The Norfolk Fire Service, run by Norfolk County Council, dates from 1 April 1948. Its predecessor was the National Fire Service, which was formed on 18 August 1941, when Fire Services run by local authorities were nationalised in order to meet the challenges posed by enemy bombing and other incidents during the Second World War. Most of the nationalised Fire Services had been run by City, Borough and Urban District Councils. Rural parishes had often entered into an agreement with their nearest urban Fire Service to pay for fire cover.
B.S. Veriod in, 'A History of the Norwich City Fire Brigade' (Norwich, 1986) relates with regard to the National Fire Service:
'It had been decided that the new service would be divided into thirty-nine fire areas (33 in England - 6 in Scotland) each commanded by a Fire Force Commander, with an assistant as Deputy. Each fire force was to be further sub-divided into divisions, commanded by a Divisional Officer, and divisions to be further divided into 2 columns, commanded by Column Officers, and columns to be divided into 5 companies, commanded by Company Officers. The Norwich area was in Area '4', Fire Force '13', Division 'A' with the stations in Norwich numbered from 1 to 9. Bethel Street was No. 1.
Area HQ was established at Cambridge, and Fire Force 13 H.Q. initially at Bethel Street although after a few weeks was transferred to Whitegates, Hethersett, in a house purchased from the Furness Shipping Company Family (Norfolk Fire Service H.Q. to this day). Divisional Headquarters was also initially based at Bethel Street, but it too was moved to a detached house in Upton Road, Norwich.'
The following information is taken from the National Fire Service (England and Wales) Directory dated 1 January 1947 (ACC 2003/93, uncatalogued):
Region No. IV (Eastern) Regional Headquarters, Anstey Hall, Trumpington, Near Cambridge.
Region No. IV Area 13 Area Headquarters, Whitegates, Hethersett, Norwich.
Region No. IV Area 13 Sub-Area A Headquarters, Fire Station, Bethel Street, Norwich.
Region No. IV Area 13 Sub-Area B Headquarters, Fire Station, Bond Street, Ipswich.
Region No. IV Area 13 Sub-Area C Headquarters, Fire Station, Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds.
Region No. IV Area 13 Sub-Area D Headquarters, Fire Station, Gayton Road, King's Lynn.
Region No. IV Area 13 Sub-Area E Headquarters, Fire Station, Middlegate Street, Great Yarmouth.
It is possible that the boundaries of the Divisions (known as Sub-Areas from March 1945)) may have altered. It is important to note that the boundaries of Division/Sub-Area A went far beyond the City of Norwich to encompass a large part of the County of Norfolk and beyond (including Aylsham, Bungay, Beetley, Cromer, Downham Market, Harleston, Holt, Mundesley, Sheringham, Stalham and Wymondham).
The National Fire Service was abolished on 31 March 1948 (under the Fire Services Act 1947). On 1 April 1948 Norfolk County Council assumed responsibility for running a Fire Sevice for the County of Norfolk and Norwich City Council and Great Yarmouth County Borough Council took back responsibility for running their own Fire Services.
On 1 April 1974 (under the Local Government Act 1972) Norwich and Great Yarmouth lost the right to run their own Fire Service and Norfolk County Council became responsible for running a Fire Service for the whole of the County of Norfolk (including the urban areas).
List of Contents
C/F 1 Norfolk Fire Service Central Control County Log Books, 1948-1970
C/F 2 Norfolk Fire Service King's Lynn Fire Station Log Books, 1948-1972
C/F 3 National Fire Service Fire Force No.13 HQ Log Books, 1944-1947
C/F 4 National Fire Service Fire Force No.13 Division A Log Books, 1946-1948
C/F 5 National Fire Service Fire Force No.13 HQ Reports of Occurrences Not Due to Enemy Action, 1942-1947
C/F 6 National Fire Service Fire Force No.13 Division A Reports of Occurrences Not Due to Enemy Action, 1942-1948
C/F 7 National Fire Service Fire Force No.13 Division A Reports of Occurrences Due to Enemy Action, 1942-1945
C/F 8 Norfolk Fire Service Newscuttings Books, 1953, 1961-1983, 1989-2004
C/F 9 Norfolk Fire Service Water Supply Records, 1960s(?)
C/F 10 Uncatalogued
Norfolk Fire Service Fire Prevention Officer's Records, 1946-1980