Strathard Heritage Digital Archive

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Opening of Aberfoyle Fire Station July 1953 by Sandy Goodwin

This first appeared on the Facebook page Aberfoyle Past and Present on 31 July 2021

On this day 53 years ago (Wednesday 31 July 1968), James (Jimmy) B. Robertson, my grandfather, County Councillor for Aberfoyle & Menteith opened Aberfoyle Fire Station after much campaigning for the new station.

Official opening by James Robertson
Councillor Robertson addressing the audience

Presentation fire axe
Inscription on fire axe

Also seen are Mr. John Kidd and Hon. Treasurer W. M. S. Wood, chairman and vice-chairman respectfully of Perth and Kinross Fire Committee; Firemaster A. Masson and his deputy, Mr. D. McMurtrie.

The article that I believe was in Perthshire Advertiser, August 3, 1968:When County Councillor J B Robertson officially opened the new fire station in the West Perthshire tourist resort of Aberfoyle on Wednesday evening, the ceremony served to recall the formation of the first fire crew in this part of Rob Roy country. The Fire Service does not have a very long history in the district. No record of any such service prior to the second world war has been found, but just after the outbreak of hostilities an AFS unit, consisting of a trailer pump, was allocated to the village and housed in the Bailie Nicol Jarvie Hotel. It was envisaged that the pump would be towed by a private car, but in August 1940, a serious blaze occurred and the trailer pump wasn’t used! The fire was dealt with by the Stirling Brigade, stationed twenty miles away. This was enough to bring a protest from the residents of Aberfoyle and resulted in the first fire crew being formed. The members of that crew were Leading Fireman James McLelland, and Firemen A. Cameron, D. Campbell, C McAdam, S Taylor, and D McLaren. Of these, only two – Mr Cameron and Mr McLaren – are still alive (1968), and both were present at Wednesday’s inauguration. In 1941, the Fire Service was nationalised, and Aberfoyle became a small unit in a very large organisation. The Perth and Kinross Brigade was formed on de-nationalisation, and in the summer of 1947, Mr Donald Crerar became Officer in Charge at Aberfoyle, holding that post for 15 years until his retiral in 1962. He, too, attended the mid-week ceremony. The Aberfoyle unit, housed in a completely new building on the main road, is now equipped with a modern fire appliance, catering especially for the needs of the area. The machine carries 400 gallons of water and is fitted with a pump capable of delivering 500 gallons per minute. Rescue equipment for use in road accidents is also carried, together with all the normal firefighting gear. In keeping with all brigade appliances, the Aberfoyle machine is fitted with a radio for communication with headquarters control in Perth. The present (1968) Officer in Charge is Mr. T. Frame who has filled the post since November 1962, with Mr. W. Taylor as his deputy. Nine of the full complement of 10 firemen were on parade on Wednesday night.