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1940 Blitz Remembered event

The Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ that helped save St Paul’s Cathedral

Massey Shaw, London’s vintage fireboat, will be joining the Fire Service Preservation Group and other organisations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the biggest “Blitz” raid on London – The Second Great Fire of London.

The City of London Corporation has given permission for an air raid siren to be sounded at 18:05 on 29 December followed by an escorted “Blitz Turnout” when WWII vintage fire appliances will leave Dowgate Fire Station (Lower Thames Street) and circuit the City “on the bell”. A short service will afterwards be held at the Firefighters Memorial in Carter Lane, near St Paul’s.

From 10:30 on the 29th December vintage appliances will be on display outside St Paul’s Cathedral, the iconic building for which Winston Churchill gave the directive to the London Fire Brigade and Auxiliary Fire Service: “Save St Pauls”.

There will also be events (and refreshments) at Dowgate Fire Station on Lower Thames Street where fireboat Massey Shaw expects to pump water (weather permitting) from the Thames through its deck outlets and from its iconic main monitor which can produce 3,000 gallons per minute at 100psi.

Expected timetable:

  • 10.00 Appliances and Crew's arrive at Dowgate Fire Station, Lower Thames Street
  • 10.30 Display of Appliances and Equipment on forecourt and St Pauls for media and public
  • 12.30 Wreath laying ceremony at Goldman Sachs building, Peterborough Court, 133 Fleet Street, EC4 2BB
  • 13.00 Crews pumping into River at bottom of Allhallows lane with Massey Shaw frieboat
  • 14.00 Lunch
  • 15.00 Crews with Appliances on forecourt and St Pauls Cathedral until 17.00hrs
  • 17.00 Tea Break
  • 17.30 Parade of crews
  • 18.05 Sounding of Air Raid Siren
  • 18.15 Appliances turn out to complete route through City
  • 18.45 Arrive at Fire Fighters Memorial for a short service of remembrance.

The Massey Shaw is seeking to raise £750 to support running costs for this event. Any companies, organisation or individuals who wish to sponsor this event can contact info@masseyshaw.org for further information.

We also have two positions as ‘sponsored crew’ members on this trip, if you're interested please email info@masseyshaw.org. We expect  each sponsored crew member raises £100 or more to take part in the event.

Massey Shaw’s role in helping save St Pauls

Massey Shaw served the London Fire Brigade during the Blitz period (1940 - 1941) and is credited with helping to save St Pauls Cathedral after significant bombing to the surrounding areas.

Due to water mains being damaged during the raids Massey Shaw’s significant pumping capacity was utilised to pump water from the River Thames up the street towards the land based units to help put out the fires.

Massey can pump water continuously for up to 36 hours on one tank of diesel and was used by the London Fire Brigade between 1935 and 1971.  She was utilised on numerous occasions to fight various warehouse fires and provide water to land appliances up and down the river. She is credited for saving millions of pounds worth of property, as well as rescuing 600 troops from the Dunkirk beaches in May 1940.

Contact information

Massey Shaw’s event coordinator
Colin Perry
Email: colinperry@masseyshaw.org

Massey Shaw Education Trust

Email: info@masseyshaw.org
Website: www.masseyshaw.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/themasseyshaw
Facebook: www.facebook.com/masseyshaw