Sunday, 20 June 2010

Fire! Fire! Wednesday 16th June 2010

Visited the museum of the London Fire Brigade as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters. First established in about 1830, it grew during the Victorian era into a professional and effective service held in high esteem worldwide. The most famous Chief Fire Officer, Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, was even mentioned in Gilbert & Sullivan's political opera, "Iolanthe".

Most memorable item: the fabulous crested helmets, originally copied from mainland Europe and made out of brass (in the days when most buildings were not electrified). The crests were allegedly to protect the wearer from falling debris, but actually just looked terrific. Even in today's kevlar versions, the trace of a crest can still be seen.

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