The New Cross Fire Station was one of the first to be built by the London County Council after it took over the responsibilities of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1889. The foundation stone was laid in April 1893. The building is local to me. It is Listed Grade II and would be an interesting building to write a Heritage Statement for or undertake a specialist Recording Report.
The fire station was the command centre of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s ‘D’ Division, and the station was built to accommodate the divisional superintendent, a station foreman, eight married and eight unmarried firemen, as well as two coachmen and stabling for four horses. The equipment comprised one steam-powered and one manual appliance as well as a hose cart and van and a long ladder.
A major upgrade took place in July 1912, when the Waller Road range was remodelled and enlarged to form self-contained houses for the superintendent and foreman and flats for additional married officers. A sliding pole was installed to give quick access to the engine room. The Waller Road has distinctive, very tall and broad ridged chimney stacks.
The Queen’s Road block was designed to be symmetrical and is in a baronial or château style, its six unequal bays framed by big cylindrical corner tourelles, corbelled out at the base and topped by tall conical roofs, that to the right still retaining its elaborate wrought-iron finial. The building is well detailed in red brick and stone dressings.
London’s first purpose-built fire stations were built in the years after 1865, when the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, newly formed under the Metropolitan Board of Works, took over the operations of the earlier, privately-run London Fire Engine Establishment.