A country fire station

Camden Fire Station

The Camden Fire Station was opened in 1917 at 38 John Street Camden. The building was formerly the Camden Temperance Hall.

Entrance Museum Fire Station Library Complex 2008 lowres
The entrance to the former fire station at 38 John Street, now part of the Camden Museum Library Complex. The station was the former Temperance Hall built in the late 1800s. This station replaced an older fire station in Hill Street. This image was taken in 2008 after the re-adaptation of the site. (I Willis)

 

The brigade moved into the new premises after the NSW Fire Brigade purchased the land and buildings of the old Temperance Hall for  £350, and spent another £339 on improvements. (Camden News, 25 January 1917)

The opening of the new fire station in 1917 was a big event. It took place on 24 January 1917 at  5 pm. when Mr. E.H. Farrer President of the Fire Board and three board members officially opened the new station. (Camden News, 25 January 1917)

The local press reported that Mr Farrer stated:

This building in comparison with the old one was as a palace to a pig-stye, and he recognised that every consideration should be given to the fire fighters, and was certain the new structure would mean much to them in their training. (Camden News, 25 January 1917)
The Mayor of Camden, Aid. G. F. Furner, expressed pleasure at meeting the Board -in .Camden once more, and to see the work recently completed. It only seemed a few months since the council had met the Board in this same building, as it was then, when it was pointed out that with suitable alterations the old hall would mean all requirements. The council and the people of Camden, were he was sure, pleased to see that the Board had carried out the suggestion.
We have now an up to date Fire Station, but he hoped it would be a long time before its use would be required, but it was a grand thing to be prepared. He spoke feelingly in reference to tho local brigade, and congratulated Captain Peters 011 the efficiency of the men under his charge, men, he said, who always have taken a keen interest in their work. Captain Peters’ had been in charge of the brigade many years now and had always shown that keen interest in it which proved it to be a labor of love.  (Camden News, 25 January 1917)

The Camden Fire Brigade was formed up in 1900 and was housed in a shed in Elizabeth Street.  The original brigade was formed up on military lines with officers holding rank and had 10 volunteers.

The brigade moved to premises in Hill Street in 1902 provided by produce merchant and general store owner CT Whiteman at a monthly rental of 1/-.  A shed was built for the station at a cost of £38/16/6.

New South Wales Fire Brigades (NSWFB), created in 1910, is the State Government agency responsible for the provision of fire, rescue and hazmat services in cities and towns across New South Wales.

In the 1920s and 1930s the brigade was called out to between 1-5 fires each year, which increased in the 1950s to around 30 per year and in last decade between 200-400 calls.

During the Second World War the siren at the station was used as town’s air raid siren when practice blackouts were held throughout the town.

The fire brigade moved to new premises in Elderslie in 1993.

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