The Salamander The Worshipful Company of Firefighters Service, Fellowship, Harmony and Honour
Issue 7, April 2006
Inside An update from the Honorary Treasurer on tax relief for members 2 New Members of the Company
Dinner at Lloyd's of London 4 Massey Shaw Dinner
News from the industry
Liveryman Harry Errington, GC
A report on our charities - RAFT
Events 2006 20 May St Paul's Guided Tour 7 June Partners Luncheon 21 June Master's Reception 8 July Salamander Ball
The Worshipful Company of Firefighters The Clerk: Martin Bonham The Insurance Hall 20 Aldermanbury London EC2V 7HY T: 0207 600 1666 F: 0207 600 1666 E: email@example.com Contributions to the Salamander and the Company Website should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE MASTER’S PEN Congratulations! The Salamander continues to look better and brighter than ever. My sincere thanks go to the Editorial Team for a superb job – well done. It is now incumbent upon all of us to ensure contributions keep coming in to maintain interest and quality. The Company Carol Service at St. Mary-le-Bow Church on Cheapside brought a cheery close to 2005 with a full congregation and wonderful accompaniment from Bromley Ladies Barber Shop Singers – Velvet Harmony. Among the friends of the Company were a few Masters of Modern Livery Companies and everyone enjoyed the occasion which was festive, light-hearted and fun. Martin Bonham, our new Clerk, is getting to grips with the role admirably. He survived his first meeting of Court Assistants in November and had an introduction to the social side of the Company at the St. Florian’s Banquet. My term as Master has just passed its halfway point and it is proving to be an interesting and rewarding, though often demanding, experience. It is a unique opportunity offering a variety of people to meet and places to visit. Whenever it is appropriate and acceptable I wear mess kit to functions and it goes without saying that ‘I stand out in a crowd’, which is good because it gets us noticed and raises the Company’s profile. It is particularly pleasing that Company events like the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower, the Livery Dinner at the East India Club and the Dinner at Lloyd’s are proving so successful. I appreciate it is demanding upon a Member’s commitment to the Company whilst our numbers are relatively small, but the different experiences and opportunities for social interchange are pleasurable and rewarding. Thank you for your support.
I encourage those of you who are Freemen of the Company to consider becoming Freemen of the City of London, by application via the Clerk and a formal ceremony conducted at the Chamberlain’s Court in Guildhall, which family are able to witness. This step is a precursor to being clothed with the Livery of the Firefighters’ Company at a ceremony before the Court of Assistants. Once clothed, a Liveryman is eligible to participate more fully in the affairs of both the Company and the City. The Wardens and I constantly strive to ensure Company business runs coherently and meets expectations properly and efficiently. Sound, useful and good work is being generated within committees in an endeavour to manage and develop the Company, fulfil our charitable obligations, and to sustain interest and attract new members. The United Guilds’ Service was held on 31st March whilst April brings the Election Court and a ‘Meet the Firefighters’ reception and presentations to an invited audience of prospective members at Winchester House. Master Alan Wells
Salamander Editor: Neil Wallington Deputy Editor: Colin Livett
AN UPDATE FROM THE HONORARY TREASURER ON TAX RELIEF FOR MEMBERS Members will be aware that £50 of their subscriptions is directly paid over to The Worshipful Company of Firefighters Charitable Trust, and where members sign a Gift Aid declaration this has historically allowed the Trust to reclaim a further 22% tax relief on that amount.
The Choirmaster and Velvet Harmony - the Bromley Ladies Barber Shop Singers pose with the Master and Wardens of the Company at the Carol Concert.
