Those of you who follow me on Flickr may already have seen the first fruits of a new project, which looks at fifteen fire stations apparently built to a standardised design across Norfolk between circa 1956 and 1965. Tentative queries to the architectural literati of Norfolk suggests that they might have been designed by the then Norfolk County Architect Noel Brandon-Jones. I’ve been told (hat tip Ted Ridge) that similar-but-different designs exist across the border in Suffolk (for example in Halesworth) so future trips south may be in order.
Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service currently maintain about forty fire stations across the county, many of them staffed by ‘retained’ personnel who live and work near to these stations and take shifts on call via pager.
Over the weekend of 27/28 April I managed to divert my usual cross-country itineraries to capture twelve of the stations which share this standardised two box design. Some have doors on the right…
… and some have doors on the left. Some are two bays deep and some are three bays deep.
Some have had their roller doors replaced over time, but (almost) all retain the original pair of lanterns either side of the door.
Most sit on open plots, with hard standing or gravel, and a fire tower to the rear.
One, in Terrington St. Clement, near King’s Lynn, has been modified in ways that suggest a serious problem with vandalism. A warning sign in the window advises that building is also equipped with a Mosquito anti-loitering device that supposedly makes teenagers uncomfortable in its vicinity. Thankfully it was either not working or not capable of disturbing me while I had a look round.
Terrington has had its unfenced windows bricked up. It’s a rather odd counterpoint to the idyllic green space it sits within.
You will have noticed that all these photographs show the buildings in traditional amateur-architectural-photographer straight-on elevation. I am aware of this, and will discuss at a later date. Rest assured I took other photographs, and in some cases (see above) left wanting to come back at the right time of the day for the sun to illuminate the façade.
One interested friend (who takes astonishingly good photographs) commented on one picture:
I really like these shots, but the photog in me wishes the composition was the same in every one!
To which my response is, that’s done deliberately to annoy photographers and architects.