Explore the Firefighter magazine archive

As part of our centenary celebrations, all issues of Firefighter between 1932 and 2001 have been made accessible online for members and the public for the first time.

Over the course of a year, the staff at Warwick University Modern Records Centre, the home of the FBU Archive, scanned each page of the magazine collection to create digital copies. This has given us a fantastic historical resource, and is the only trade union magazine to be available digitally.

Although we do not have copies from the first few years of the FBU, the numbers of issues we do have is impressive, considering the FBU lost much of its early records during the Blitz.

Over the years, Firefighter has changed from a magazine focused on the annual report and business of the union, to the magazine we know today.

The covers, some of which were reproduced for this year’s calendar, show the variety of issues the union has been involved in over the last 100 years and gives us a comprehensive look at much of the union’s history.

From the ‘bread and butter’ of fighting for pay, pensions and health and safety of firefighters and the public, how the FBUs work on political and social, national and international injustices has evolved can be clearly seen.

Whether national or international, fire and rescue related or political happenings, Firefighter has covered it all. Major events; from the 1951 Spit and Polish demonstrations, to the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, to major incidents such as the fatal fire at Cheapside in Glasgow, 58 years ago this month have all been covered in detail.

All of the magazines are text searchable and can be filtered by several options, as well as being downloadable.

If you are looking for issues 2001 to now, all of these can be found on the FBU website.

Have a look through the magazines and see what you can find.

Tips for use:

  •  Search bar on top right of page – this can be used to search for any term in any issues.
  • Advanced Search can be used if there are two or more terms you wish to search for or if you wish to search by a particular date.
  • On the side bar there are several options for filtering the magazines – year and decade
  • There is also an option to sort the magazines by date – either working from oldest to newest or newest to oldest.


Ideas for things to search for:

  • Major events.
  • Your brigade.
  • Your region.
  • The year you joined the Fire service.
  • The year you joined the union.
  • The year you were born.


If you have any issues of Firefighter which predates 1932, please let us know.

The magazines can be found at: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/fbu


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