Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: David C. Pike

London's Firefighters

Pages: 336 Ratings: 5.0
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London's Firefighters is a wonderfully readable, lavishly illustrated
anthology of articles, fiction and verse about the London Fire Brigade,
most of it gathered from the Brigade's house magazines London Fireman
(1966-82) and London Firefighter (1982-2005).
The book's editor David C. Pike, himself a retired firefighter, has cleverly
selected material that delivers both a comprehensive history of the
London Fire Brigade and a fascinating portrait of individual firemen
and women, at work and (occasionally) at play. The book includes
vivid, occasionally harrowing articles on important events involving the
Brigade - the Sidney Street Siege of 1911, the London Blitz and the 1981
Brixton riots, to name just a few - as well as covering key figures within
the Brigade like James Braidwood and Massey Shaw. The more personal
sections provide a revealing insight into the bravery, commitment and
camaraderie of ordinary working firefighters and their families.
The numerous, often highly dramatic illustrations, many from the London
Fire Brigade's own collection, offer a lively commentary on the text.
All the profits from this book will go to the Fire Service charity,
Firemen Remembered.
David Pike was a London firefighter for more than 30 years, retiring at
senior rank in 1996. His first book, Beyond the Flames, was published by
Austin Macauley in 2013.
‘A fascinating peek into the world of the London Fire Brigade. A finalist
and highly recommended.'
The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2014/15, on Beyond the Flames

Starting his career as a fire-cadet at sixteen the author rose to senior rank, always in an operational role. A steady ‘plodder’ more than a high flier he learnt his trade craft serving, and commanding, the Capital’s busiest and most challenging fire station, Brixton. Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct he also rowed himself into the Guinness Book of Records whilst raising many thousands of pounds for charity. A talented organiser he was involved in delivering some of the London Fire Brigade’s most high-profile public events during the 1990s including royal visits and the unveiling of the national Blitz memorial by St Paul’s Cathedral. A fireman first and foremost he provides a valuable human story into the life and history of the London Fire Brigade from 1965 to the late 1990s.

Customer Reviews
26 reviews
26 reviews
  • Tim Jones

    An excellent compilation put together by the author/editor, David Pike. His use of the well placed historic and contemporary images adds so much to the selected stories and articals from a former fire service magazine. A wonderful use of his time in producing this enjoyable read that goes towards helping a worthy charity. A recommended title.

  • Gerry Rendle

    A great insight into the London Fire Brigade and its Firefighters. The book contains wonderful Photographs,Images and Illustrations into what it was really like to be in the London Fire Service. Well researched and written by the Author who himself served for over 30 years as a London Firefighter. This book should be read, not just by Firemen,but all Londoners to help us appreciate the dedication and skill that these men and women have to preserve our safety from FIRE in London

  • Sue Goodenough

    This book caught my eye since it was on display in the window of my North Devon W H Smith's. So I went in to take a closer peek. It is such a pick-upable book. The incredible selection of images grabs your attention from the start, and David Pike's careful editing has provided a wealth of tales from London's fremen and some from his own pen. I walked from the store having been well and truely hooked, and naturally paying for the book. I have now read London's Firefighters from cover to cover and have not been disappointed by my purchase. A really engaging read for anyone interested in London's history, the fire service or just people doing an extraodinary job. Highly Recommended.

  • Steve Johnson

    History comes alive. This is a book that needed to be written, as the further we get from these events and recollections of the heroics of ordinary people performing extraordinary feats in the most testing of circumstances, the more likely it is that they will be forgotten altogether.
    It does talk of a time gone by, but the last couple of years have been full of remembrances of the heroics performed by other groups of people during the Second World War, and David Pike is right to include this period in the book, but also, to take us back to the very start of organised firefighting. The fact that this is all done in a very readable manner, and in shortish chunks, means it can be used partly as a reference book for information but also as a 'Wow, did people really do that' page turner. That the proceeds are going to charity to recognise the work of these heroes is icing on the cake

  • George Perrin.

    A wonderful thrawl through my many years as a London Fireman. Great selection of photos featured. Would recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in the life of Firefighters and the work of Fire Brigades......

  • Kath Hickman

    This is Dave Pike second book and a must read and one to keep. I never get tired of London Fire Brigade's history and this book delivers it bucket loads together with some amazing images too. A must buy. Well done Mr Pike.

  • Dean Van Stratten

    If you have the slightest interest in Fire Services then you must have this book in your library. It is a superb accounting of events, happenings, tragedies and euphoria from the point of view of the author David Pike. A very special collection of remarkable tales and images edited through his lifes work of loving his job and the people he worked with and those in the communities that he served. A recommended buy.

  • G J Warren

    This book, so well written and well presented, is a treasure trove of articles and photographs. As a retired firefighter myself I found the book engaging and informative as well as entertaining! If you are not a firefighter then this book will give you a unique insight into a very special profession and particularly, a very special Fire Brigade and the Men and Woman who serve in it. I highly recommend it.

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