Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum

The official Museum of GMC Fire Service is situated at Rochdale Fire Station, in the north- east of the county, and opened in 1983. The many and varied exhibits include several full- size fire appliances, along with equipment, uniforms, models, photographs, medals and insignia, which together portray the history of fire fighting in general, but particularly within Greater Manchester. The Greater Manchester area has played a significant role in the history and development of fire engines and fire fighting, which the GMFS Museum portrays through its collection. The county had the first municipal fire authority in England (Manchester), the first motor fire engine purchased by a British brigade (Eccles), and has played a major part in fire engine manufacture over the past 150 years.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Admission to the Museum is free, but because the Museum is volunteer-staffed by members of the service, opening hours are by arrangement only.

There are no restrictions on visitor numbers, however group visits (max. 30 persons) are preferable. The Museum is flexible in its arrangements and can accommodate evening visits as well as daytime. Please contact us on the address given.

In addition to specific visits, the Museum holds an annual Open Day in the summer - please see the Museum's website for details.

Admission charges

Admission free.

As well as the more usual items of fire service memorabilia, the Museum has on display insurance fire marks, relics from the Manchester Blitz in 1940, and items relating to such historical fire service figures as James Braidwood and Alfred Tozer. Parts of the Museum are laid out to form period tableaux, including a Victorian street (with fire station, insurance office and fire equipment suppliers) and a World War II Blitz scene. The majority of exhibits have been restored to their present working condition by members of the GMC Fire Service Museum Society, volunteers from within the Brigade who also look after the Museum, meet visitors and provide crews for the appliances at various events throughout the UK. A comprehensive archive section is also being built up, which contains photographs, cine film, video, audio tapes and printed material. Although much of this material is not yet available for immediate public access, the museum staff will be happy to assist with research enquiries from members of the public. Persons should, in the first instance, make contact by letter, telephone or e-mail.

Collection details

Law and Order

Key artists and exhibits

  • 1741 Newsham manual pump (Ringwood FB)
  • 1845 Barton manual pump (Compstall Mill PFB)
  • 1847 Tilley manual pump
  • 1870 Shand Mason manual pump (Horrockses PFB)
  • 1882 Shand Mason steam fire engine (Horrockses PFB)
  • (currrently on long-term loan to Fire Police Museum, Sheffield)
  • 1890 Shand Mason manual pump (Wythenshawe Hall)
  • 1900 Merryweather hose cart (Cornbury Park PFB)
  • 1900 Shand Mason curricle escape ladder (Cornbury Park PFB)
  • 1904 Morris hose cart (Manchester Ship Canal Co. PFB)
  • 1910 Shand Mason steam fire engine (Skelmersdale FB)
  • 1929 Dennis pump escape (Manchester FB)
  • 1935 Merryweather trailer pump
  • 1938 Dennis trailer pump (Carlisle Elec. Board PFB)
  • 1939 Dennis trailer pump (Ferranti PFB)
  • (currently on long-term loan to Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Park)
  • 1939 Dennis trailer pump (Army FS)
  • 1940 Dennis pump escape (Manchester FB)
  • 1941 Scammell wheelbarrow pump
  • 1957 Dennis-Metz 125ft turntable ladder (Rochdale FB)

Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum
Maclure Road
OL11 1DN

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




01706 901227 (Answerphone)


01706 901227

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.