City of Liverpool Fire Service/Brigade 1948 - 1974

1948 Apr 01 - The new City of Liverpool Fire Service was born manning
The establishment was now set at
1 Chief
1 Assistant Chief
5 Divisional Officer
4 Assistant Divisional Officers                             
25 Station Officers
39 Sub Officers
46 Leading Firemen
367 Firemen
17 Control Room staff                                                        
41 Civilians                                                                          
19 Administrative                

The wartime Fire Force Commander Joe Clitherow was appointed as Chief Officer.                                                   

1949 Dec - The first post war limousine appliance was delivered a Dennis F7 pump escape registration number KLV 2, 60 more Dennis pumps were bought up to 1974.

Essex Street, 1951.
Essex Street, 1951.
1951 - Tom Kelly became Chief Officer following the appointment of Joe Clitherow as Chief of Lancashire County Fire Brigade.

1952 - Marechal continental air horns were trialled, having both triple and dual tone modes, fitted onto 2 PE at Hatton Garden. These proved to be a great success, and in a modified form were fitted to some of the front line fleet of PE, P and to the ET. The modification consisted of removing a valve so the 3 horns sounded together producing one very loud blast of sound, rather like a train. TL EKA 342 had a Marechal fitted on its near side. They remained in use for the 10 years until the Home Office decreed only 2- tone `Donkey Bray` horns be used. 

Hendersons Fire, 1960.
Hendersons Fire, 1960.
1960 June - Fire at William Henderson’s department store on Church St resulted in 11 deaths

1962 - Tom Kelly retired and Frank Taylor was appointed Chief

1963 - The first 3 of what were later called Foam Pumps were delivered. In all there were 19 all on Dennis chassis, 3 F24, 5 F34, 7 F44 and 4 F49’s they were fitted with a Pyrene round the pump foam proportioner, a built-in 50g compound tank and a pick up inductor. This foam making capability was however little used operationally.
1966 May - Through one of the companies who supplied vehicles to the Brigade, Perris & Kearon, 4 second-hand Hands 6t semi-trailers were obtained at a cost of £120 each plus a single handling charge of £30. The trailers dated from 1963 and had been in use as drays with a local brewery, Higson’s Ltd. Two were converted into a Ships Firefighting Trailer and a Foam Trailer. They were based at Hatton Garden towed by an Austin tractor unit.

Hatton Garden, 1967.
Hatton Garden, 1967.
1967 - Trials of High Expansion foam were held using at least 5 different generators. The trials included using a HP and the tug William Lamey in the River. 5,000cu ft of finished foam per minute was produced. A slim line Kiddie / Angus Fire Armour P500 Turbex HX portable foam generator was subsequently purchase one of the fisrt in local authority use in the UK.

Nov - A 2nd tractor unit an Austin FJK 240 was delivered, reg no NKD 162F. Diesel powered it was also fitted with a Scammell automatic coupling. The reasoning put to the Fire Service Committee for this purchase was first if the first tractor broke down and second if one was needed to tow the Canteen Trailer. It was based at Belle Vale Rd fire station along with the 3rd and 4th trailers now the Canteen Trailer and Heavy Water Unit.

1969 May 08 - The Brigade’s first Pump Hydraulic Platform or Pump Snorkel [PHP] on an ERF chassis was delivered, allocated Fleet No 52.Trials were undertaken at the Training School.

Oct 27 - Operational trials at C1 Hatton Garden under StnO Brian Jones amongst others, it was kept in the Upper Yard not the appliance room. It proved to be underpowered, Brian Jones recalled going up William Brown St, and being passed by the pump and other traffic as the machine couldn’t cope with the gradient.

Bankhall, 1971.
Bankhall, 1971.
1970 Mar - The PHP went on the run at station C4 Bankhall.

1973 - The Brigades’ strength was now
1 Chief
1 Deputy Chief
2 Assistant Chiefs
9 Divisional Officer 
10 Assistant Divisional Officers   
69 Station Officers  
78 Sub Officers       
73 Leading Firemen including one girl in Fire Prevention Dept                               
479 Firemen
30 Control Room staff
10 Junior Firemen

1974 Mar 31 - Some 140 years after the original Fire Police were formed the City of Liverpool Fire Brigade ceased to exist at midnight, becoming part of the new Merseyside County Fire Brigade.

Chief Officers of the Liverpool Police Fire Brigade, the City Of Liverpool Fire Service & Brigade 1836-1974

3 Chief Fire Officers
Frank Taylor CBE. QFSM. GIFireE      01/02/1962-3/1974
Thomas A Kelly CBE. QFSM. AIFireE    7/1951-2/1962
Joseph Clitherow CBE. QFSM. MIFireE     4/1948- 7/1951
3 Nfs Fire Force Commanders No 26 Area
Joseph Clitherow OBE.QFSM. MIFireE.     1/1943-3/1948
Albert Patrick Loisol Sullivan CBE. MM.    3/1942-1/1943
S H Charters OBE.       17/8/1941-3/1942
12 Foremen / Superintendent / Chief Officer & 1 In Executive In Command
Chief Supt Albert Patrick Loisol Sullivan MM. MBE.    A/CO 26/5/1941-16/8/1941
Cdr Aylmer George Newton Firebrace CBE. RN. 7/5/1941-26/05/1941
Chief Supt Harry R Owen OBE.  7/1939-26/5/1941
Title Chief Officer substituted  1929
Chief Supt George Albert Oakes KPM  10/1921-7/1939
Chief Supt Alexander Wall Weir KPM  11/1907-10/1921
Chief Supt James Jeffrey Thomas 06/1899-27/10/1907
Chief Supt James Samuel Willis 10/1891-1899
Supt William M McWilliam 05/1880-10/1891
Supt John Copland 12/1874-04/1880
Supt John Hancox 03/1873-12/1874
Supt John Hewitt 4/1836-03/1873
A / Foreman Michael Whitty 1836
Foreman Thomas Gallimore 1834-1836

About Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Heritage and Education Centre


Merseyside has a 180-year proud tradition of firefighting and has often been at the forefront of innovation and new technology during that time.

The service has memorabilia, machines and equipment from generations of firefighting and one of the largest photographic archives of any UK fire and rescue service including more than 80,000 digitised files and pictures. Why not visit our Heritage and Education Centre.

more about the Heritage Centre

Opening Times

The Heritage Centre is open to the Public Monday to Friday between 10.00 and 15.00.

It is essential that visits are pre-booked, preferably by telephone or email.

Tel: 0151 296 4714 / 4640


For reception staff if members of the public arrive at reception to visit the Heritage Centre without pre-booking please phone the centre to check staff are available.

The Heritage and Education centre is located at; Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 4YD