A history of Belsize Fire Station: 1915-2014
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Belsize Fire Station was designed by Charles Canning Windmill of the Fire Brigade branch of the London County Council (LCC) Architects Department.
Building work began on the station in Lancaster Grove, Belsize Park, in 1912 and on May 22, 1915 the station was officially opened by Percy C Simmons, chairman of the LCC’s Fire Brigade Committee.
It was designated Grade II listed by English Heritage, which described it as “one of the most distinctive and original of a remarkable series of fire stations built by the LCC between 1896-1914”.
Fire crews worked through two world wars, remaining operational throughout the Blitz of London from 1940 to 1941.
Crews at Belsize attended the 1987 King’s Cross fire and the 7/7 bombings in 2005.
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In January 2012, the crew at Belsize helped save hundreds of lives during a blaze at Taplow tower block in Swiss Cottage.
Today, the station retains many of its original features, including the timber appliance bay doors, plan form and many other features designed specifically for firefighters.
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Campaigners say that the building is not fit for any other purpose due to its unique design.
The station shut permanently today as part of London-wide fire station closures enforced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in a bid to save £29million.