Worshipful Company of Firefighters 

Dear Members and Friends,
At the start of the fifth Bulletin we are now 15 weeks into what is still a restricted position for many, and the most important item remains the health and welfare of all of you, your families and friends.
Peter Cowland, our Honorary Almoner, continues to be in touch with those members in need of support and that will continue unabated for the duration of this Pandemic however long that maybe. Peter updates ESCB members at every weekly meeting on changes and progress so we are all aware of the needs and support where required. Please do not forget if there are any issues that you feel will be better administered and dealt with by somebody outside the Company profile you can always contact the Reverend George Bush, Honorary Chaplain.
Just as a reminder, the contact details for Peter Cowland are pcowland@hotmail.com, or the Honorary Chaplain, Reverend George Bush,on georgerbush@stmarylebow.org.uk.
Latest news and progress on company matters and business are explained below:
  1. COVID-19 Update on Progress
As the “lock-down” guidance changes (I have not used the words “reduced”!!) we must remain vigilant, alert, disciplined in taking the hygiene precautions suggested and avoid unnecessary social contact. Despite the changing guidance as far as Company activities are concerned the following still applies:
  • Continue to work from home if you can.
  • Do not use public transport unless necessary and always wear a face covering.
  • The revised London Congestion Charge plus parking charges make the use of private transport expensive.
  • There is no indication of timescale when public gatherings or numbers will be considered that would allow meetings or functions to recommence in any normality.
  • There is no indication when The Wax Chandlers Hall will reopen along with what preventative measures will be applied.

 ESCB are aware of a number of small functions (30-35 maximum) being arranged during September 2020 which are taking place in very large Livery Halls normally seating 250 plus and we will monitor the outcome if these plans go ahead.

What is emerging, and it is worth all members noting, that due to the loss of income experienced by many Livery Halls and catering companies during the protracted COVID-19 period, as well as the increased cost of insurance arrangements, future charges for Company functions when a return to a “new normality” occurs, will be universally sharply increased from previous costs.
Members have received the mid-summer letter from the Lord Mayor and the discussion of his recent “on-line” Coffee afternoon which the Master and The Clerk were participants.
ESCB remains mindful of the effect of this virus on members, families and households and remains in the community. As I prepare this Bulletin the example of the re-imposed “Lock-Down” in the City of Leicester along with the news that 36 districts in England are seeing a rise in infections just reinforces that this dreadful virus is far from over and the Board’s decision not to review the current arrangement for maintaining the Company until mid-September 2020 remains unchanged.
      2. Common Hall 2020
Members will be aware that as part of Common Hall this year we have produced the Officers reports on-line. Thank you for those who have opened these on their computers and read the reports and for questions raised. By the time this Bulletin is released, these will have been collated and answered via the Clerk. Once the Company accounts have been audited, they will be made available for those who wish to view them, members will also be informed when the Charitable Trust audited accounts are lodged and available on the Charity Commission website.
      3. Summer Salamander
The “Summer Salamander” was formerly published on 4th July 2020 and should be with you by the time you read this Bulletin. I am sure you will all join me in congratulatingLiveryman Dr Bob Farquhar - Editor, Liveryman Colin Simpson - IT Manager and the editorial team along with all of those who have contributed to this edition for their hard work in making this an excellent publication. The Fire and Rescue Services and Members of the Company have made significant crucial contributions to supporting and sustaining numerous measures to assist important services as well as communities during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We should rightly all be proud and grateful for everybody’s contribution.
Please circulate the Salamander to as many of your friends, colleagues and associates as possible to make them aware of the work undertaken.
Liveryman Professor David Holt is arranging distribution for the City of London organisations, and associated professional organisations to have copies of the Salamander. The Clerk is also providing this document to other fellow Livery Companies and relevant organisations.
         4. Result of the Great Fire of London 1666 Quiz - Company Members
On behalf of ESCB it gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of  the Company “Great Fire of London Quiz” compiled by Liveryman David Rogers and distributed by The Clerk,  was Past Master, Ron Murray who receives a Hardbacked copy of the Great Fire of London book. The rumour that this award should be reviewed as Ron could have been on the first-attendance or the “Make-up” as he served not far from the origin of the fire early in his fire-fighting career was dismissed by the Chair of ESCB on the grounds that Ron’s watch were not on duty during that initial period. Congratulations Ron.
          5. The Life of Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw
Following on from his very interesting article in the current edition of Salamander, detailing the involvement of the Massey Shaw fireboat in Operation Dynamo, Liveryman David Rogers, a Director of the Massey Shaw Trust, has produced a video on the life of Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, including some background on the famous fireboat. The video can be accessed via the following link https://youtu.be/s5U64-M-H0s.
          6. The end of an Era
As the saying goes “nothing is for ever” and to this end I am sure you will join me in first thanking four hardworking members of the Company, who have stepped down from their positions over the past months or from the end of Common Hall 2020 after many years of service. They are:
  • Michael Lever – Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Ian Parlane – Honorary Treasurer
  • Tony Skinner – Constable
  • Alan Mabbutt- -Sentinel
We wish them all a long and happy retirement and continuing enjoyment at Company events
In the meantime, as always, to you, your families and friends stay safe and keep well.
Graham Maltby
Chair of the Emergency Strategic Coordination Board
and Upper Warden
6th July 2020