Ashes to Art exhibition shows fire helmets like never before

Laura Challis, Dean Lacey and assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman at the Ashes to Art exhibition

Laura Challis, Dean Lacey and assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman at the Ashes to Art exhibition - Credit: Neil Perry

Firefighting helmets may be more readily associated with tackling flames, but one Norwich exhibition is showing them in a completely new light. 

An Ashes to Art charity exhibition is taking place at the former Bethel Street fire station, now home to Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, for seven days up to Thursday, October 29.

It has launched after artists across the UK were invited to submit designs to turn used firefighting helmets into works of art.

The helmets were worn by staff until they were replaced last year with newer uniform. 

The Ashes to Art charity exhibition is being held from October 23-29

The Ashes to Art charity exhibition is being held from October 23-29 - Credit: Neil Perry

Assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman said: "We are really pleased to give these operational helmets a new lease of life and recycle them for art purposes.

"The public has really engaged with the idea of turning these helmets into works of art, and we were really impressed with the standard of the designs." 

Assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman with one of the helmets on display 

Assistant chief fire officer Scott Norman with one of the helmets on display - Credit: Neil Perry

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service staff and volunteers will be on hand to talk about any safety queries during the community art project.

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Exhibition organisers had originally planned to display 65 designs but more than 85 were allocated after an "overwhelming" community response.

A Happisburgh Lighthouse design on one of the helmets in the exhibition 

A Happisburgh Lighthouse design on one of the helmets in the exhibition - Credit: Neil Perry

Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have had amateur and professional artists working on these for us.

"With no set theme the results are amazing and varied. The display is perfect for people of all ages to come along." 

An online auction is taking place until November 15 to give people a chance to bid for the unique artwork.

A signed Norwich City FC helmet is featured in the Ashes to Art charity exhibition 

A signed Norwich City FC helmet is featured in the Ashes to Art charity exhibition - Credit: Neil Perry

The majority of funds raised from the auction and donations will go to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s chosen charity The Fire Fighters’ Charity, with the remaining 10pc going to children's charity Break.

Laura Challis, community, corporate and events fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity said: "These vital funds will help us, as a charity, continue to meet the physical, mental and social wellbeing needs of the entire of the UK’s fire and rescue service community.

Laura Challis, community, corporate and events fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity

Laura Challis, community, corporate and events fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity - Credit: Neil Perry

"Not only will these treasured helmets become unique works of art, but the money raised will make a huge difference to so many lives." 

Visit www.uk.givergy.com/ashestoart to bid.

Many firefighting helmets have been turned into art for charity 

Dozens of firefighting helmets have been turned into art for charity - Credit: Neil Perry

Station manager Dean Lacey with a colourful helmet which features in the art exhibition 

Station manager Dean Lacey with a colourful helmet which features in the art exhibition - Credit: Neil Perry

Money raised will go to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s chosen charity The Fire Fighters’ Charity

Money raised will go to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s chosen charity The Fire Fighters’ Charity and Break - Credit: Neil Perry

An array of colours and patterns can be seen in the charity exhibition 

An array of colours and patterns can be seen in the charity exhibition - Credit: Neil Perry

Ashes to Art is taking place at the former Bethel Street fire station

Ashes to Art is taking place at the former Bethel Street fire station - Credit: Neil Perry

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