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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Angry A22 Manchestr Square F/Sta, London, closes

    BBC News

    It has been reported all day on the News, over a Century of Firefighting protection was removed from Central London today with the closure of A22 Manchester Square, affectionately known as 'The Square'

    In its heyday in the 1960's it was home to the A Division HQ where its Senior Officers were among the busiest in the Country maybe the World...there smoke blackened white hats matching any white hat from any of the UK or the Worlds Ghetto areas. The 'A' Division at the time had the usual ghetto areas in Paddington and North Kensington as well as the hustle and bustle of life in London's West End. On top of this, it was the capital of run down hotels and hostels in Bayswater that have seen some of the most famous and well documented fires in UK Fire Service History...Fire such as the Leinster Hotel in which over 50 people were rescued and not a single life was lost and the Worsley Hotel Fire in which a Fireman died, inspiring the best selling book 'Red Watch'. Further across the Division Soho was witnessing a violent gang war, with A Division Firefighters playing there own part in London's fierce gangland wars with Resturants, Clubs, and Sex shops burning in Soho's tight streets with alarming regularity.

    In latter years, the A Division changed, Fire Safety Laws changed the way Hotels operated and the Police cleaned up the Soho area. But from time to time the Division was still home to events that attracted media attention from across the World. The Kings Cross Fire, The Harrods Bomb, The Iranian Embassy Seige and the Paddington Rail Disaster all happened within the boundaries of the old 'A'

    Manchester Square itself was always the Cinderella of the Division. At every headline grabbing battle of her sister Stations; Paddington, Euston, Soho... the Firefighters from the square were there...as well as protecting their own patch that covered one of the busiest shopping areas in the World and some of the most expensive real Estate in Mayfiar and Park Lane, again World renowned.

    In later years the Station was quieter by comparison, but still providing vital back up for surrounding Stations that will not be there anymore, nor will it be there if anything happens in the middle of The West End Tourist disrict or at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

    Ironically in recent months the Station started to get very busy again... with over a dozen incidents requiring the Rescue of Persons or additional Appliances. Unfortunately it was too little to late.

    As a Fireman 'Brought up' in another proud and busy Division ther was always a great sense of rivalry between us in the Ghettos and those 'up the sharp' But tonight I will take my hat of in respect of the passing of the 'Old Lady' of the 'A' division...

    You were there back in the day!!!
    Last edited by SteveDude; 06-07-2005 at 05:24 PM.
    Steve Dude
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    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.


  2. #2
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    But Val Shawcross, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said there was surplus capacity in central London with one engine to every 25,000 population compared with one to every 75,000 in outer London.
    I guess firefighters don't protect property anymore! Mmmmm interesting view from the LFEPA who don't seem to take into account the incredible MASS of population that moves into this central London area during the day time to work, socialise and shop.

    Nice post Steve .... thanks
    Last edited by PaulGRIMWOOD; 06-08-2005 at 05:17 AM.

  3. #3
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    Excellent post Steve.

    It really sticks in your throat when the chair of the Fire Authority gives a press interview and says the station was surplus to requirements. Even though it was still responding to over 3000 calls a year.

  4. #4
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    Unhappy stevedude

    Sorry to hear about all the things going on in london steve, I hope things work out for the best for you guy's.

  5. #5
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    It's always a sad day when a firehouse closes, particularly when it's history is as grand as Manchester Square How you can close a station running more than 3000 calls a year in the busy inner areas of a large city like London is beyond me
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  6. #6
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    3000 calls a year ! I think it's lot for a firehouse. Really worried!

  7. #7
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    You should have been worried 8 years ago.

  8. #8
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Alaways sad to listen to politicians sell the fire department down the river. Especially when we are talking about a very historic and obviously busy fire station.

    Let's hope it doesn't bite London's citizens in the azz.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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