The Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale aims to tell the story of firefighting in the Greater Manchester region and educate and promote fire safety.

The museum welcomes school groups and provides tours and education sessions, led by museum staff, which can cover topics such as The Great Fire of London, World War Two, The Victorians and People Who Help Us – Safety and can tie into curriculum studies in subjects including History, English and Science.

STO takes a closer look at what schools can expect when visiting the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum…

Educational sessions at the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum

Visits to the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum are available to both Primary and Secondary schools. Its educational sessions, however, are targeted towards Key Stage 2, with the possibility of adapting the activities to suit the requirements and age of the students in the group.

Investigative Journalism

Newspaper stories from the Victorian times, World War Two and the 1960s form part of the museum’s archive and will be used in this session to find out what life was like for firefighters during different periods of history.

Pupils will also be able to explore the similarities and differences between stories from the past and pieces written today and compare the different styles of writing from the different eras.

Victorian Fire Station – Emergency 999

Based in the museum’s replica Victorian fire station, this session will look at how the public called out the fire brigade during Victorian times. Students will consider how this differs to modern day communication and will also look at the problem with hoax calls.

A visit to the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum will teach students about fire safety.

Whistlestop Science

Whistlestop Science lets students explore a wide range of artefacts, which are housed at the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum. From breathing apparatus, extinguishers, manual fire pumps, motor fire appliances and sprinklers, the artefacts offer a broad spectrum of equipment used by firefighters over a period of several hundred years.

Pupils will be able to look at how the equipment has changed over the years as science has developed.


This session looks at numerous aspects of safety, from the personal safety of individuals and firefighters, to the equipment and technology used in the home and the equipment and technology used by the fire service.

The museum staff will teach students how to keep safe and how to write a fire escape plan. The session will also look at how firefighters keep safe and how technology has developed to help them with the hazards they face.

Additional sessions

Other activities at the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum include Investigating Uniforms, a session which looks at fire brigade uniforms from past to present; Acts of Bravery, a look into the museum’s archives to find out about heroic acts in the fire service; and The Great Fire of London and The Blitz, two sessions which explore the tragic events through artefacts in the museum and lead on to students working on their own creative writing pieces inspired by what they have learnt.

Additional information

The museum also offers pre and post visit resources, which can be downloaded from its website.

For more information call 01706-341219, e-mail or visit