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Hidden fire station found frozen in time in Black Country factory

Dudley | News | Published:

A secret fire station frozen in time has been found hidden away inside a room in a Black Country factory.

The room, at the Alan Nuttall Partnership factory in Hall Street, Dudley, was discovered by staff. It appears to be unchanged for 60 years.

The room contains perfectly preserved uniforms, with the names of the wearers chalked above them. Scrawled names include I Silk, W Price and A Round.

Documents suggest the items date back to the early 1950s, when the local Co-op, which had its own fire brigade, operated from the building. The shopfitting firm moved into the Hall Street site in 1986, but many corners have been left unexplored until now.

A pump trailer, with 'CWS DUDLEY' lettered in gold on the front, in the fire station which appears not to have changed in 60 years
The Alan Nuttall Partnership factory in Hall Street, Dudley, where the fire station was found

A gas mask and neatly rolled-up canvas hoses are seen hanging up on one wall inside the fire service room.

Also on display is a certificate awarded to one of the men when the Dudley brigade entered competitions with other Co-op forces.

There are even a few programmes from such events dating from the 1950s.

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Old fire coats and hats were found in the disused fire station

Marketing manager Anna Bamford said: "I have only been with the company for about nine weeks and was really excited to hear about it. It had just been locked up and never opened again. Something like this we were really keen to know more about it and speak to anyone who may have worked there in the past.

"At the minute we have minimal information about it but looking towards the future we would love to think if any of the items could go on display - maybe at a fire station museum somewhere.

"Nothing has been touched at the minute and its still covered in dust.

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"If there is anyone who is interested in restoring it, or giving us some advice, we'd love to hear from them.

"I have already taken a call from a gentleman who used to go on holiday with one of the firefighters who used to work there too - so there's really interesting information coming in."

Old fire hoses left in the station

Matt Hornblower, Nuttall's operations director, said that the most most impressive piece in there is a pump trailer, powered by a petrol or diesel engine. It is still bright red, with 'CWS DUDLEY' lettered in gold on the front.

He added: "There's still air in its tyres and just a few spots of oil on the floor beneath."

Anyone with information about the room or who is interested in restoring the items, should call Anna Bamford on 01384 245100 or email anna.bamford@nuttalls.co.uk

The factory was built in 1915 to provide weapons for the Great War, then became the manufacturing hub for Bean Cars.

It now employs more than 600 staff.

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