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Top Trumps of Stations

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Its been pretty quiet on the forum of late, and being inspired by other topics on old stations, I thought I would start this one off, to see what you have in terms of Top Trumps. For those who are too young to know what Top Trumps are, have a google :)

To kick it off, I thought I would post this image from a friend of mine who works at Agecroft Fire Station, in Greater Manchester. Agecroft Fire Station is supposed to be the home of the highest free standing fire service drill tower in Europe. I intend to find out the exact height, but its a tall one.

Agecroft Drill Tower.jpg

So what feature or claim to fame can you say or show about your own stations?

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In terms of TV; Dockhead would be the obvious example in LFB as the site of the famous Blackwall fire station, which then became Leyton fire station in later series due to Dockhead being rebuilt and all character removed!

Also in west mids, the old central fire station is where detective Arnott has his fingers crushed in series one of line of duty!

And for the LFB recruits who will remember them, the weird white and green flats next to Harrow Fire Station are where the tv sitcom "My Hero" was partly filmed!

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I guess the old Woolwich fire station forecourt holds the grim record for hosting a televised shootout between the police and a few armed robbers, one of whom was shot round the corner from the station  ( shown very graphically in the documentary )

Boons opening episode was filmed at Solihull. And theres a station in North Coventry which must hold the record for the largest amount of semi naked firefighters shown on tv 😉

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I cannot imagine any fire station has been more effected by international or political affairs than the LFB's G33 Kensington, in Old Court Place W8 - unless you can beat these tales:

The station is next door to the Israeli Embassy - indeed, armed Police officers from the then Met’s Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) stood guard in an alleyway adjacent to G33 protecting the Embassy (You can see them on the photo below) . I also note from the Google Streetmap image that rising bollards have been installed to prevent vehicle bombs being driving into G33 and being exploded.

Nice neighbours

A station routine (Saturdays I recall) was for the appliance dosimeters to be checked. These pen like bits of kit detected gamma radiation and would be worn in radiation jobs to measure contamination. The weekly test recorded the measurements onto a test card. It was not unusual for the dosimeters to pick up minute background radiation so a weekly score was kept. Every few months, they would need re-callibrating to zero.

In the 1980s, crews at G33 ( A28 then) noticed that the dosimeters were receiving higher than normal weekly dose. Indeed, the dosimeters were needing re-callibrating very regularly - even weekly. If it was one or two devices, then it could be put down to defective kit, but it was so widespread, it was seen as a worrying anomaly.

After a long and painful grumble to management, Home Office big nobs spoke to Foreign Office big nobs who had a quiet chat with Israeli liaison staff in the Embassy. They were enraged by the suggestion they had bought a radioactive source into the UK in a diplomatic bag and a frosty international diplomatic incident ensued.

To be fair, for an unsealed gamma source to penetrate two fairly solid brick and Portland stone walls, it would have to be massive so very unlikely - surely

The Israelis could deny as hard as they like, and none of us will ever know the truth - but one thing we do know is that almost immediately after the official complaint, the dosimeters started to behave themselves again like all the others in the remaining 113 LFB Fire Stations. What a co-incidence!!


Around 10 years later in July 94, Palestinian terrorists - annoyed that Jordan & Israel  were in peace talks, detonated a car bomb outside the embassy. There was no warning.

The 20 to 30lb bomb could be heard a mile away. Unfortunately, G33 was 60m away and despite being shielded by neighbouring buildings, it was damaged. The Sub O in charge was in the Office ploughing through the usual paperwork nonsense when he found himself on the floor, blown from his seat by the blast. It was then he heard the bang and was showered in glass.

Fortunately as far as I can recall, no firefighters were hurt to any extent, but several new sets of underwear were claimed on petty cash to replace those damaged/stained beyond repair! :)

G33.jpg     Aerial.jpg 

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On 06/05/2020 at 09:09, Luminoki said:

And theres a station in North Coventry which must hold the record for the largest amount of semi naked firefighters shown on tv 😉

I have no idea what you mean 😬

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  • 3 months later...

Funny you should mention it Carl, as it popped up in a conversation between myself and another ff who is as much a spotter as me

Biggest station for bays is RAF Mildenhall with 20 ( i still think its a cop out as its actually 10 double bays and the trucks turn out on both sides. Still wouldnt want to do the scrub out )

Dereham in Norfolk also being the only solely RDS station with a USAR unit based there. The previous holder of thar title was Nailsea in Avon

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Not strictly correct, you imply I still work there 😂

You do work at a station I once worked at. However I had left before you started though 🤫

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Messy quite literally with a blast from the past there. 

Kensington was a "characterful" (filthy) old station. There was also an incident with an exploding aerosol in a picket brazier....... 

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Another potential one wouldve been Acocks Green in West Mids. Possibly the only WT station where the crews had to cross the road from the house that was the fire station to the engine house. This was still happening up to 1993 when the station closed. The engine house is on the left and the “station” is the first house on the right after that church hall ( now a HMO ) My WC did a set of nights there once, luckily he didnt have to dash across the road. He did say the station was exactly what it looked like. A house with some minor conversion to accomodate a watch on duty


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