A PROJECT being led by an enthusiastic ex-fireman has launched a website that will work like an ‘online museum’ chronicling the history of Blackburn Fire Station.
Steve Brown, who was a Blackburn firefighter for 30 years before retiring last year, set up the Phoenix Project after years of collecting fire station memor-abilia.
The 55-year-old father-of-three said: “I started coll-ecting stuff for displays for open days, and things like that. The first one was prob- ably around 1992, and I just really enjoyed it, and found it really interesting.
“I ended up with quite a bit of stuff, including old log books from the 1900s, and old equipment, unif-orms and helmets.
“I set it all up in the old fire station, in Canterbury Street, but it was never fully opened to the public.
“Sadly, when the fire stat- ion moved, there wasn’t any room for it any more, and most of it was put in storage, or given to Black-burn museum.
“The log books were giv-en to the Lancashire arch-ives, in Preston.”
The new website, www. blackburnfirehistory.org was launched last month after the team of volunt-eers who run the project - a group that includes serv- ing and ex-firefighters, loc- al history groups, and stud- ents - was granted £25,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to boost the project.
Steve is currently phot-ocopying the hundred-year- old log books to put them online for all to see.
“There’s some good stor- ies in there. The fire stat-ion in Blackburn has alw-ays been one of the bus- iest in the area.
“You can see logs where they’ve been called out to a man who’d got his toe stuck in a bath tap, and then there’s other really huge fires with the whole crew deployed.
“It’s fascinating stuff.”
The team hope that, by putting the information online, people from all over the world will able to trace their fire-fighting relatives in Blackburn.
They also hope that the website will become an interactive forum for people to discuss Blackburn hist-ory, upload any photog-raphs of their own mem- orabilia, and share their stories.