The Inland Revenue have recently agreed that the whole of members' subscriptions, rather than just £50 as hitherto, will now be eligible for tax relief where a Gift Aid Declaration has been made. This concession is now worth £55 to the Charitable Trust on top of the direct donation of £50 members make. Members may wish to be aware that if they are higher rate taxpayers they can in turn now reclaim 18% of their subscription of £250 back from the Inland Revenue when completing their annual tax return. This represents the difference between the 22% relief the Charity already receives and the 40% higher rate threshold for personal tax payers. The ability to reclaim this amount effectively now reduces the cost of membership for higher rate taxpayers by £45 to £205, of which £50 will continue to be paid over to the Charity as before. Honorary Treasurer John Mansfield
This fine picture was taken outside Redcross Street fire station, near the Guildhall, EC 1, and shows a typical horse drawn 50 ft wheeled escape unit of the London Fire Brigade, c 1905. Manned by a crew of four firemen and a coachman, the majority of London's fire stations of this time ran one of these escape ladders alongside a horse drawn steam pump. Note the station officer alongside with the fire station dog. Quickly slipped off and manually wound up, these robust wooden wheeled escape ladders survived well into the motor age until being finally phased out in the late 1970's in favour of alloy extending ladders. Redcross Street fire station was in the front line of the London Blitz throughout 1940 -41 and was finally closed in 1960. (Editor's collection)
NEW MEMBERS OF THE COMPANY The Court extended membership of the Company to the following at the Court Meeting on Friday 17th February 2006 Geoff Turpin Geoff is a partner in A&G Building Services who provide Building Maintenance Services principally within the Bus Industry. A&G install and maintain fire alarm and sprinkler systems and the company has been established for ten years.
Liverymen Bryan Spearman and Tony Skinner with the Master
Alan Woods Alan is with Securicor in a senior management capacity and is acquainted with fire prevention. He is Secretary of the City of London Freemans Association of Sussex. Andrew Rhodes Andrew is currently a Lieutenant at NATO communications in Northwood. He runs half marathons in a Navy Team for a naval charity and is a keen golfer. He has also fought a fire at sea! Andrew's father is Court Assistant David Rhodes, our Honorary Company Chaplain.
CAPTION CORNER Readers are invited to suggest just what this brass helmeted London fireman might be thinking as he surveys the Southwark rooftops from his swaying 100ft vantage point in this 1937 photograph showing the upper section of a turntable ladder at work during a training exercise. Please let the Editor have your suggestions, the best of which will be published in the next edition of Salamander.
Peter Stewart Peter is a member of the London Fire Brigade serving at Wembley. He is also a member of the Honorable Artillery Company where he holds the rank of CSM and will shortly be commissioned. Neil Wallington Neil was Chief Fire Officer of South Wales Fire Service and then Devon Fire & Rescue Service and is now a respected International Fire Consultant and Conference Organiser. He is also a successful author having had fourteen books published and is the Editor of Salamander and the Deputy Editor of the Company Website.
DINNER AT LLOYD'S OF LONDON 60 Freemen, Liverymen and guests met on Monday 23rd January to attend the first Company Dinner of 2006 which was held at Lloyd's of London Formed in 1668, Lloyd’s is the world’s leading insurance market which is now housed in an award-winning building designed by Lord Richard Rodgers and opened in 1986 at No 1, Lime Street in the City of London. However, the origins of Lloyd’s lie in the more modest surroundings of Mr Edward Lloyd’s 17th century coffee house in Tower Street. Little is known about Edward Lloyd or his coffee house. Coffee houses in those days before newspapers, were places where people met and exchanged the latest gossip. Lloyd’s Coffee House, over and above its rivals, gained an enviable reputation for trustworthy shipping news where merchants and seafarers were to be found and it became the recognised place to obtain marine insurance. It is understood that Edward Lloyd took no part in underwriting, but merely ran the coffee house until his death in 1713. His bequest to posterity was to give his name to the insurance market now renowned throughout the world. Members and their guests were taken on tours of the building to see the Nelson Collection, a unique collection of naval artefacts dating back more than 200 years to Admiral Lord Nelson’s famous victories at Trafalgar, Copenhagen and the Nile. The groups visited the Adam Room, which was originally the dining room of Bowood House in Wiltshire, built in 1763 by the Scottish architect Robert Adam. The whole room was taken apart, transported to London and put together again piece by piece to form the Council Chamber in the former Lloyd’s Building opened in 1958. When the current Lloyd’s Building was constructed in 1986 on the opposite side of Lime Street, the room was taken apart again and reformed on the 11th floor – a classical antique in a post-modern building.
