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Gone but not forgotten H33 Beckenham
Fire Engine Photos
No: 37738   Contributor: Chris Stone   Year: 2014   Country: United Kingdom
Gone but not forgotten H33 Beckenham

London Fire Brigade H33 Beckenham Fire Station, in Bromley Road,and is seen in 1966 complete with an exLCC LFB AEC Regent III Pump, which is outside the pump bay in the yard, the pump had to turn out of the yard onto the main road! The Pump Escape bay is next to the watchroom at the front of the station. This was at the time an exKent Fire Brigade station and had a Pump Ladder in this bay.This was the seconed Beckenham fire station and opened in 1884 and closed in 1985,(Both my Dad and Grandad served here), the new Fire Station E43,opened in 1985, and is in Beckenham Road. The flats at the back of the station were for fireman's families and are still in use.
Picture added on 18 September 2014 at 16:56
add commentComments:
As a Beckenham lad, this picture certainly evokes a few memories. I would have been in my mid teens at the time, and therefore clearly remember when it was a Kent FB station. Whether just before or after the transfer to LFB, I recall H33's 'Guv'nor' riding about in a sage green Hillman Husky estate car / van, complete with blue light mounted on a tall chrome stem. Incidentally, an acquaintance of mine used to drive the AFS 'green godess' appliance that was also kept at the rear of the station. I remember him recounting a particular 'shout' to Green Lane, Penge, when he happened to be driving and was first in attendance. He turned right at the lights from Penge High Street, to see most of Ladyman's fish and chip shop lying in the road 'well alight'. I would think that was about 1967-68? Just one further pearl of wisdom: Beckenham's original fire station was situated on the corner of Kelsey Square (it used to have an old hand pump set in the wall outside) and in my youth was for many years Stephens the greengrocers. I believe it later became a gent's hairdressers.

Added by Garry Whitehead on 10 October 2015.
I've been in correspondence with a few people recently about old (60s) Croydon CB Fire Brigade appliances and have been informed that they bought two AECs from Lancashire in 1963 - and that after amalgamation one went to Beckenham.
In your photo what do we see but an AEC Regent! You don't have the reg by any chance?

Added by Steve on 02 June 2017.
I was first posted to H33 in August 1967, I later served with Chris Stones father Albert who transfered when H27 West Wickham [He lived in Rose Walk] closed, I feel that the ex LFB appliance shown in the picture was a replacement after both H33 appliances were involved in a accident en route to a 12 pump fire in Jasmine Grove Penge.Im sad to say that I heard Albert has passed away some years ago [sad - great man]

Added by John brooman on 12 April 2018.
I was born there in August 1964. I think it was converted to flats several years ago which sold for silly money! I believe my father was a station officer then andf from there we went to Halesown, Kidderminster, Worcester, Hereford, Cambridge, Maidstone and finally they wound up in the Scottish Borders where my dasd retired as Fire Master. By this time I'd moved to the States! Still a gypsy to this day....

Added by James Edmonds on 02 July 2018.
Me too James!!

One thing about the Fire Brigade family, plenty of moves, but plenty of great memories and friends. So cool to see where you were born! On station too!😉

Added by Andy Holtham on 05 July 2018.
Note to editor, and the gutless contributor about the above comment published on 02 May: indeed c**t Nick Carter does sound an absolute a-hole, but this is a fire service/fire appliance enthusiasts' website, and personally I don't think there is a place on such a site for the personal and offensive comment submitted anonymously. It has nothing do with fire appliances or the fire service. It is simply a personal attack, and it should be removed.

Added by Yelp Bullhorn on 05 July 2018.
Andy H. You need to dig up some photos the the Portsmouth station where you made your entrance into the world. I’ll see if I can get my mum to release her hold on some of the old brigade related photos to add here. You are right about family...even though I’ve been in the USA for more years now than I was in Blighty, I still remember many brigade families to this day. My dad remembers fondly working with Albert Stones mentioned above and although many have now passed away there are still a few who still get a call at Christmas. Then there’s the likes of you and me who could recount FB shenanigans that would get us put away nowadays!

Added by James Edmonds on 06 July 2018.
Note to editor, yes I support Yelp, please remove the offensive post, I didn't realize you could post comments without identification. The contributor may like to re-post without reference to the 'lovely' gent who does sound like a real 'you know what.' I liked the rest of what the contributor had to say. And while we are on the subject of talking to the Editor, can you please fix up those recent photos that are upside down or sideways, it's doing my head in!! Thanks

Added by Pav on 07 July 2018.

