Mansfield fire history pictures in the frame

NMAC11-2812-1''Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman, Coun. Keith Walker, right and his lady Inga Walker, second left,  unveiled the newly restored Merryweather Collection at Mansfield Fire Museum on Tuesday with Terry Spalding, left, from the Museum.
NMAC11-2812-1''Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman, Coun. Keith Walker, right and his lady Inga Walker, second left, unveiled the newly restored Merryweather Collection at Mansfield Fire Museum on Tuesday with Terry Spalding, left, from the Museum.

FOUR oil paintings from the celebrated Merryweather Collection have been restored at Mansfield Fire Museum.

The Rosemary Street museum became custodian of the internationally-renowned collection of fire service memorabilia in 1989.

Merryweather & Sons was the largest manufacturer of fire engines and other fire equipment during the two world wars, and its memorabilia is a major attraction for anyone interested in fire service history.

The museum, established in 1977, collects and preserves a range of items relating to the history of fire fighting, including a replica incendiary bomb and fire service uniforms through the ages.

Now the oil paintings, among its most prized exhibits, have been restored by a professional conservator funded by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme.

Terry Spalding, secretary of the Mansfield Fire Station Preservation Society, said: “The Merryweather Collection paintings are some of the museum’s greatest assets and we are extremely grateful to the Local Improvement Scheme for helping to restore them.

“The museum is a wonderful place for people to visit and we are constantly developing and adding new exhibits.”

Among other items on display are helmets from the two world wars, and baby and adult gas masks.

Coun Richard Butler, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, described the museum as a ‘hidden gem’.

“I’d like to congratulate Terry and his team of volunteers for the sterling work they do to keep the history of fire fighting alive,” he added.

The museum is open by appointment only. Call Mansfield 629430 to arrange a visit.