The stories of two of Hampshire’s emergency services is being told through a historic exhibition that has just opened.

Artefacts include uniforms and equipment dating back to the 1700s and a ‘muster bay’ complete with fire pole as well as police motorbikes and the recreation of a cell.

Historic uniforms on display

Trust chairman Alan House shows fire authority chairman Chris Carter exhibits

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The Police and Fire Heritage Collection was opened at Solent Sky Museum at 1pm on July 12 by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson.

These pieces, which came from private collections and later could only be viewed by private appointment, will now be open to the public.

Police equipment

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This exhibition, on the second floor of the museum, has been put together by retired firefighters and police officers who formed the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust.

The joint collection follows the theme of the increased partnership working of the two public safety services within the county.

History of emergency services on display

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Turning the clock back, many fire brigades around the country, including Portsmouth, were police fire brigades, with the responsibility for fire protection resting with the chief constable.

Trust Chairman and former Deputy Chief Officer of HFRS Alan House said: “The history of any organisation is very much a part of how that organisation operates today and plans for the future.

Displays show heritage of fire and police

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“The county can boast a very progressive and internationally well respected fire and rescue service and constabulary.

“This event is built on the foundations of the proud history of both organisations, which work so closely in providing a professional and effective level of safety for the communities of Hampshire.

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Firefighters and police attend opening

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“Many years of building up, the then separate, heritage collections, were in danger of ending and this opportunity to combine them under one roof and make them available to the public, rather than by private appointment, means we are providing a source of education, historical interest and research.”

The opening was attended by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman Chris Carter along with other members, the Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane and the High Sheriff of Hampshire Mary Montagu-Scott.

Historic extinguishers

Dignitaries are given a tour by trust chairman Alan House

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