Post War

Part 5 of 5
By Michael Bissett-Powell

The Fire Service Act was passed in 1947 and as a result the wartime National Fire Service and the AFS were disbanded and control was passed to the County and County Borough Councils.  In Surrey, the fire brigade was organised into three divisions, with stations listed in 1951 as follows:

 A Division
 B Division
 C Division
 A1 Wimbledon (Divisional HQ)B1 Reigate (Divisional HQ)
C1 Guildford (Divisional HQ)
 A2  Mitcham B2 Banstead  C2 Chilworth
 A3  Wallington  B3 Purley
C3 Cranleigh
 A4 SuttonB4 Sanderstead
C4 Dunsfold
 A5 Epsom
B5 Caterham    
C5 Chiddingfold   
 A6 Cobham 
B6 Merstham
C6 Haslemere 
 A7 Esher
B7 LimpsfieldC7 Godalming
 A8 East MoleseyB8 RedhillC8 Farnham
 A9 SurbitonB9 Lingfield
C9 Frimley 
 A10 New MaldenB10 Horley  C10 Bisley
 A11 KingstonB11 CapelC11 Camberley     
 A12 RichmondB12 Dorking
C12 Bagshot 
A13 Barnes
B13 Leatherhead   C13 Egham

 N.B (Carshalton was included in A Division,

but never operated as a fulltime station).

 C14 Chertsey
  C15 Walton
  C16 Weybridge
  C17 Addlestone
  C18  Chobham
  C19 Byfleet
  C20 Woking 
  C21 Ripley


C13 Egham Fire Station

In many peoples eyes, these were the “golden days” of the Surrey Fire Brigade, when there were only three “watches”, red, white and blue and the fire engines had not been “standardised”.  A two-pump station might have a very up-to-date Leyland Comet Windover pump plus a WW2 escape carrier with Barton front-mounted pump (all smartly re-painted shiny red), or a Braidwood bodied Dennis PE and a WW2 Heavy Unit. What was never in doubt was the pride in the job!

Sadly many stations had closed by 1975, these were :

A8  A13 + Carshalton

B6  B7  B8  B11

C2  C5  C9  C10  C12  C16  C17  C19  C21

A final re-organisation occurred when there were major county-boundary changes in 1965.  The Greater London Council was formed and took over the Middlesex, Croydon, East & West Ham Fire Brigades, plus a number of stations from Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Surrey Fire Brigades.

Surrey lost Wimbledon, Mitcham, Sutton, Wallington, Purley, Kingston, Surbiton, Richmond, New Malden and Sanderstead, but gained both Sunbury on Thames and Staines from the disbanded Middlesex Fire Brigade.

This has been a brief history; some of the information may be inaccurate and I would welcome comments and corrections.

Michael Bissett-Powell