Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum and Heritage Centre

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  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Paisley Event
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Event
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Greenock Event
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Paisley Event
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Museum
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Museum
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Museum
  • Scottish Fire & Rescue Heritage Trust Museum

Museum and Heritage Centre Opening 28th June 2012

Strathclye Fire and Rescue Museum and Heritage Centre plaqueAt 11:30am on the morning of June 28th 2012, Councillor Joe Lowe Convener of the Strathclyde Fire Board opened the Museum and Heritage Centre.

SFR Heritage Trust Museum GreenockStrathclyde Fire & Rescue Chief Officer Brian Sweeney and many distinguished guests gathered at the “Old Greenock Fire Station” to celebrate the completion of the Museum & Heritage Centre project.

Following years of discussions and planning, the long awaited Museum finally opened its doors and life once again returned to this magnificent Victorian building.

Chief Officer Sweeney spoke of the surreal experience of visiting the newest of the Service’s buildings, which is the very recently opened Fire Service Training Centre in Cambuslang one day, to the contrast of visiting the very oldest of the service’s buildings, the Museum the very next day.

The old Fire Station has lain empty for some 52 years now and the building is basically as it was when the Fire Station closed its doors for the last time all those years ago. The building has many original features including hose racks, cobble stones, concrete runs for the horses and also still has the original oak doors.  Even the actual gas lamp fittings are still mounted on the walls.

With a little imagination, you can picture the flickering of the lamps as those brave firefighters went about there daily routines each and every day, always ready and willing to lay there own lives on the line to protect the townsfolk of the Greenock area.

Clcik on image for larger view

Two Minutes of Silence by Peter O’Neill

This print of the inspirational painting by Peter O’Neill was kindly gifted to the Preservation Group in December 2012 by Peter and Noelle O’Neill. The Preservation Group Wishes to express our sincere thanks to Peter and Noelle for this wonderful donation.

A little about the Painting and The Artist

Peter began as a street artist doing pencil portraits just 16 years ago on the streets of Saint Augustine Florida and now owns three galleries in the South East of America.  He hails from Staten Island New York and like many many others, was directly impacted by the horrific events of the 9/11 atrocity.  Peter’s original oil painting was auctioned for $20,000 on October 10th 2001.  The Original now hangs in the Fire Fighters Museum in New York City.

100% of the proceeds from the sale of the original was donated to the New York City Fireman and Emergency Service Relief Fund.

The O’Neill gallery has donated over 14,000 lithographs of the “Two Minutes of Silence” to Fire Departments, Police Departments and Emergency Service Stations. Their intention is to donate, with the support of the public, to every station throughout the United States of America.

Two Minutes of Silence by Peter O'Neill

The Fire Marks

The Nisbet Family at the Fire Marks Handover Ceremony at The Scottish Fire Service Training College at Gullane

The Fire Marks displayed here reflect the dramatic origins of the fire insurance industry over 200 years ago.

The Great Fire of London in 1666 highlighted the need for some form of compensation to be paid to people who had property lost or damaged in fires in the city and 1680 saw the creation of the first fire insurance company “The Fire Office”, later known as The Phoenix.

The Phoenix had its own fire brigade which would tackle fires in premises which bore the company’s mark, signifying that the buildings’ owners had paid for fire cover.

Soon, rival insurers with their own brigades were set up. Competition became so fierce that when insurance brigades discovered that burning buildings did not carry their mark, the firemen sometimes stood back, taunted or even hindered the firemen belonging to the authorised insurer’s brigade.

Fire marks displayed the Insurance Companies’ emblems or names and policy numbers. Marks were originally made of lead, followed in the 1800’s by copper and then iron and tin.

These fire marks belonged to Alexander Nisbet, Firemaster of Lanarkshire Fire Brigade until he retired in 1962. The collection was displayed for a time in the Scottish Fire Service Training College at Gullane and is now shown here courtesy of Firemaster Nisbet’s family.

Alexander Nisbet – Firemarks Collection


Fire Marks On Display Courtesy of the Nisbet Family
Firemaster Alexander Nisbet

Alexander Nisbet joined the Glasgow Fire Brigade in February 1929 and eventually attained the rank of Firemaster of Coatbridge.

When the National Fire Service (NFS) was formed in 1941 he served as Fire Force Commander in the Dundee and Highland areas. He was awarded the George Medal for bravery within two days of being temporarily attached to the London Fire Brigade. For the story of his courageous actions in London, click on the Fire Mark at the bottom of this page.

In 1947 he became the first Firemaster of the newly formed Lanarkshire Fire Brigade and was instrumental in the building of the new headquarters in Hamilton, which is now the HQ for Strathclyde Fire & Rescue. He was awarded the MBE and OBE.

During his time he collected Fire Marks and formed one of the largest private collections in UK. When he retired in 1962, he donated them to the Fire Service College Gullane. With the Fire Museum & Heritage Centre opening, the Nisbet family generously donated the collection to the Museum & Heritage Centre for public display.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service along with the Heritage Trust wishes to express our sincere gratitude to the Nisbet Family for allowing this world class collection to be shown in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Museum and Heritage Centre.

Visit the Museum and Heritage Centre

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum
and Heritage Centre
The Fire Station
Dalrymple Street
PA15 1LY

Our museum is located within the Old Fire Station on Dalrymple Street, which is part of the Municipal Buildings in Greenock.  The entrance to the museum is on Wallace Place just off of Dalrymple Street.

It is also conveniently located close to Greenock Central Railway Station and is within walking distance.

Walking directions to Museum from Greenock Central Railway Station

From the station ticket office, proceed down Station Avenue across the Square to the statue of the horse. Turn left and walk west along past the Job Centre and just before you get to Wallace Place the Museum is on your left and the entrance is through the middle black doors.


To book a visit

Travel Information

The Museum is open on the second and last Sunday of every month from 12:00 – 16:00

For full Museum and Heritage Centre Opening Times and Events Please See Our Events Page

Museum opening tmes

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum
and Heritage Centre
The Old Fire Station Dalrymple Street
PA15 1LY


Registered Scottish Charity (SC043929)