Firefighters will be waving farewell to Hanley Fire Station at an event being held to celebrate the end of an era. Hanley Fire Station Farewell Day is being held on Saturday 27th March from 12 noon - 4pm.
"This will be a truly momentous occasion, particularly for the staff who have worked here over the years. The station holds many memories, some of which we hope to embrace as part of this special event."
Stoke on Trent Area Commander, Wayne Bowcock
The event will mark the closure of the station, as it is knocked down to make way for a brand new community fire station. The fire station, built in 1970, will start to be demolished in April to make way for the new £6.09 million station.
The free event, open to both past and present fire service staff and the general public, will take people on a trip down memory lane, from the 70s through to the current day. There will be displays of old uniform, old newspapers cuttings and fire service memorabilia from the past 40 years. “Modern day” demonstrations throughout the day will include rope rescues, chip pan fires and firefighters showing how they cut people free from car crashes. There will also be the opportunity for people to view the fire engines and Service mascot, Welephant, will also be entertaining the crowds.
"We also hope the public will join us in our celebrations; it will give them a final opportunity to what is behind those big red doors before they close for the last time.
"The new station to be built couldn’t be more different to the current station; it will come complete with facilities for use by the public, allowing us to really embed ourselves within the local community." Wayne Bowcock, Stoke on Trent Area Commander
Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Member, Councillor Denver Tolley added: "It will be sad to see the old station go, it has become somewhat of a landmark in the City Centre! However what it will be replaced with will be is a brand new, iconic, state of the art building that welcomes the community through its doors.
"It’s a very busy time for the staff as they prepare to move out of the station but it’s an exciting time as they look forward to what lies ahead."
During the construction of the new building the firefighters will continue to operate from the site, from temporary accommodation. The new community fire station is expected to open in July 2011. The station is one of ten new community fire stations being built across the County under the multi million private finance initiative (PFI) project. The consortium delivering the project is called Fire Support and construction company, Thomas Vale have been contracted to carry out the build at Hanley.
Parking at the event will be restricted to disabled badge users, members of the public are encouraged to make use of local City Centre car parks. Entry to the event is free.