The faces of Norwich’s fire service

Derek James takes another look at life at Bethel Street Fire Station

We've seen the building being built in Norwich back in 1934, now let's open those doors and meet some of the men and women inside – at work, rest and play.

Over the past few weeks I have been asking for your memories of the Bethel Street Fire Station and the people who worked there over the decades.

Thank you for all your responses. Our stories have brought back many memories.

Later this year the station will close as the men, women and their machines move out of the city centre to a new fire station near the County Hall roundabout.

It will be the end of an era.

To mark this chapter in the proud history of the fire service in Norwich two men, Sonny Garrett and Richard Clements, are piecing together the story of the Bethel Street Station and have been reaching out to you, via the Evening News, for your memories and photographs. 'We are very grateful to everybody who has been in touch,' said former fireman Richard.

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Being a firefighter is not so much a job, more a way of life, and there was a special bond between all those working out of Bethel Street.

This wasn't, and still isn't, a job where you clock on and off and never see your colleagues away from the 'office.'

Firemen and women were also friends and at Bethel Street there was a host of clubs operating – from rifle shooting to football.

If you have memories of Norwich Fire Station, please drop me a line at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email me at

Next time we around we will be taking a look at some of the fires in the city over the decades where members of the fire service were saving lives and property – and remember why August 1 is a bad day in the history of the city.