LANE was re-opened to improve attendance time in Netherton, it housed a pump and crews were rotated from Strand Rd every fortnight.
1952 Nov - Work on a new 2-bay section commenced at Strand Rd, site of the blitzed Chief Officers House, included new washrooms.
1973 - The Fire Service Committee approved a plan to build a replacement District station at Almonds Turn, Sefton Estate. This was eventually built by Merseyside County FB as Bootle-Netherton replacing both Strand Rd and Park La.
1974 Mar 31 - The Brigade ceased to exist at midnight becoming part of the new Merseyside County.