St George's House,
Northern Police Orphanage. 1898-1956  Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.




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Emergency Drills

The Harrogate Fire Service was regularly called upon to test the emergency procedures and help train and instruct the management and children of St George's House, in case an emergency should occur. With a structure the size of St George's and the number of children & adults residing there it was important that everyone knew what to do if and when the time came.





The North Riding Fire Brigade, Yorkshire.



The firemen and St George's Boys & Girls running out the fire fighting hoses and equipment to test that all was working
correctly. Every so often the Harrogate Fire Service would visit and carry out a practice run.








Emergency evacuation was practiced regularly and, in the event of power failure the children were provided with candles.....
something which in this day would be the last thing anyone would consider doing, perhaps it was just as well the children did the fire drill so regularly.



The National Fire Service (NFS) was the single fire service created in 1941 during the Second World War and at its peak strength the NFS had 370,000 personnel (full-time and part-time members) of which 80,000 were women.

The NFS was created in August 1941 by the amalgamation of the wartime national Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) and the local authority fire brigades (about 1,600 of them). It existed until 1948, when it was again split by the Fire Services Act 1947, with fire services reverting to local authority control, although this time there were far fewer brigades, with only one per county and county borough.

Some photographs of fire engines used over the years.

  Photographer: Clem Rutter 


Photographer: Clive Barker                                             Photographer: Stewart Kaye




Excerpt from the Recollections of St George's, written by James Shepherd.
s a result of the outbreak of war in 1939, it was not long before an air raid siren was fitted on the roof of St. Georges, ensuring that we were given very early warning of any possible enemy air raids. The siren usually sounded at night and the wailing sound never failed to waken us; as soon as we heard it we would don our dressing gowns and make our way downstairs to the common room, the windows of which, during the first two or three years of the war, were protected from possible gas attacks by shutters on the outside; on the inside, wooden framed blanket structures were fitted.


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