RAF

RAF Firefighting Museum Searching For New Home

The museum’s founder said they need a "warehouse-sized building" as soon as possible.

A museum showcasing the work of Royal Air Force firefighters has just a few weeks to find a new home as the lease on the current building is about to expire.

More than 40 volunteers look after the collection in Lincolnshire – many of whom former service personnel.

Steve Shirley, the founder of the Museum of RAF Firefighting and a former RAF firefighter himself, is appealing for help to initially find a temporary home for the collection.

He said the museum is the "largest fire collection in the country" and is the only one that specialises in military firefighting. 

"A lot of our vehicles are unique or incredibly rare. For example, we have one vehicle that dates back to 1943," he told Forces News.

"It’s one of only three survivors in the world and it went to Normandy six days after D-Day and it currently drives and it's fully operational."

Mr Shirley spent the last 36-and-a-half years as an RAF firefighter, saying: "It’s a job I’ve loved doing. I was very, very sad when I had to retire last year.

"Throughout my RAF career, this has been my way of trying to put something back in to a job that’s been very good to me."

"A lot of people don’t realise that the RAF and, in fact, the Armed Forces have their own firefighting personnel," he added.

WATCH: Forces News visited the museum last year.

Mr Shirely said the museum is currently struggling to find a new home.

"Unfortunately, the only thing on offer at the moment is outside storage in a haulage yard and, if you can imagine, some of our stuff dates back to the 1940s," he said.

"It would deteriorate so quickly if we put it outside."

He added: "Our immediate problem is we must find storage for these vehicles.

"Our longer-term problem is we’ve got to have a rethink; work out where in Lincolnshire we can re-establish the museum permanently and then get the local authorities on board, get the funding streams in place and try and start again."

He explained the museum needs a warehoused-sized building or an empty aircraft hangar which would enable them to park all their vehicles.