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
  • Liam Hackett

    A well crafted and valuable piece of London's Fire Service History.Very accurate as it comes from the firefighters themselves. .. Easy reading and pleasing to the eye with photographs in profusion to capture the atmosphere of the times.This book will not dissapoint those who turn the pages and glimpse into a world now gone but thanks to the author, Dave Pike,himself a retired firefighter, not forgotten.

  • A M Hoddinott

    David Pike’s second book is a remarkable achievement. His editing has combined enlightening stories and facts from the London Fire Brigade with an array of compelling images, many rarely seen before. It’s a pick me and put me down type of read, and each time you learn and enjoy a little more. I have no connection to the fire service, but this is a delightful book that gives the reader a feel of what it is to be a firefighter, in all its guises.

  • Mat Greetham

    A very well put together collection of articles and photographs that provide a fascinating insight into the history of the London fire brigade, capturing key moments such as the Brixton riots and the London blitz, this would make a great read for anyone who has worked in this field or for any London history buffs out there! A brilliant read!

  • Billy Dean

    I am an ordinary London, no connection to the Fire Service whatsoever. This collection of tales and images takes you on a special journey into the life and times of London's firemen and women of yester year. A great read and well put together. A first class book.

  • Ian Goodenough

    Having read Pike's autobiography, charting his life in the London Fire Brigade I was keen to get a little more insight into Brigade life when this anthology became available. The book breaks down into various stories, prose, factual snippets and first-hand experiences from different contributors. As a result it delivers atmospheric descriptions of life in the Brigade and also many deeply personal and emotional accounts of events and their long-term effects. The many photographs and images drop you even further into the atmosphere and add a fascinating extra aspect to the book.

  • Steve Cooper

    An interesting insight of how the men of The London Fire Brigade used to be. Personal accounts of incidents and occurrences during the busiest periods of London Fire Brigades history. A VERY GOOD READ INDEED.

  • Graham Orange

    A rather special book that adds much to the genre of fire service writing. Special in the manner of its editing, special in the number and range of exceptional true and fictional stories the book contans, special because of the remarkable collection of fire service images.This is not a book for just fire brigade anoraks, it is a book for anyone who likes short stories that you can pick and choose. A recommended purchase and one worthy to place on your book shelf.

  • Lauren Dawkins

    This book is an absolute pleasure to read, the book amazingly brings a fireman's dramatic and eventful career into perspective. The articles offer a surreal insight into popular events and show the true formidable side to it, the side the firefighters bravely tackled. Within the book is a variety of pictures, which allows us to have a special pass into the past of the fireman's history; each picture telling a different story, once again adding drama. The parts in verse are also wonderfully enjoyable, it was an inventive take to take on the fireman's tale. I would definitely read this book if firefighters history interests you, however if you are not, like me, someone that doesn't have a particular interest in it I would still give it ago! It's an engaging read which is hard to put down.

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