London Road

Fire Station Project


Living in

the Fire Station

Flat 24

The Hiltons lived in flat 24 of London Road Fire Station from 1962 until 1980. They spent a grand total of 18 year living there.

The flat had 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, and a living room. It was located on what they called 'the wide part' (an extended part of the balcony outside the front) where all of the children in the fire station used to play.

The Bedrooms

The Lounge

The lounge was a bit of an overflow of the kitchen, with a tall fridge kept in there because there wasn't enough room in the kitchen. Pictures hung on the walls of dad, Vince, with long hair. There was wallpaper on the walls that had once been hung the wrong way round.

The Kitchen

Above is the girls' bedroom where Sylvia, Yvonne, and Carol Lantham used to sleep.

The managed to fit 3 single beds, a double bed settee, and a baby grand piano into this one room. The purple wallpaper was chosen by the girls, because it was Donnie Osmond's favourite colour.

Carol Latham's mother died when she was only 12 years old. The Hilton family invited her to stay until she had somewhere to go, but became part of their household. On her 16th birthday, she asked to changed her name from Latham to Hilton.

Barrie's room was a huge room with no fireplace and it was also an overflow for various bits and pieces. The girls remember the sanitary towels being kept in there in a box. At one time, the girls had been located there and they had bunkbeds.

The kitchen of the flat had black lino on the floor and orange wallpaper. There was a big stainless steel sink, which the children remember having baths in. The pressure cooker was constantly hissing with mum, Ella , having to cook for 6 people morning, noon, and night.

Cabbage water was kept in a glass on the window ledge, next to the telephone, and the girls had to drink it, because Mum said it was good for their skin.


The family had moved from a fairly rural part of the North West, so moving into a flat in the city centre was a big shock for them. This was especially the case for Ella. To compensate, she had lots of plants out the front of the house to try and bring a bit of nature into the city.

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