THE community of a Salford street has paid tribute to firefighters both past and present with a piece of artwork after their homes were built on the site of the former Eccles Fire Station.

Children and families from Old Station Street have worked in conjunction with a local artist to produce a mural and pictures, which was presented to firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

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The project, which was funded by Irwell Valley Housing Association, culminated in the burial of a memory box on Old Station Street - containing letters and pictures from residents to GMFRS firefighters.

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Heather Mullins from Irwell Valley said: "We wanted to improve the grassy area of Old Station Street so we consulted with residents on what they wanted.

"They decided they wanted to design some artwork that would honour the history and heritage of their community, so with our artist we ran workshops at Eccles Fire Station where the children and their families wrote letters and drew pictures paying tribute to the firefighters of Eccles Fire Station, both now and in the past.

"A lot of the letters expressed gratitude for how firefighters put their lives at risk to save others.  All of the letters and artwork now form part of the mural on Old Station Street and they are inside the memory box that could be dug up in years to come."

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Green watch firefighters from Eccles Fire Station attended the presentation at the Old Station Street mural on Thursday, May 31, when the memory box was planted and children handed the crews a picture of the artwork.

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Eccles Station Manager Paul Smitham said: "We were honoured to be invited down to the culmination of such a great community project and we are delighted that the people of Old Station Street chose to honour firefighters in this way.

"It is a wonderful tribute to all the fire crews that served at the old Eccles station over the years and the artwork will serve as a reminder of the work we carry out at GMFRS going forward.

"Eccles Fire Station prides itself on being at the heart of the community so we were delighted to receive the picture from the residents.  It will take pride of place inside the station's community room as a lasting tribute to all of the firefighters of Eccles."

Last update: 31/05/2012 14:00:03
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