The tours ended in “The Room”, the trading floor where underwriting is carried out. Brokers meet the specialist underwriters here at their “boxes”, a reflection back to the booths of the original Lloyd’s Coffee House. If the underwriter agrees to accept the particular insurance risk, he stamps the slip with his mark, states the percentage he is accepting and signs under, hence the term “underwriter”. Cover normally starts immediately. Also in “The Room” is situated the famous Lutine Bell. Originally a French frigate, La Lutine was commandeered in 1793 by British forces. Renamed HMS Lutine she sank carrying a cargo of gold and silver bullion off the Dutch coast. The cargo valued at £1m, a fabulous amount in those days, was insured at Lloyd’s who paid the claim in full and then set about salvaging the wreck. The ship’s bell was recovered and hung in the Underwriting Room where, traditionally, it was rung to herald important announcements to brokers and underwriters – once for sorrow, twice for joy. It is now only used on ceremonial occasions. Dinner was champagne pate and toasted brioche, followed by poached supreme of salmon on crushed artichokes, baby spinach and broad beans with a chocolate and pistachio parfait dessert. It was served in the Old Library which is lined with the original oak panels from the 1928 Lloyd’s Building incorporating hand-carvings of 17th and 18th century sailing ships and contains splendid oil paintings of naval scenes. The Master, Alan Wells welcomed members and guests to the Company’s Special Dinner and thanked Court Assistant Geoff Morgan for making it possible to visit such an interesting City landmark and the Clerk, Martin Bonham for organising the event so successfully. Geoff Morgan
Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, KCB, first Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, 1866 - 1891, pictured in his silver fire helmet. The MFB was re-titled the London Fire Brigade in 1904. (Editor's collection)
MASSEY SHAW DINNER The Company held a very successful 3rd Massey Shaw Dinner at the Insurance Hall on Tuesday 7th March. The principal guest, Vice Admiral Sir Neville Purvis, KCB, gave a very humorous speech recounting many incidents during his career in the Royal Navy. During the Dinner, the Master, Alan Wells, presented the company with a magnificent bronze statue of Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, KCB, who succeeded the late James Braidwood as the Superintendent of the London Fire Engine Establishment in 1861 before being appointed the first Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in January 1866. Massey Shaw served in this post until his retirement in 1891 and over this period became the most famous protagonist of fire safety and the efficient organization of fire brigades of Victorian times. The Massey Shaw Dinner was jointly sponsored by Baldwin Boxall Communications, Kidde Fire Protection, PSV Transport Systems, and Vimpex. Upper Warden Martin Coffey, OBE
A NOTE FROM THE DEPUTY EDITOR In our last issue I said it was our intention to identify sections that would be the basis of regular features in all future issues of your 'Salamander' newsletter. I'm pleased to say that this issue has been published under the chosen headings. I hope it meets with your approval. May I thank all those who have written and e-mailed me with kind words of support in respect of the new style and quality of Salamander. The production of the newsletter really has been a team effort and I believe it clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when like minded people work together in the interests of our Company and its members. Similar work is also being undertaken in respect of our Company Web-Site, special thanks on this go to Nick Clarkson. Regardless of the featured headings there will always be room for any articles submitted by yourselves, as it is those which we believe are the most important contributions. So please support us and put pen to paper today. YOUR NEWSLETTER NEEDS YOU! PM Colin Livett, Deputy Editor
The Master admires the statue of Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw
NEWS FROM THE INDUSTRY One of the ongoing changes to the national fire safety scene in recent times has been the exercise to radically reform the provision of fire safety in England and Wales. This is now embraced in the implications of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which will come into effect this year on a date to be announced shortly. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO 2005) will have a far-reaching impact and particularly so on the enforcement processes that will be employed in future. It is intended to simplify the enforcement and regulation of fire safety and to shift the emphasis from an “enforcer’s tell you” regime, to a “you decide the appropriate measures and manage them” system. Naturally, the enforcement will still devolve to the Fire & Rescue Service and a handful of other agencies, including the HSE and local authorities. The new Order repeals a raft of previous fire safety legislation. The powers of inspectors and the powers to make requirements and prohibit the use of part or all of a building are all transferred to the RRFSO 2005. However, the key element is that the requirement for a fire certificate for specific uses of premises is gone. When the new Order comes into force, every workplace will fall under the new regime, one which places the onus upon the occupier, or the person who has the control of the premises, to ensure that the arrangements for fire safety are suitable and sufficient to the risk presented. In essence, this change moves the responsibility for safety in the event of fire away from the Fire & Rescue Service inspector who, perhaps, issued the fire certificate to the owner of the premises. Ownership of the fire safety solution passes to the occupier and their workforce.
