Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Serendipitous Fire Engines

We had arranged to meet friends this afternoon at One New Change, the big shopping centre behind St Paul's Cathedral.  But yesterday, when I was browsing the Internet, I came across this article.  I did a bit of further research, and found that there would be vintage fire engines displayed outside St Paul's Cathedral during the afternoon, and then there would be a procession leaving from Dowgate Fire Station in the early evening.  So I promptly contacted my friends and said look what's happening, and, indeed, when we got there, they were busy looking at the fire engines outside St Paul's.
We had a splendid time looking round, and talking to the firefighters, who were dressed in vintage uniforms.  Several other people were also dressed in 1940s fashions - one woman's legs were covered in tattoos, which we didn't think was actually very authentic, but still!  I was reminded that this was how fire engines were, in my youth, when I was a little girl visiting my grandmother in London - they rushed about with bells ringing, and huge wheels on the back for the ladders.
When we had all had enough, we wandered back to One New Change and took the lifts up to the sixth floor, where there is a roof garden and wonderful views over London, especially of St Paul's - the lifts are designed so you see nothing but it as you go up!

Then it was getting dark, so we came away and walked down towards Dowgate Fire Station, stopping for a cup of tea en route.  On our way, all the fire engines drove past us, to much waving, going back to the fire station where they were joined by others - all privately owned and immaculately maintained - until 6:05 pm, at which point an air-raid warning was sounded.  Sadly, this could only be a hand-cranked siren, as they were afraid that people would be scared of the real thing, what with terrorist alerts and so on, but when it finished, the fire-engines all drove off, bells ringing madly, followed - and we thought this a lovely touch - by a modern engine bringing up the rear.

So we came away and took a 133 bus back to Brixton and then a 37 up the road, and I cooked dinner for us all.  It was a lovely afternoon out.

No comments:

Post a Comment