Museum archive



The Trust is the custodian of many records and artefacts detailing the development of firefighting on the River Thames. The archive is administered by a small group of volunteers who are supported by our Curatorial Manager. Our CM is a volunteer and museum professional, who ensures that our work meets current museum standards and provides a valued resource for future.

The archive is continually expanding as new items are donated from families of former serving crew members or members of the public. We currently focus our activities on Massey Shaw’s unique contribution to the London Fire Brigade, during which she dealt with the effects of the Blitz, took part in the rescue of troops at Dunkirk and saved many properties from destruction by fire over her 36 year operational career.

We also hold a limited amount of information about other Fireboats used by the LFB and other fire authorities.
Currently our archive is held at the Essex Fire Museum in Grays, Essex whilst the London Fire Brigade Museum is relocated to a new site in Lambeth.

Family History

The Trust are able to prove a limited research facility to assist families who are researching the stories of their loved ones’ involvement with the River Service. We have links with the London Fire Brigade Museum and Service Records Department, who are able to provide information on service records of individuals. Contact details for the above can be accessed by the LFB Website.
Our records are continually being updated by our volunteer archival team and so research of individuals records may take some time. Unfortunately, a large volume of records was destroyed during the Blitz and subsequent moves to new premises, therefore we are not able to assist research on all occasions.

We are always interested in donations of letters, pictures, and artefacts relating to former serving members of the River Service. This information helps us to enhance our story telling capabilities and knowledge of the day to day work of this specialist part of the fire service.

Downloading of Documents

A small percentage of the Trusts archive is currently available to be downloaded from our website. However, it is our aim to digitise all the current information, once we have secured additional funding and increased volunteers to complete the project.

Access the Archive

Access to the archive can be arranged by appointment. Contact can be made via our form or by email at

Requests to download our images should be made to