Prince Charles drops in for a cuppa at new Shadwell fire-station to mark Brigade’s 150th birthday
- Credit: PA
Prince Charles is in London’s East End this-morning to reopen Shadwell fire station after its year-long closure and to mark the London Fire Brigade’s 150th anniversary.
He dropped into the new fire-station down Cable Street to watch fire-fighting training in the station yard and meet fire cadets, local Tower Hamlets schoolchildren—and a fire investigation dog called ‘Sherlock’.
There was also a chance for the Heir to the Throne to have a nice East End cuppa during his tour of the new, state-of-the-art complex, while watching crews put out a fire, see how they ‘rescue’ a volunteer from inside a burning, smoke-filled flat and how they give first aid.
The Prince was also handing the keys of a de-commissioned fire-engine to the High Commissioner of Malta who is shippng it to the island of Gozo for volunteer firefighters working for an emergency rescue charity.
Eight firefighters from east London were being presented with certificates for life-saving at the scene of a fire in Walthamstow last year.
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“There have been firefighters in London since the Great Fire of 1666,” London’s Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson told Charles.
“But it was only in 1866 that the London Fire Brigade was formed. That 150 years has seen improvements in how fires are tackled.”
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There has been a fire-station in Cable Street since 1937, although the history of fire-fighting in Shadwell dates back to the early 1800s, when a parish pump was kept at St Paul’s churchyard in Ratcliff Highway.
Today’s royal visit to Shadwell is part of a year-long programme marking the Brigade’s century-and-a-half guarding London as Britain’s biggest fire service.
The Brigade has been there for Londoners through thick and thin, in the Blitz as part of the National Fire Defence, coping with IRA bombs in the 1970s and 80s, the 1975 Moorgate tube crash, the 1996 Canary Wharf bombing and the 2005 London Underground terrorist attacks at Aldgate and the West End. It also sent volunteers to New York after the 9/11 atrocities in 2001 and to other disasters around the world.