Fire and police museum set for take-off

Fire and police exhibition set for take-off

Historic memorabilia celebrates the county's emergency services

The stories of two of Hampshire’s emergency services will be told through a historic exhibition that is due to open today (July 12).

Artefacts include uniforms and equipment dating back to the 1700s and a ‘muster bay’ complete with fire pole as well as police motorbikes and the recreation of a cell.

The Police and Fire Heritage Collection will be opened at Solent Sky Museum at 1pm by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson.

These pieces, which came from private collections and later could only be viewed by private appointment, will now be open to the public.

This exhibition, on the second floor of the museum, has been put together by retired firefighters and police officers who formed the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust.

The joint collection follows the theme of the increased partnership working of the two public safety services within the county.

Turning the clock back, many fire brigades around the country, including Portsmouth, were police fire brigades, with the responsibility for fire protection resting with the chief constable.

Trust Chairman and former Deputy Chief Officer of HFRS Alan House said: “The history of any organisation is very much a part of how that organisation operates today and plans for the future.

“The county can boast a very progressive and internationally well respected fire and rescue service and constabulary.

“This event is built on the foundations of the proud history of both organisations, who work so closely in providing a professional and effective level of safety for the communities of Hampshire.

“Many years of building up, the then separate, heritage collections, were in danger of ending and this opportunity to combine them under one roof and make them available to the public, rather than by private appointment, means we are providing a source of education, historical interest and research.”

The opening will be attended by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Chris Carter along with other members, the Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane and the High Sheriff of Hampshire Mary Montagu-Scott.

Historic extinguishers
Historic extinguishers