West Midlands Fire Service Heritage Group museum thriving at new Aston Fire Station home

Work to relocate the West Midlands Fire Service Heritage Group to its 'new' home has come to fruition - in time to mark the service's 50th anniversary.

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Published on 9 April 2024

The group was based in flats at Aston Fire Station for many years, until they were demolished in 2019. Now, its prized collection has pride of place in the Grade II-listed station building which opened in 1924.

The museum, which can be visited by appointment, hosts fire appliances, equipment, and artefacts used throughout our fifty-year existence. It also features items and tools used before then, in the very early days of firefighting, with several themed rooms visitors can explore.

These include extensive archives centred on the history of firefighting across the West Midlands, a space detailing Birmingham’s firefighting history, a look at the changes to firefighting equipment, the National Fire Service Room, a service that began in 1941 during the Second World War, and our garage, which contains antique firefighting appliances.

Outside of Aston Fire Station

Heritage Group volunteer and former West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) firefighter, Tony Woolley, has overseen recent updates to displays and the move into Aston Station. Aston is one of several stations Tony served at in his thirty-year WMFS career. He said: “I love telling people about the history of the service, and the more people we can encourage to visit the museum, the better.

“Anything I can do to promote WMFS is a positive. There’s so much history in the fire service.

“We encourage people to come to Aston Fire Station to discover our history for themselves.

“My favourite item in our collection is the 8-person pump kept in the garage that has been recently restored!”

Tony Woolley

Heritage Group Volunteer

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Everyone is welcome, from visitors to anyone interested in volunteering with the Heritage Group”.
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A range of clothing, tools, artefacts and photographs on display at the Heritage Group Museum
A range of clothing, tools, and equipment used in firefighting over the years in a room the Heritage Group Museum

Simon Barry, Assistant Chief Fire Officer said: “It’s fantastic to see the Heritage Group settled in its ‘new’ home.

“The group’s volunteers and the impressive, revamped museum celebrate the origins and past of the service we’re proud to belong to today.

“It’s great to see that showcased in our wonderful fire station in Aston, which fittingly celebrates its own 100th birthday in the service’s fiftieth year.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Barry - Director for Enabling Services

Simon Barry

Assistant Chief Fire Officer

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Our heritage is intertwined in the histories of the communities we serve.
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Pre-arranged tours of the Ettington Road museum are hosted on Tuesdays. If that’s not possible, Heritage Group volunteers will try to entertain visits where possible.

To discuss a visit, please email the volunteers at heritage.group@wmfs.net or call 0121 380 7512.