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Councillor sparks fire debate in Heywood

September 5, 2008 12:00 AM

Councillor Doreen Brophy-Lee, Councillor Peter Rush and Councillor Malcolm Bruce outside Heywood Railway StationHeywood North Councillor Peter Rush has put forward plans for the official Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Museum to be relocated to Heywood. The museum, which is currently located on Maclure Road, Rochdale, is looking for a new home when plans go ahead for a brand new Fire Station in Rochdale. It is the second time that Councillor Rush has called for the museum to be relocated to Heywood.

Councillor Rush, who is a representative on the Greater Manchester Fire Authority, said: "I attended the recent Greater Manchester Fire Authority meeting and suggested that it would be good idea to relocate the fire museum to Heywood, keeping it within our Borough. I have requested a meeting with Bob Bonner, the museum's general manager, to talk with him about my plans. I have previously brought this idea up at the authority and I have their full support and can see no reason why we cannot go ahead with it.

"The museum portrays the significant role Greater Manchester has played in the history and development of fire engines and fire fighting through its collection. For example, Manchester had the first municipal fire authority in England. Eccles was the first brigade in Britain to purchase a motor fire engine, and the county has played a major part in fire engine manufacture over the past 150 years.

"The museum features several full-size fire appliances, along with equipment, uniforms, models, photographs, medals and insignia and interesting memorabilia relating to such historical figures as James Braidwood and Alfred Tozer and I think it would be great to have this in Heywood.

"The key position for the museum, I believe, would be our railway station. This would breathe new life into our increasingly isolated station. As can be seen at other railway stations along the line such as Bury, Rossendale and Rawthanstall, regeneration has a really positive effect for the surrounding area.

"We need more people coming to Heywood to give an extra boost to our superb market that we are proud of and also other local businesses that are vital to our town centre.

"I will be pushing this issue further and I promise to do my best to bring the museum to Heywood."