Celebrating 150 Years of the Fire and Rescue Service in Newtown

The crew at Newtown Fire Station recently marked a remarkable milestone in their history, by celebrating 150 years of the Fire and Rescue Service in the town.

On Saturday, April 6th, a special celebration event was held at the Fire Station which brought together current and former members of Service staff, as well as invited guests.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas opened the event and spoke about the history of the Fire and Rescue Service in Newtown and its formation.

In April 1874, the Newtown Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed, and it has been through several iterations since then.  In 1948, the Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire Joint Fire Service was formed following the National Fire Service handing over fire control to regional county and county borough services.  In 1974, each of the newly-formed County Councils maintained their own, separate Fire and Rescue Services and in 1996, the Dyfed, Powys and West Glamorgan Fire Brigades were merged by the Welsh Government Wales Act 1994 to create Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Significant moments and incidents in Newtown’s Fire and Rescue Service include a catastrophic fire at the Cambrian Mills in 1912, the arrival of its first steam fire engine in 1913, the siren alerting firefighters of an incident replaced with pocket ‘bleepers’ in 1971 and a large fire at Newtown Tannery in 1981.

There is no doubt that the Fire and Rescue Service in Newtown has seen immense change throughout its history, from horse-drawn carts to state-of-the-art fire engines and lifesaving equipment.  Throughout its history, the firefighters at Newtown Fire Station have all demonstrated dedication, courage and service to the local community, and have undoubtedly saved countless lives.

By celebrating the 150th anniversary, it is not only a reflection on the past, but is a reaffirmation of the Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to the community of Newtown for the future.

Historical images from 'Frank Moore's Photographs Old and New of Newtown, Powys'.