Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A sad day for the Fire Services ...

I have received the following from the Friends of the London Fire Brigade Museum.

Friends of the London Fire Brigade Museum FLFBM.com
 The Committee along with several members of the Friends attended the Fire Authority meeting on Thursday 24th November.  At this meeting the Authority finalised its proposed budget before submitting it to the Mayor for his approval.
 The budget once again included the closure of the present museum and this was agreed.  However we were heartened to hear that unanimously members from all parties were keen to both retain the collection intact and to explore ways of creating a long term solution that retains this vital piece of our heritage and we are keen to build on this.
 We will be taking up the deputy Commissioners offer of discussions to help in this process and look forward to having a role in the current, interim and medium term storage arrangements and in developing suitable a suitable governance model for a new museum.
 The requirements for closure will need to be in accordance to the requirements set down by the national bodies for accredited museums and this includes offering those who have donated items to reclaim them.  We intend to keep these individuals informed and to notify them when the new museum is safely secured.
This is a very bad decision by the politicians. It will save very little money, it loses them a great deal of goodwill and possibly worst of all, it breaks up one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of fire service history in the world. All to save what amounts, in the LFEPA budgets, to pennies. As someone who donated several items to the museum some years ago, I shall await developments.

One thing politicians of all stripes seem to be ignorant of, is the fact that once you destroy something like this, it is impossible to rebuild or replace it. The third verse of Kipling's magnificent, and precient, poem "Recessional,"  -

Far-called our navies melt away— 
On dune and headland sinks the fire— 
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday 
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!  
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, 
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Once something is gone, it is gone for good.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear this is happening. Reminds me of a show I watch here about a pawn shop in Las Vegas... people bring in some stuff that makes me want to cry when they sell it to the pawn shop. Like their great grandfather's military uniform... complete with all pieces. Sigh... I hope it works out for you and the museum.