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Wallace the Fire Dog Remembered in North Glasgow celebration

A local four-legged hero was remembered at a special celebration held at Saracen House, Possilpark on Wednesday 6 December. The celebration commemorated ‘Wallace the Fire Dog’, a local dog adopted by Glasgow fireman in 1894, who accompanied local fire engines on calls and who at the time was more widely known than Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Bobby. 

Jean Dallas With SFRS Heritage Group and Evelyn Gibson

Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's Heritage Group with Jean Dallas (centre right) and Evelyn Gibson (centre left).

The event marked the latest step in a campaign spearheaded by the local ‘Chancers’ community member Jean Dallas, to have ‘Wallace the Fire Dog’ recognised as part of Glasgow’s heritage.

A new sculpture of ‘Wallace the Fire Dog’ was officially unveiled during the event during a formal handover of the sculpture by the Scottish Prison Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service supported by ng homes and Together Leading Communities Ltd.

The story of Wallace first came to the attention of the group from Possilpark when they visited Greenock Fire Station Heritage Museum in 2016.

Touched by the story of Wallace, the Possilpark group were determined to bring recognition to this piece of Glasgow’s heritage. Working with former Headteacher Evelyn Gibson and staff at Saracen Primary School, stories, dances, and plays and a series of books have since been written about this famous dog and his adventures.

The campaign to see a sculpture of Wallace commissioned and placed in a prominent place within Glasgow has gathered support throughout the community including from ng homes’ Community Development team and the Scottish Prison Service at Barlinnie. Nearly £1,400 has been raised to date and will support plans to reinstate Wallace in a permanent home in Glasgow open to the public.

December’s event came about after the project was re-launched following the Covid-19 pandemic, again driven by Jean. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Croft project stepped in to help re-locate Wallace and bring him back to Glasgow. Margaret Muir from the Croft said: “It’s been a lovely journey helping to bring Wallace back to his rightful home here in the heart of Glasgow to Jean and the Chancers group! I look forward to hearing more about the adventures of Wallace ‘Our Wee Glesga Dug’.”

It was an emotional event as guests heard the interesting story of Wallace from Dave Adam, Chair of Heritage Trust. David said “Wallace the famous Fire Dog who was adopted by the Glasgow Fire Brigade over 120 years ago as their mascot, has entered Glasgow folklore. So much so that when he died in 1902 the Firemen of Glasgow had the dog preserved by a taxidermist and put on display at the Central Fire Station Glasgow.

“Wallace can now be seen at the Fire Museum and Heritage Centre in Greenock, where since the museum opening in 2012. […] The dog which is a prime exhibit is seen by many, including international tourists who come to the museum from the visiting cruise ships.

“The production of this statue, driven by a dedicated group of ladies in Glasgow will help keep the history and heritage of this famous dog alive for generations to come.”

Jean Dallas added “This wee dog was very famous in his day for his brave antics and there are books written on his adventures and he is well known throughout the world, yet many people in Glasgow don’t know about him. We always said that if Edinburgh has Greyfriars Bobby then ‘Wallace the Fire Dog’ should have his rightful place in history. We are so happy to see him back in Glasgow and we will now work with others to have his sculpture prominently placed in Glasgow.”

Wallace With Glasgow Firemen Wallace the Fire Dog with Glasgow Firemen

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