Things to do

The Massey Shaw is a restored Fireboat from the 1930’s which was purpose-built to protect properties along the River Thames from the dangers of fire. During her thirty six years with the London Fire Brigade, the fireboat fought the London Blitz and attended many major incidents.

We offer a wide range of activities which are designed to support the National Curriculum and engage children, young people and adults in understanding how the fire service on the river has worked both in the past and present day.

Our activities for visitors include learning how a fireboat works, understanding the working of the fire pumps and how water puts out fires, how firefighters on the fireboats were trained and the important role they played in keeping London safe. We look at firefighting equipment and explain the various ways in which the fireboat can take its hoses from the river to the shore. Other themes explored are understanding how the tides work on the river, looking at artefacts from the boats history, including trying on uniforms.

Telling the story of the boats role in the Dunkirk evacuation is a feature part of any visit. Rescuing troops off the beaches whilst under fire from enemy bombers and bringing the solders safely home is a unique part of our history.

During the year we run special Pumping Days in which we demonstrate how the fire pumps work and show how the hoses are used. These dates are always popular so please look at the website to book your place.

The Trust has commissioned two dramas based on Firefighting in WWII, and Massey at Dunkirk. These are provided by a company of actors who specialise in bringing history to life. We arrange for the actors to perform at schools and special events during the year. If you like more information on how to book them please contact us at info@masseyshaw.org.

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