I moved to the States in 1978 from England too and I am pretty sure you must know just how close fire service families are here as well. They refer to themselves as the "brotherhood", and from everything I have seen it certainly rings true!

They are also very highly regarded by the public, something which existed long before 9/11 - but which became so much more intense after the 343 FDNY members were lost...

I think the fact that so many departments run ambulance and/or EMT response helps this very positive attitude too.

In addition, I am always very impressed by the numbers of people who uphold the great tradition of volunteering, spending long hours training and putting themselves in danger at all hours of the day and night, without getting any compensation for giving up their paid employment.

On one occasion a volunteer department saved one of our houses, and that's something you never forget!

Added by Rob Johnson on 10 July 2018.
Hi Rob. Yes, you are totally correct. I don’t have many connections to the Brigade here other than a coworker who lost his brother on 9/11. I was just at the memorial in NYC last week with my kids which prompted me to talk to them about their grandad. He was retired by the time they were born and being in Scotland and removed from them it’s hard for the kids to understand what it’s al about. So we watched the documentary done by the French Gaudet brothers together so that they can get an idea of what it’s like to be a fireman...although that day was unlike any other.
I’m not sure how it’s changed, but when I was in England, retained stations and staff made up an important part of all the county operations.

Added by James Edmonds on 10 July 2018.
Many thanks to the editor for removing the offensive post. Common decency prevails. The person on the receiving end of the attack, Mr Nick Carter, may well still be very much alive, and were he a visitor to this site would, I'm sure, not be very impressed by the attack. And that goes for his descendants too, who most definitely will be alive. And let's hope such personal attacks never taint this fabulous site again - particularly cowardly anonymous ones. And thanks to you too, Pav for agreeing with me. I'm glad that at least one person shares my values.

Added by Yelp Bullhorn on 10 July 2018.
Sad news that this site is closing down within two months, all that history and information.

Added by CraigW on 11 July 2018.

The two of you are most certainly not alone in this.

Added by Rob Johnson on 11 July 2018.

Last time I checked, around 45% of UK firefighters were retained on call, but of course these are actually paid personnel too.

In the US, more than 69% are unpaid volunteers, which is by no means the highest percentage in the World, but still quite a contrast to Britain - which has only a handful of true volunteers who get no compensation at all.

Added by Rob Johnson on 11 July 2018.
Hi All. Site Editor here.

I should explain that we really don't want to see this archive closed because we're extremely proud of the incredible collection of pictures and fantastic comments that we've built-up over the years. The problem is, we've been aware for some time that our archives (we run a number of them) have been costing us money to keep running, even though all the running costs were initially covered by google advertising revenue. Whilst we decided to continiue to bear these costs ourselves in recent years, this really is no longer feasible for us to do. However, we would love the archive to continue in some way so... if there's any individual or organisation that would seriously like to take this on, we'd be more than happy to talk to them about how this might be achieved so... please get in contact via stating your name, organisation (if applicable) and the archive you're interested in.

Added by Dave on 12 July 2018.
What will Rob do with his time when this forum closes ! :) Seriously though lets hope someone takes it on. Will the info on forum be archived privately somewhere or just lost for ever if no one takes it on ?

Added by CraigW on 12 July 2018.
Site Editor here.

AT present we envisage archiving everything in a general database, although, that won't be accessible on the web as it has been up to now. As I say, if someone doesw want to take it on then we we will be happy to talk about options for keeping it going some how!

Added by Dave on 13 July 2018.

I don't have much longer in any case.

Added by Rob Johnson on 13 July 2018.
I think that the Appliance in the yard would have been one of the two appliances bought from Lancashire. In fact they had Cheshire Regs and it was *FM 50 I think. It was a great thrill when it arrived - replacing the Leyland Comets which only had 45foot ladders. 636 would have been in the Appliance room and OKR 149 in the garage at the rear. Amazing that a PE fitted in the front bay - but it did.Did not the PE have Croydon Fire Brigade livery at first?

Added by Andrew Barr on 16 July 2018.
Sounds ominous Rob, sincerely hope it's not.

Added by CraigW on 20 July 2018.
According to the FBS book on Lancs appliances the Croyden AECs were LTJ 855ex Stretford and LTJ857 also Stretford.

Added by Neal Glover on 20 July 2018.
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