Rising from the ashes exhibition opens in Edinburgh

The event is now open at the Museum of Edinburgh

A new exhibition celebrating 200 years of Scottish fire and rescue heritage has opened in Edinburgh.

The Museum of Scottish Fire Heritage (MoSFH) launched the pop-up event the Museum of Edinburgh (MoE) on Thursday, 2 May.

‘Edinburgh Rising from the Ashes: 200 Years of the Scottish Fire Service’ marks the bicentenary of the world’s first municipal fire brigade, which was founded in 1824.

The exhibition will run until September this year showing the evolution of firefighting through the centuries.

Assistant Chief Officer David Farries is the Director of Operational Delivery for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), he said: “We have great commemorative and educational events lined up across the year to celebrate 200 years since the creation of the world’s first municipal fire service in Edinburgh.

We want to showcase the people, the innovation, and the values that our service was built on

“The world has changed drastically since 1824 and so has our service. Through these exhibitions, we want to showcase the people, the innovation, and the values that our service was built on and are still at the heart of the modern Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“We have something for all ages so I would encourage anybody who has an interest in the Fire Service, its history and the importance of the wider history of the city and beyond to head along to the museum and view the exhibition".

4 men standing in front of a musuem exibit about firefighting in scotland

Events and activities for everyone

Events for all ages will be held by SFRS, the MoSFH and Museum of Edinburgh, the Fire Brigades Heritage Trust, and the North East Scotland Heritage trust across Scotland in 2024.

These include a paint-your-mini-helmet event, specialist talks, such as the role of Fire Investigation Dogs and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: 200 years of History and many more.

Members of the public can book to go to these events and see a full list of what’s happening both on the MoSFH website and the Museum of Edinburgh website.

ACO Farries added: “As a proud citizen of the capital and as a third-generation firefighter from a family who has been helping protect the communities of Edinburgh for over 70 continuous years, it was great to attend this launch.”

Speaking at the launch, Edinburgh City Council’s Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker said: “I was delighted to launch these exhibitions and see firsthand some of the incredible stories that they tell. From our proud history and traditions of firefighting to promoting active travel in modern-day Edinburgh these provide two very distinct views of life in the Capital.

“The different themes and ideas explored in these exhibitions show our museums as the incredible spaces they are to explore contemporary issues as well as historical events.

“I’d like to thank all our partners who contributed to these exhibitions, some of whom I was lucky enough to meet at the launch. I’d also urge our residents and visitors to take advantage and get down to the Museum of Edinburgh in the coming months.”

The SFRS will also hold a special service at St Giles’ Cathedral on Wednesday, 23 October which will commemorate the anniversary and some of the notable fires and figures throughout the years.

Read more about our bicentenary.

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The SFRS will celebrate 200 years of the Scottish fire service this year

Fire and Rescue Heritage Scotland

The heritage acts as the national body for the our charitable interests in relation to educational, cultural and commemorative activities