75th Anniversary Memorial Events 2015

There are a number of memorial events coming up, as we are now 75 years since the main Blitz by the Luftwaffe on London, and other British towns and cities. This is a bit of a departure for us, as our ‘normal’ event is at a 1940s Weekend. However, we started with a Memorial event in Nottingham nearly 5 years ago in the Old Market Square, which we would like to repeat next May on the nearest Saturday.

Sadly, we missed the anniversary of Moonlight Sonata, the destruction of Coventry on 12th November, as there simply wasn’t enough time to organise anything, and there didn’t seem to be any great drive from the city itself.

However, there seems to be quite an impetus in Sheffield to remember the first, and biggest night of bombing on 12th/13th December. We have been invited by Sheffield Cathedral to take the Turntable Ladder for the Saturday daytime. In the evening, the city is planning barrage balloons and searchlights, and South Yorks Fire and Rescue have given permission to park the TL in the Central Fire Station by The Moor overnight. We plan then to go onto The Moor for the Sunday, before bringing the appliance home in the evening.

The Sheffield Star are behind this commemoration.

Appliances outside St Paul’s, with buildings burning in the background.

Just after Christmas is the 29th December, known as the ‘Second Great Fire of London‘, in which a firestorm was narrowly averted, although large areas of the City of London, and especially the area around St Paul’s, was completely destroyed by fire. Neil Bloxham is our contact for an event which looks like this:

10.00 Appliances and Crews arrive at Dowgate Fire Station
10.30 Display of Appliances and Equipment on forecourt of St Paul’s for Media and Public
12.30 Wreath laying at Goldmans Sachs memorial to Blitz Firemen TBC
13.00 Crews pumping into River at bottom of Allhallows Lane with Massey Shaw TBC
14.00 Lunch
15.00 17.00 Crews with Appliances on forecourt and St Paul’s
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.

Margaret Gaskin’s superb account

It is much too far to take an appliance, but the plan is to drive to the outskirts of London, and take the tube or train into the City. So far, we have around half a dozen NFS firemen and WVS ladies planning to go. The fireboat Massey Shaw will be involved. Details are here.

There is a nice article about those terrible events here, but the definitive work is by Margaret Gaskin.

If anyone would like to join us for either of these events, please get in touch.


Next year, we have two more memorial dates, 7th March the anniversary of the daring raid on the Ransome and Marles bearing factory at Newark, and 8th May in Nottingham. Plans are coming on well for Newark, but we haven’t yet started on Nottingham. For both events, you really need to read David Needham’s book, “The Battle of the Flames”. Forget Amazon‘s £80+ price – David has copies for the original £10 + postage (or collection). [Hint – Christmas is coming!].

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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