Despite the city’s history the London Fire brigade Museum is not one of the better known London attractions, in fact tours are only given by appointment. Considering that the majority of children in the UK learn all about the Great Fire of London whilst they are in primary school, it would makes sense that the museum played a much greater role as an attraction within the city than it does. However it is a very interesting museum and for those with either an interest in history or fire fighters in general it is an attraction that is worth taking the time to arrange a visit.
Southwark Fire Station
The fire station that is within the museum was once actually a part of the original 1870’s Southwark fire station and it houses some unique fire engines from across the history of the brigade. As you explore the museum you will get to see how the brigade was formed and how the fire service developed from the early days of water squirts and collapsible leather buckets, to the highly professional and well equipped service that we have today. As you journey through the museum you will learn about how the water was pumped in the 18th century through to the reasons why the fire engine bells were removed and replaced with the sirens that we recognise today.
The Great Fire of London
Be taken back in time to the days and nights of the Great Fire of London and learn how this was a pivotal moment in the creation of the fire brigade and led to the development of specific fire fighting equipment. You will also discover that it wasn’t water that brought an end to the raging fire that swept the city, but gunpowder. You will also be able to see the types of tools that were available to the fire fighters of the day. Take a look inside the gear room of a fire station from the 1860’s and get a feel for how dangerous, tough and demanding the job of a fire fighter was back in Victorian times, and understand how brave those first recognised firemen were.
The Modern Fire Service
From the major role that the fire service played during World War II through to the modern day service you will be able to listen to the personal adventures of the fire fighters who have risked their lives to protect the city and its people. ‘Heroes with Grimy Faces’ bring their accounts to life and give you some understanding of what it was like to be a fireman throughout the 20th Century. You can end your trip to the museum by learning about today’s modern fire brigade and learn about the systems that are in place to protect today’s city of London.
Book Your Tour
All tours are available by appointment only. Tours are given Monday – Friday at 10.30am and 2.00pm only. You will be escorted on the tour by an expert guide who will be able to answer any questions you have about the brigade, past or present.