Thank you

5 Jan

Guest blog by @savesouthwark:

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With the assistance of our good friend Jules (@julieanneda), now seemed the right time to put down in words our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who has supported our campaign to try and keep Southwark and nine other London fire stations open. 140 characters on Twitter would never have allowed us to do justice in adequately conveying such thanks to you all. To thank each and every one of you individually would be a massive task and whilst we would happily do so, we would be equally concerned that we had left somebody out in error.

Why we have ended up where we are is well documented. Our starting point right from the very beginning was that if the station was to close, we would leave knowing that we had done everything possible to prevent such a thing from happening.

On many an occasion we were told it was pointless, but at no point did we ever give up. We have attended numerous Tenants & Residents Association meetings, delivered in excess of 5000 leaflets, hit the road and attended numerous Borough consultation meetings, engaged with the local and national media and maintained a presence on Twitter, Facebook and on our website.

Twitter has been an inspiration to us and has allowed all the London fire stations to have a voice and engage with the public throughout the campaign. Hands up, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing at the beginning, but with the help and advice we received from so many of you, we’d like to think we got there in the end. There are ever growing numbers of fire stations, police officers, paramedics, nursing staff, coastguard officers etc. taking to Twitter and other social media. Whilst there are many pitfalls that one can come across in doing so, with care and attention to what is being said you need not fall foul of any guidelines. We would urge every fire station in London and beyond to consider having a social media presence. Being on Twitter and Facebook has allowed us to engage with so many great people and receive some fantastic advice too. It’s also kept us going when inspiration was low. But most importantly of all, regardless of the outcome, it gave US a voice.

As this is being written our four watches will be coming to the end of their final shifts at the station. It’s not lost on us that there has been a fire station at the current location in Southwark since 1878 when Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw was Chief Officer of the LFB’s predecessor, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Quite what he would make of it is anybody’s guess. Though interestingly, it is reported that when his Fire Brigade was taken over by the London County Council in 1889, he disagreed with the administration and resigned in 1891.

In closing, we’d like to pay tribute to all the fire-fighters and officers at Southwark Fire Station, the fire-fighters and officers at the nine other stations listed to close (Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Westminster and Woolwich) and to our colleagues at surrounding stations, not affected by closure but none the less who supported the campaign, for all their hard work and campaigning.  Additionally, we’d like to thank the FBU-London Region and all of you who wrote such great blogs.

Our last thanks go to you, the public. We have been humbled by the support we have received throughout and couldn’t have carried on without you. Thank you for all the advice, comments and encouragement. You have been outstanding.

From the Red, Blue, White and Green Watches of Southwark Fire Station, thank you.

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2 Responses to “Thank you”

  1. sara jane (@mrsrocketship) January 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    you have all worked so hard, and so tirelessly, putting your lives on the line every day to help protect and save the people of London. One day someone will ask who the idiot was who dreamed up this mad scheme, but it wont be until it is too late. The old man and I (he is a retired firefighter) wish you all the very best in the future, but in the meantime, god speed you brave people

  2. retiredandangry January 6, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Reblogged this on The Big Picture and commented:
    This proves that Boris and co just don’t listen to the public, or indeed Common Sense, and are just hell-bent on toeing the party line at all costs

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