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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/CL/FB
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1927-1965
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 7.05 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The County Council became responsible for the fire brigade service in Middlesex on 1 April 1948. At this date there were thirty-eight fire stations sited for local pre-war needs in three districts, with public calls routed to stations. Abolition of street alarms allowed communications to be gradually centralised into one control at Wembley. A reorganisation scheme was embarked upon based on twenty-eight stations strategically sited and involving sixteen new stations, the last of which was ready in 1965. Fire prevention work, handled in 1948 by two uniformed staff and one civilian officer, by 1964 required twenty-eight uniformed and ten civilian staff. The entire fleet of appliances taken over from the wartime National Fire Service was replaced by modern appliances, and a scheme was undertaken to improve and standardise hydrants.

From 1948 to 1964 the Brigade responded to over 170,000 calls to incidents of all kinds. Notable incidents included fires at a timber yard in Hayes (1952), at a Brentford soap works (1959), at a Wealdstone furniture repository (1961), at a furniture factory at Ponders End (1964) and the Harrow and Wealdstone railway crash of 1952. Three British Empire Medals and two Queen's Commendations for gallantry were awarded to fire fighters and the Royal Humane Society made awards to ten members of the Brigade.

The Council became responsible for the Ambulance Service on 5 July 1948. The ambulance service used the accommodation, communications and control organisation of the fire service. In 1959 the sick removal branch of the ambulance service (that is, taking people to hospital for routine appointments) became part of the health service administration and the fire and ambulance services were separated in 1962.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council Clerk's Department relating to the Fire Brigade, 1927-1965, including papers relating to the general administration of the service; copies of relevant legislation; Fire Service training school and training courses; papers on fires of special interest, fire prevention and investigation, fire fighting at airports, authority to enter buildings, communications, supply of water for fire fighting, trade union representation and membership of professional bodies; personnel matters including recruitment, retirement, discipline, regulations, working conditions and compensation; Fire Service building programme and management of fire stations, including papers on individual fire stations.

Papers relating to the Ambulance Service including ambulance service development plan, establishment and initial formation of the service, administration, complaints and appreciation from the public, conferences, trade union representation, vehicle purchase and upkeep, staff conditions of service, establishment of ambulance repair depots and agreements for transport of patients.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MCC/CL/FB/01: Establishment; MCC/CL/FB/02: General administration; MCC/CL/FB/03: Property; MCC/CL/FB/04: Staff.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For papers of the Fire Brigade Department see MCC/FB. See also papers of the London Fire Engine Establishment (reference LFE).

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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