The Great Fire – First Day Covers released by The Post Office

The Great Fire – First Day Covers released by The Post Office

Written by David Rogers

Dear All,

I am writing this newsletter on what appears to be one of the hottest days of the summer so far. The temperature is due to reach in excess of 30 plus degrees and the country seem to be on melt down!

What could be better then than to take a trip on the river and pump some water into the bright blue sky, and cool down in the spray? Well that is one of our key aims this year, to get Massey out to events on the river to publicise her unique pumping capabilities and support the London Fire Brigades 150th Celebrations and the City of London’s 350th Great Fire Celebrations. A full schedule of our activities on the water and land can be found in our events calendar. We hope that you will come with your family and friends and support the Society.




For a number of months now, Directors of the Society have been in discussion with the London Fire Brigade Fire Cadet Management about the possibility of setting up a partnership agreement. The agreement would provide the opportunity for both organisations to cement their current relationship and assist with further obtaining further funding streams.

Both groups have looked at setting up a marine unit for the Fire Cadets based at Lambeth River Station, which would provide graduates of the current courses the ability to learn new skills and opportunities. The Society would like to assist this venture by applying to HLF for a Young Roots grant which is designed to engage young people with their heritage. Discussions are still on going, but it is hoped that a draft partnership agreement will be available soon and we can move forward with our plans for a Marine Unit.




For those of you who are not aware the London Fire Brigade (LFB) are celebrating the 150th Anniversary on the founding of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, which subsequently became the LFB. The first Chief Officer of the MFB was none other than Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, who led the new Brigade to become one of the greatest of its time.

The Society decided to support as many of the sixty plus Open Days which are being held throughout the year across London and have received an enthusiastic reception. The number and coverage of Open Days has been determined by our volunteer’s availability and requests from individual Fire Stations. So far we have supported events at Soho, Richmond, Lee Green, Tottenham, New Cross, Lambeth, Kingston, and still have a number to attend up and until the end of the year.




One of the largest events was held on Saturday 20th August in the ground of the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, under the banner of Safe in the City. We had a display in the History section and our volunteers enjoyed speaking to people about Massey and seeing the variety of displays during the event.




For many months now the Society has been working towards gain accreditation to become an Independent Museum from the Arts Council. The process involves realms of paperwork and lots of hard work to ensure that we reach the standards expected of a museum. Thanks to the efforts of Esther Mann, members of the Board and volunteers, we are now reaching the final stages of submitting our bid at the September meeting of the Accreditation Group. Esther and I have had a meeting with our monitor in the past week and have provided the additional information she requested, so we are awaiting the decision with all fingers crossed.

The decision of the Board will be either full accreditation or partial accreditation with a list of things to do over a designated period. We hope to be granted full accreditation, but may have to provide more evidence, as we are an unusual addition to the Museum community by not been fixed in one place and not having the normal access arrangements. In the mean while we continue to work on our ever growing archive, with regular meeting starting back in September.

If you would like to assist in this work, please contact us.




As most of you are aware the Society is run by volunteers for volunteers, but in order for us to move forward we need to find more people willing to join our ranks. As you will have seen from the information above we are being invited to attend more events on both water and land and in order to meet this demand we need more people!

There are a number of opportunities to participate as members of the crew, guides, archivists, and helpers at Open Days, Fundraisers and a lot more. We will provide the training you will need and offer you our support. All you need to do is offer sometime and enthusiasm and we can do the rest!





Our vessel has been invited to attend this year’s Classic Boat Rally held at St Katherine Docks as part of the Thames Festival.

Massey will be alongside a number of her Little Ship Colleagues and vessels of all shapes and sizes, celebrating maritime heritage on the Thames and beyond. During the festivities, we will be holding Open House, so you are welcome to come along and join us aboard.