Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form to display firefighter helmet works of art

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21st Oct 2021 Back

‘Ashes to Art’ charity exhibition showcases former firefighter helmets that have been transformed into artwork by local artists. The exhibition is being held at Norwich’s former fire station which is now Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form. During the exhibition, people can bid on the helmets via an online auction and the money raised from the auction along with any donations will go to The Fire Fighters’ Charity and Break Charity.

This summer, local and international artists were invited to submit designs that could be recreated on real firefighting helmets, in order to turn them into unique works of art. The helmets were worn by staff until they were replaced last year with newer uniforms, therefore each one is now unique, holding scars and dents. The service staff originally planned to display 65 designs but have now allocated over 85 helmets after being overwhelmed with the community's response. Including one from a year thirteen student that studies at Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form. 

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Scott Norman, said: ‘The public has really engaged with the idea of turning these helmets into works of art, and we were really impressed with the standard of the designs. Now, as they start to come back ready for display, the reality is even more impressive, and we would love to welcome everyone to come along and take a look. We are really pleased to give these operational helmets a new lease of life and recycle them for art purposes.’. 

The exhibition will be open as follows:

  • Saturday 23 October 2021 noon to 4pm
  • Sunday 24 October 2021 10am to 4pm
  • Monday 25 October 2021 9am to 4pm
  • Tuesday 26 October 2021 9am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 27 October 2021 9am to 4pm
  • Thursday 28 October 2021 9am to 7pm
  • Friday 29 October 2021 9am to 4pm.


The auction will be open from 23rd October at and donations are appreciated on the door or can be made via: 90% of the money raised by the auction and donations will go to Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service’s chosen charity: The Fire Fighters’ Charity that offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK’s fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives. The remaining 10% will go to Break, a charity that gives vulnerable children and young people the time, support, and care they need to achieve their full potential.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have had amateur and professional artists working on these for us, and with no set theme the results are amazing and varied. The display is perfect for people of all ages to come along. We hope to have fire crews down there during the exhibition too, incident permitting, to provide advice and answer any questions from the public about fire safety.”

On Monday 13th December,  Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service visited Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form to handover the helmet.