I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published September 24th 2013
Take a stroll down history lane
Let's do a little bit of time travelling together: Imagine the year to be 1897, the city is Melbourne, it is the middle of the night, and a fire erupts. The fire is so intense and spreads so quickly that it engulfs the entire block within minutes. The alarms are sounded, but it takes a few minutes for the fire services to respond... at that time on horse-drawn carriages.
To know what happened next, head on to the Fire Services Museum, where you will not only learn about the Great Fire of Melbourne that took place on 21 November, 1897 and destroyed the entire block located in the heart of the city, but you will also be able to view over 20,000 artefacts and memorabilia related to the history of Fire Services in Melbourne, making it the largest collection on display in Australia.
Carefully preserved attire worn by fire services personnel
Historic Fact: It was in 1891 that the Government of Victoria passed a Brigades' Act. This Act translated to the formation of two brigades: one to cover the Metropolitan area, and the other to cover the rural areas. Before this Act, each building had to insure itself against fire, and non-insured buildings... they didn't fare so well.
The Museum houses the varieties of vehicles that have served in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and this can be extremely exciting for children, especially those who are fascinated by "fire trucks". The Museum also has on display the evolution of protective gear and tools firemen have used over the past hundred years or so.
A Traditional Helmet to remember our visit to the Museum
There is a Museum Shop and you can pick up a souvenir such as mini fire trucks or traditional helmets, etc. to remember your visit from there. The Fire Services Museum, which was opened in 1979, is run by a non-profit organisation and relies on volunteers and donations to maintain and upgrade the facilities. It is open at specific times during the week and admission fees apply. The Museum is accessible by train (Parliament Station and a 6-minute walk), tram (24, 30, 31, 42 & 109) and City Circle Tram (Parliament stop).
If you plan a trip to this Museum, why not plan it on a Friday morning, when the Metropolitan Fire Brigade next door hosts an extremely interesting and unique event about fire safety at 10:30am. Reserve an hour for the demonstration where you will witness a real fire, see how firefighters extinguish it, climb on board a fire truck and meet real-life fire-fighters. This is a real treat for children. The demonstrations are free, however bookings are essential as space is limited. Similar demonstrations are also held in Thomastown, Sunshine, Ringwood, Burwood and Oakleigh (for dates and timings, consult the website)