Manston Fire Museum

Manston Fire Museum


The Fire Museum is housed in the Old RAF Fire School building within the boundary of the Ministry of Defence Fire Service Central Training Establishment at Manston, near Ramsgate in Kent. It is for this reason that all visitors must make arrangements before a visit rather than just turn up.

To do this you must telephone the museum 2 weeks in advance of your visit, and book in with the museum curator. He will take your details, which will include: Name of all persons in the visiting party, contact number, address and any vehicle details.

Please note: Some form of photo ID will be required.

When visiting the museum, you must first report to the RAF Police at the main gate to the camp (but it’s not as scary as it sounds), and they will then give you directions to find the museum within the camp.


The owner and founder of the Museum is Flight Sergeant Steve Shirley, who was an instructor on the staff of the CTE and the roots of the present museum go back some twenty years when he obtained his first model fire engine. This was brought for him as a present by his wife Kim, after he successfully graduated from the RAF Fire school, Catterick, in 1983.

He started collecting fire related items as a hobby and the collection now runs into many thousands of individual items. For instance, on a visit to Holland some years ago, he acquired several helmets from a Dutch Firefighter and things being as they are, it eventually led to the superb display of over 150 helmets from all over the world which form a large part of the Museum display of today.

The collection continued to grow and on his posting to the CTE, it became obvious to everyone that a permanent home for the collection was a priority and it was agreed that it should be displayed in the current building as a tribute to the firefighting Services from around the world. It was officially opened as the Ministry of Defence Fire Museum in June 1995 and it was renamed the Manston Fire Museum in November 1998.

The collection consists of many photographs and posters on display alongside models, badges, patches, uniforms, helmets, prints, extinguishers and, of course, really serious fire fighting equipment, both military and civilian ranging from 1868 to the present day.

During your visit to the Fire Museum, the sights and sounds of today's airfield firefighters under training are never far away and as a bonus, weekday visitors may catch sight of some of today's most modern airfield firefighting vehicles being put through their paces.

Manston Fire Museum
Ministry Of Defence
Fire Service Central Training Establishment
CT12 5BS

 (+44) 01843 823351 Ext. 6394

Disclaimer: The information on this leisure attraction was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure attraction should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015