A visit to the MOD Fire Museum this morning and with a tour given by its curator Brian Harris. The museum is housed in the Old RAF Fire School building within the boundary of the Ministry of Defence Fire Service Central Training Establishment at Manston.
As I wrote in an earlier post, the owner and founder of the Museum is Sgt Steve Shirley MBE, who was an instructor on the staff of the CTE and the roots of the present museum go back some twenty years when he obtained his first model fire engine.
Steve started collecting fire related items as a hobby and the collection now runs into many thousands of individual items which include a superb display of over 150 helmets from all over the world which form a large part of the Museum display of today.
The collection continued to grow in the current building as a tribute to the fire fighting Services from around the world and It was officially opened as the Ministry of Defence Fire Museum in June 1995 and was renamed the Manston Fire Museum in November 1998.
The collection, as you can see from the photos I have put up in the library today, consists of many photographs and posters on display alongside models, badges, patches, uniforms, helmets, prints, extinguishers and, of course, really serious fire fighting equipment, both military and civilian ranging from 1868 to the present day.
Many thanks to curator Brian and the RAF for showing me around and letting me photograph the aircraft parked “out the back”. School parties are welcomed by appointment.