On the 150th anniversary of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales popped along to Shadwell to open the shiny new state-of-the-art fire station on Cable Street.
Shadwell station includes two larger appliance bays to accommodate the brigade’s latest vehicles, a four storey drill tower for training, offices and meeting rooms, a gym, lecture and quiet study rooms (at the top of the training tower?) and a kitchen and dining area for firefighters.
However it seems as if the cooking skills of Blue Watch have not been upgraded. Oops.
‘Charlie Boy’ as he is known in the East End was joined by Mayor John Biggs, the High Commissioner of Malta and Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney AM who all watched a firefighter drill, met pupils from Blue Gate Fields Primary School, fire cadets and fire investigation dog Sherlock.
Sherlock was unavailable for interview at the time of publication.
However Major John Biggs was and he said:
“It’s a real pleasure to see Shadwell fire station reopening today. In a borough growing as fast as Tower Hamlets its vital we have the emergency services we need to keep residents safe.”
Mayor Biggs also announced that the other Mayor (the London one, Sadiq Khan) has launched a review of cuts to the fire service implemented by Boris Johnston who cut both the number of fire engines and firefighters because obviously Tower Hamlets needs neither as we never get incidents like the recent sequence of arsons in Wapping and residents never need cutting out of crashed cars or become victims of terrorist attacks.
Seems there have been firefighters in London since the great fire of 1666 (no comment on their efficiency) but it was not until 1866 that the London Fire Brigade was officially formed.
Since 2009, London’s Fire Service has seen its funding cut by more than £150m, with 10 fire stations closed, 27 fire engines axed and over 500 firefighters scrapped.
Mayor Khan’s review will see if any of this made any sense whatsoever – pretty unlikely in our opinion so let’s hope the LFB continues to get the resources it needs to look after us all for another 150 years.