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Welcome to a brand-new year!

My last blog took a look back at the last year so it's perfect that this blog now looks to what we have planned for 2023!

CEO Belinda McMartin in the museum, 2022
CEO Belinda McMartin in the museum, 2022

Our team at the Museum have a busy schedule of events planned for the year and I’m excited to see lots of visitors pass through our doors.

Our calendar of public events kicks off on Sunday 12 February with our first Heritage Day of the year. The theme for this event is ladder, platform and aerial appliances. The two feature vehicles of this display day will be our 2023 vehicle of the year (to be revealed on the day) and the newest addition to the heritage fleet the Iveco Magirus Turntable Ladders. Our February Heritage Day’s are always a great family day out so be sure to bring the family.

If you can’t wait until February to visit the Museum the shortlisted entrants of the 2022 Museum of Fire Art Competition is now on show! Visitors can vote for the People’s Choice Award until Friday 13 January 2023 in the Museum and online. The winners will be announced at a ceremony later in January.

Photograph of the Museum of Fire 2022 Art Competition hanging in the gallery space
Museum of Fire 2022 Art Competition

As the school holidays continue, we are open every day, including the public holidays, and we have extra fire engine rides available! To see when rides are operating check out our events page.

Every Thursday afternoon we also have our sensory sessions which means that all the lights and sound are turned off for those who would rather visit in a quieter and calmer environment.

Christmas may be over, but the Museum’s shop is packed to the brim with some great new items! From Firefighter Barbie to Fireman Sam there is something for everyone! All items can be purchased both in store and online so be sure to check out the shop!

I can scarcely complete a blog without dipping my toe into some history – old habits die hard after all!

I was inspired by the heritage teams’ recent posts about the new brigades established 75 years ago in 1948. In total seven new brigades were formed in Bombala, Branxton-Greta, Henty, The Entrance, Culcairn, Forster and Lake Cargelligo.

This reflected the change that was occurring across the state with rural townships growing in the wake of the Second World War as people left the major cities and the fire danger of many remote towns being of concern at Government level which saw the communities’ needs be met by the introduction of a qualified fire brigade.

One area that saw the changes sweeping the state as far as fire protection went was the Blue Mountains. Until this time Blackheath, Katoomba and the Blue Mountains were all separate fire districts however in July 1948 these were dissolved and the area between Lapstone and Mount Victoria was combined to form the one larger district known as the Blue Mountains. This decision acknowledged the likelihood that further brigades would be needed in the region in the future.

Up in the Newcastle region Lambton Fire Station re-opened after being closed a few years earlier.

By the 1920s the Lambton area was protected by five local Brigades with the additional support of permanently staffed Brigades in Newcastle. This meant that when it came time to renovate a number of the local Station’s the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW questioned whether so many Stations were still needed across the area, especially since the introduction of motor appliances which saw the response time of Brigades increased across a wider area.

The first Brigade’s to amalgamate in the area were the Broadmeadow and Hamilton Brigades. Located only 2.4km apart the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW decided that instead of renovating the two Station’s one ‘superstation’ would be created with space to house a permanent Firefighter. In 1924 the new Station was opened in Hamilton; hence the new Station was named Hamilton and the two Brigades came together to form the Hamilton Fire Brigade. This left the Lambton Region with four Brigades to oversee its fire protection, however at the end of World War Two this number dropped to only two.

Lambton Fire Brigade’s Old Station (opened in 1914), pictured here 1990s [Museum of Fire collection]
Lambton Fire Brigade’s Old Station (opened in 1914), pictured here 1990s [Museum of Fire collection]

In 1945, following economic measures, both Lambton and Adamstown Fire Stations were closed. The staffs of the two Stations were transferred to New Lambton Fire Station, thus increasing the Brigade to 30 personnel. With only two Brigades now operating in the area, locals began a campaign to increase this number. They were successful and on 26 October 1948 Lambton Fire Station was re-opened and the original members of the Brigade were transferred back to the Station, however Adamstown Fire Station remained permanently closed.

To read more about the closed Adamstown Fire Station check out the blog.

- CEO Belinda McMartin


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