West Yorkshire firefighters endure some very high levels of radiated heat as they get hose lines to work in this graphic image of a major fire in 2005 at a large woodyard. The ferocity of uncontrolled and rapid fire spread is dramatically captured in this photograph taken by Brian Saville of West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service to whom Salamander is indebted.
Inspectors have power to inspect and, where necessary, to insist on improvements, or in extreme cases to prosecute. Naturally, where there has been a failure to implement appropriate measures, or to maintain them, and someone is injured or dies in the resulting fire, the mechanism is there for the responsible person to be prosecuted. (In the preparation of this brief article, the Editor acknowledges the help of Company Freeman Patrick Cox, Senior Tutor (Uniformed) at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire).
LIVERYMAN HARRY ERRINGTON, GC Issue No 5 of Salamander carried the obituary of former London wartime auxiliary fireman Harry Errington, the only member of the British Fire Service to be awarded the George Cross. Harry, who died on 17 December 2004, won the George Cross for the rescue of two fellow firefighters following a direct bombing hit on Rathbone Street AFS sub station in London’s Soho district on 17 September 1940. Harry was a proud Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters and it was therefore a pleasure to learn that Harry’s memory was being commemorated by a special display that opened in January 2006 at the Jewish Museum, Albert Street, London, NW1. At the opening ceremony, Harry’s medals were presented to the Museum by his cousin Robert Errington. (The Editor acknowledges material included in this report that was provided by Freeman Michael Leaver)
London Auxiliary Fireman Harry Errington wearing his George Cross. (London Fire Brigade)
This dramatic scene of firefighting operations in Queen Victoria Street, EC 4, on the night of 10 May 1941 graphically illustrate the conditions under which the London Fire Service operated during the concentrated Blitz period on the capital. From September to November 1940, regular and auxiliary crews faced a fiery period that included 57 nights of unbroken enemy high explosive and incendiary attacks. (London Fire Brigade)
A REPORT ON OUR CHARITIES In forthcoming issues of Salamander, Deputy Editor Colin Livett will be providing information on the wide ranging work of the charities that the Worshipful Company of Firefighters support. The first feature of this series focuses on RAFT.
A Flavour of RAFT's research
RAFT is a critically needed medical research charity aiming to provide practical outcomes in the fields of reconstructive plastic surgery and burn injury treatment.
The popular image of plastic surgery is one which emphasises its cosmetic aspects. There is so much in the media on the 'Nip & Tuck' theme these days. However RAFT's research aims to offer the chance not only of survival but of a quality of life worth living to patients disfigured by trauma, congenital conditions or the effects of disease.
As readers will know, the effects of fire can be devastating. How can you convey the distressing nature of the lifetime scars that can result? These scars affect not only the appearance of the burnt area but also how it functions. RAFT is studying how to overcome these distressing outcomes and is also developing an artificial skin to provide life-saving essential wound cover when the body cannot do so itself. Skin Cancer Our love of the sun and exotic holidays has fuelled a startling rise in the incidence of skin cancer. By research into prevention, education, early diagnosis and investigation of specific cancers, RAFT is striving to come up with a solution to help fight against them. RAFT's other research projects include Wound Healing, Hand Surgery (Tendon Repair, Dupuytren's Contracture, Rheumatoid Arthritis) and Facial Palsy. If you would like to know more about RAFT please contact: Mrs Hilary Bailey, Director (Admin & Appeals) RAFT, The Leopold Muller Building Mount Vernon Hospital Northwood Middlesex HA6 2RN Tel: 01923 835815 Email: email@example.com Website: www.raft.ac.uk Registered Charity No: 299811
Neil Wallington: Editor of the Salamander Newsletter Liveryman Nick Clarkson: Web-site Manager Graham Scott: (The Marketing Partnership, www.marketp.co.uk): Salamander Design Renter Warden Viv Jones (Vimpex, www.vimpex.co.uk): Salamander Sponsorship and Distribution