Lilydale Fire Station

322 Main Street, Lilydale

Researcher: Sue Thompson

The Lilydale Fire Brigade was formed in on February 23, 1887. However, many weren’t happy as not one business person attended. [1]  The following month on March 8, its office bearers were elected.[2]

However, it was short lived and had dissolved by 1889 when Poyner’s shops were burnt down.[3] This led to the re-formation of the bridge the following year and the arrival of equipment.[4]

In September 1905 sites were inspected for a fire station and the site at the market yards in Clarke Street was approved. After fund-raising, the station was built and completed by December 1906.[5]

This was to remain the fire brigade’s home until the new station was built at 322 Main street was opened in January 1939.

The site was purchased in 1936 but due to lack of funds, was not built until 1939.[6]

The site had a dilapidated buildings on it and even the Lillydale Council in early 1937 was moved to ask when the buildings would be demolished. It was told that because Lilydale had recently received a modern motor reel and pump, the CFB could not allocate additional funds to Lilydale for some time. [7]

The Country Fire Brigades’ Board called for tenders for the demolition of the old brick shop and residence on the site with tenders closing on April 24, 1937.[8]

It appears that the tenders weren’t acceptable as the following month, the Country Fire Brigades’ Board and the Shire of Lillydale had come to an agreement whereby the shire would remove the buildings and erect a cyclone fence around the site.[9]

Interestingly in his report to council the engineer indicated they council would make a small profit on the sale of the materials.[10]

Finally in September 1938, the Express could happily announce work had commenced on the new fire station.[11] When nearly complete Captain McPherson of the Country Fire Brigade’s Board attended a council meeting to request approval for an entrance and crossing from the road to the new station. “The council not only cheerfully acquiesced in the request, and showered it thanks and congratulations upon the fire brigade’s chief for  the provision of such a fine building. It would be a great acquisition to the town and a public utility of which residents were very proud. However, Cr Britton couldn’t resist criticising the board for installing an iron roof when tiles would have been much better.[12]

The new station was officially opened on Thursday evening January 19, 1939, less than a week after Victoria’s Black Friday bushfires on January 13, 1939 in which Lilydale brigade members were heavily involved.

The main part of the  station has space for the motor engine and pump, hose reel and other gear and could also be used as a hall for social events or a meeting room. Provision was made for official quarters including living and bedrooms for station attendants, a kitchen fitted with stove, tap and sink, a bath and store rooms.

As well as officials from the brigades’ board and shire there were members from the Healesville and Warburton brigades, the Lilydale Brass Band and many townspeople. Mr Slater president of the Country Fire Brigades’ Board called the occasion “a red-letter day for Lilydale. After inspecting the fire brigade’s equipment, there was a dance in thee station, numerous speeches and catering by the ladies committee.[13]

[1]           Lilydale Express February 25, 1887 pg2

[2]           Lilydale Express March 11, 1883 pg2.

[3]           Lilydale Express August 14, 1889 pg 2.

[4]           Lilydale Express April 4, 1890.

[5]           Lilydale Express December 28, 1906 pg 2.

[6]           Lilydale Express March 7, 1936 pg2.

[7]           Lilydale Express April 3, 1937 pg2.

[8]           Lilydale Express April 9, 1937 pg2.

[9]           Lilydale Express May 28, 1937 pg2.

[10]          Lilydale Express July 2, 1937.

[11]          Lilydale Express September 16, pg2.

[12]          Lilydale Express December 2, 1938 pg2.

[13]          Lilydale Express January 27, 1939. pg1.

Additional reference: The History of the Lilydale Fire Brigade 125 years, Robert Bethell, 2012.

Captions:
Lilydale Express January 27, 1939 page 1.
04669 Newspaper photo of the opening of the Lilydale Fire Station January 19, 1939.
Outside the Lilydale Fire Station, c 1948.
04668 Trucks of the Lilydale Fire Brigade outside their Main Street Fire Station October 1980.

Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc.

Contacts:
Sue Thompson (President) 0475 219 884
Joy Gothe 0405 128 964
Lorraine Smith (Court House Manager) 03 9735 1104
Email: [email protected]

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House at 61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Share Your Information with the Society!

Email us your info (and images) to:
[email protected]

Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc.

Contacts:
Sue Thompson (President) 0475 219 884
Joy Gothe 0405 128 964
Lorraine Smith (Court House Manager) 03 9735 1104
Email: [email protected]

Share Your Information with the Society!

Email us your info (and images) to:
[email protected]

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House @
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays