Region: North West

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum, Maclure Road, Rochdale, Lancs 0L11 1DN

Contact: 01706 341219



The Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum tells the story of firefighting, particularly in the Greater Manchester region. The area has played a significant role in the story of fire brigades and fire engineering. Manchester formed England’s first municipal fire service in 1826, whilst the country’s earliest motorised fire engine was delivered to Eccles in 1901.

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Exactly what does your venue offer to educational visits?

We provide the opportunity to learn about the history of fire and fire brigades from before the start of organized firefighting right to the present day, with the help of our wonderful collection of full-sized fire engines, equipment, uniforms, medals and insignia and images.  We are located on the site of a 1930s heritage fire station. Whilst built around the most popular topics such as The Great Fire of London, the Victorians and World War II, the Museum’s educational offer is adaptable and can be tailor-made to suit teachers’ requirements. We can therefore provide for additional subjects such as science, textiles, art and journalism and teachers are invited to discuss any special requests in advance.

Why you are you a great place for educational visits?

All educational sessions and tours are delivered by genuine ex-firefighters or control room staff, adding credibility and reality to every topic. All sessions also include appropriate fire safety lessons, interwoven with the topic and explained by people with related experience and knowledge . There are plenty of opportunities for “hands on” experience, too and our aim is for the children to thoroughly enjoy their session at the Museum whilst learning.

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?

Yes, LOTC and Visit England Quality Assurance accreditation for visitor attractions

What does a typical educational visit include?

Typically, we begin with a classroom session of up to an hour, illustrated and with object-handling, uniform-trying etc. This session will depend on the subject matter requested, eg The Great Fire of London or The Blitz etc.

We then go into the Museum for a guided tour, which can take between 45-60 minutes typically, looking at the fire engines, equipment and uniforms at close quarters. Again this will also be linked to the topic where appropriate. This is the end of a “short” session.

For the longer session offered, it would be the same as above, followed by (bring-your-own) lunch and then a more relaxed session back in the classroom for activities such as drawing, design, quizzing, etc, appropriate to age and topic, for which we will supply all necessary resources.

What group sizes do you cater for?

Normal maximum group size is 30, although there is some flexibility available in the case of a slightly larger class. Please speak to the museum about class size when booking. Very large classes (eg 60) would normally require more than one visit.  For the museum tour part of the visit, the class is usually split into smaller groups for convenience and ease of movement.

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?

We will provide resource material in the case of the longer visit with activities after lunch. Otherwise we do not have teacher’s packs or worksheets at this time.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?

We are happy for this if it is for individual or school use, however we do not encourage photography or video of the museum to be published on the internet

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?

Risk assessment available from the Museum if requested; we can also facilitate if teachers wish to pre-visit and carry out their own assessments

Does your venue have an education officer?

Education sessions are delivered by Museum staff. Please contact the Museum in the normal way through our published contact methods

What is the cost of the visit?

A “short” visit costs £1.50 per pupil, the longer session is £2.   There is no charge for accompanying adults.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

Qualified and experienced first aiders on site

Please list facilities available.

Light refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits) are available on school visiting days. There is also a small souvenir shop with items ranging from 20p upwards. For schools we can also offer pre-packed “goody bags” from the shop of £1.50 or £2 each with a range of suitable items inside.

School (packed) lunches are taken in the classroom as the Museum cafeteria area is very small. There is however some outside space where children may “let off a bit of steam” under supervision.

There is ample room for parking, including coaches.

What are your disabled facilities?

The Museum and classroom is all on one (ground) floor, with ramp access available for any steps. There are girls,’ boys’ and accessible toilets available, though the boys’ toilet is up a flight of stairs. Please advise the Museum in advance of any special needs, including wheelchairs or children with specific issues (eg “no loud noises”) and we will work with you to help everybody enjoy their day

What are your opening days and hours?

The Museum is open on Fridays which is when school visits should be booked. However, at busy times when all Friday sessions are booked we will try to assist by providing additional dates (by arrangement) subject to staff availability.

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?

Our aim is for every child to have maximum enjoyment at the Museum whilst learning about the intended topic, as well as safety and life skills. We are completely flexible in subject matter and delivery with long experience of the subject matter and engagement with young people.

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Historical Heritage Museums

Curriculum Topics Covered: History

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December