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Ipstones Fire Station appeals for information on serving members

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A FIRE station is to honour all the people who have served the community as it prepares to celebrate its 75th year.

Firefighters at Ipstones are appealing for people to come forward with the names of anyone they know who has served at the station during the last 75 years.

On completion of the information a plaque is to be inscribed with all the names and erected on the station for public view.

Crew manager at the station, Dave Mollart, said: "We require the names of all personnel who have served at the station, along with the year they started and left. We already have a list, but we need to make sure everyone is included.

"A plaque is then going to be produced with all the names. An unveiling ceremony is planned for later in the year to mark the 75th anniversary and also to honour the people who have served the community.

"This will be like a gift from the fire station to the community, as without these people there would not have been a fire station in the village."

The station, based in Froghall Road, serves many villages in the Staffordshire Moorlands and regularly backs up colleagues in Leek and Cheadle. The village crew has also been called into Stoke-on-Trent and South Staffordshire on numerous occasions.

In 1938 a public meeting was called in the village to discuss with a civil defence chief from Stafford any ideas the community had on forming an organisation like the Home Guard.

Forms were given out to choose from six different organisations, and the fire service won the poll. In 1939 the village was presented with a Coventry Climax pump which was towed by the car of the new leader of the station, Selwyn Alexander, who was the main driving force in setting up the fire station.

Mr Alexander went on to become the station officer of both Ipstones and Cheadle until his retirement in 1969.

The first station was a small garage at the Old Smithy House in High Street.

In 1942 the station was moved to a larger garage 150 yards up the road.

Then in 1946 a big step forward was made when a second-hand Army hut from the south of the country was set on brick and erected in Church Lane.

This was expected to last a few years. In 1947 the fire service was turned over from being government backed to being run by counties across the country.

At this stage many local fire stations closed down, but Ipstones decided to carry on and was presented with its first Dennis fire engine.

The Army hut, however, stood for longer than planned and it was not until 1996 that new state of the art premises were built at the present site.

If you can supply the names of any firefighters, along with the dates that they served, please contact Mr Mollart on 07792 218743.

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