School trip to Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum
The Museum tells the story of firefighting, particularly in the Greater Manchester region. The area has played a significant role in the story of fire brigades and fire engineering. Manchester formed England’s first municipal fire service in 1826, whilst the country’s earliest motorised fire engine was delivered to Eccles in 1901.
Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale is full of stories about the fire service. It has several focal points for education visits including:
- Victorian Street complete with fire station, insurance office and fire equipment suppliers.
- Full size fire appliances with equipment, models, medals, photographs, insignia and memorabilia relating to James Braidwood and Alfred Tozer.
- Blitz scene.
- An archive section with photographs, cine film, video, audio-tapes and printed material.
Welcome school visits
Schools are welcome to visit the Museum for a small charge. The Museum is quite small so the format for a school visit is a tour given by volunteers who staff the museum, followed by an education session chosen from a menu of activities. Teachers are encouraged to discuss their precise requirements with Museum staff before a visit.
The main themes for education visits for primary schools are:
- The Great Fire of London
- Second World War
- People who help us, safety
- Art and Design
The Museum welcomes visits from schools and offers preview sessions so that teachers can familiarise themselves with the environment and the displays. It is also helpful for Museum volunteers to meet teachers and discuss their requirements and expectations on the visit.
View their schools educational website https://gmfsmuseum.org.uk/education/school_visits.html
Museum staff are happy to guide young people around the Museum and to run educational sessions. The following provides an indication of what is on offer to primary schools. The activities are aimed at Key Stage 2 but can be tailored up or down depending on the requirements of the group.
This session examines fire brigade uniforms from 1600s to the present day. Young people are able to try on uniforms and examine materials used. They are asked to design a uniform for a modern fire fighter.
The Great Fire of London
This session explores the consequences of the Great Fire of London and leads to creative work based on Fire Marks.
Victorian Fire Station – Emergency 999
The Museum has a replica Victorian Fire station. This session examines how the public called out the fire brigade in Victorian Times. It then leads on to looking at modern day communication and the problem with hoax calls.
This session uses artefacts to bring the Blitz to life. It then leads onto creative writing based on the artefacts.
The Museum has an archive which contains a number of newspaper stories from different eras. This activity introduces young people to newspaper stories from Victorian times, the Second World War and the 1960s. Young people can compare the different writing styles from the different eras. They can also explore similarities and differences between today’s news stories and stories from the past.
Often family members of fire fighters bring newspaper articles to the Museum. Young people can examine some of these articles and act as detectives to find out more about these fire fighters from the past.
The Museum has a wide range of artefacts that have been used by fire fighters over a period of several hundred years. Scientific development can be seen through a number of artefacts from the manual water pumps to fire extinguishers to breathing apparatus. Young people have the opportunity to examine this equipment and explore the science. Teachers can choose which equipment they would like to explore in detail, depending on the area of science they are teaching.
- Breathing equipment
- Manual fire pumps
- Motor fire appliances
- Wheeled escapes and hose carts
And much more…