In 2013, Trustees agreed that there was no alternative but to urgently explore a re-location of the entire collection to a more suitable site, and one without the endless delays and complete lack of progress beyond the Trust’s control suffered at the Weedon site.
After considerable work spent in seeking another site, a location in Hampshire was identified and after negotiations with the site owners, the entire FireWorld collection of historic fire engines and firefighting & rescue equipment was re-located between October and December 2017 to storage at Petersfield, just off the A3 trunk road.
Since then, the Trust has been in discussions with the South Downs National Park planning authority regarding the detail of the FireWorld Museum new design and build.
A very welcome development has been the continued formal support of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and its fire authority for the Trust and its FireWorld Museum project within the county.
Although several UK fire brigades do maintain small historic collections reflecting their own particular area, there is still no UK National Fire & Rescue Museum such as the FireWorld collection. Attendances at these local museums do underline a strong public interest in firefighting, fire engines and their equipment, together with the operation of fire brigades as the premier emergency service.
My Trustees and I feel that the commercial potential and strong public interest in firefighting, fire engines and their equipment, together with the operation of fire brigades and their proud history over 200 years make a potential for FireWorld to become a national visitor attraction of considerable significance.
The Trust looks forward to making positive progress towards this aim on the Hampshire site in the very near future. Please watch this website for further news and developments.
Fire Services National Museum Trust