Firefighters conduct training exercise at Towneley Hall
10:00pm Saturday 29th September 2012 in News
FIREFIGHTERS salvaged national treasures from Towneley Hall yesterday - but there was no need to panic.
Officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue conducted the mock exercise at the Burnley hall to increase their skills when dealing with emergencies involving museum art collections throughout the county.
The mock rescue, which involved removing historic paintings, centuries old furniture and other valuable artefacts, took place in the morning when the hall is closed to the public.
However, every effort was made to keep it as realistic as possible.
Towneley Hall’s art gallery boasts a spectacular collection of historic items from fine and decorative arts to natural, local and military history.
This event saw fire services ‘rescue’ some of the pieces.
Barry Hornsby from Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “We have to train realistically and with the cooperation of Towneley Hall that was made possible.
“It is classed as a high risk building because of the national treasures and the cost implications involved.
“Therefore we conducted a realistic scenario.”
Mike Townend, Keeper of History at Towneley Hall, said: “When you work somewhere as historically important as Towneley it is vital that we are as prepared as possible for every eventuality, and events like this help us to ensure that our disaster plan is fully up to date.
“In the case of an emergency obviously staff and visitors would be of utmost importance, but it is important to have these plans in place to be able to save as much as possible from the hall.”