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Hosepipes Collection

During the Blitz in London, hosepipes became a lifeline for firefighters battling the relentless flames that engulfed the city

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- St Bride Street, Farringdon Street, WW2

Blitz in London -- St Bride Street, Farringdon Street, WW2
Blitz in London -- St Bride Street and Farringdon Street, with firefighters at work in a smoky atmosphere and pedestrians walking by

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Fire at 298 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

Fire at 298 Old Brompton Road, London SW5, 25 February 1956. An escape ladder is extended to the second floor, with Sub Officer Kirby of A9 Fulham carrying a 19-month-old child

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Henry Simonis & Co fire appliance, Nuremberg, Germany

Henry Simonis & Co fire appliance, Nuremberg, Germany
A Henry Simonis & Co fire appliance, parked on a street in Nuremberg, Germany

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- AFS firefighter on ladder, WW2

Blitz in London -- AFS firefighter on ladder, WW2
Blitz in London -- an AFS firefighter on a ladder with hose attached, in a training exercise at HQ

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London firefighters at work in Hampstead High Street

London firefighters at work in Hampstead High Street
London firefighters at work outside a Woolworths building in Hampstead High Street, north-west London (11 May 1946). General aerial view of the front of the premises after the fire has been

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Henry Simonis & Co fire appliances, Nuremberg, Germany

Henry Simonis & Co fire appliances, Nuremberg, Germany
Two Henry Simonis & Co fire appliances on a street in Nuremberg, Germany

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Scammell pump in Orange Street, London W1, WW2

Scammell pump in Orange Street, London W1, WW2
Scammell 65-gallon pump in operation, supplying water to four hosepipes, at a fire in Orange Street, London W1, 21 September 1942

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters taking part in a hose training drill

Firefighters taking part in a hose training drill
Two firefighters taking part in a hose training drill

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Two firefighters at King George V Dock, East London

Two firefighters at King George V Dock, East London
Two firefighters in action at No.9 Shed, King George V Dock, Port of London Authority, East London (E16), on 29 December 1974 -- a 30-pump fire

Background imageHosepipes Collection: LFB major control unit in operation at a fire

LFB major control unit in operation at a fire
LFB firefighters in action, and a major Control Unit vehicle in attendance at a fire, 7 October 1955. The Control Unit had its own dedicated operational staff

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters in action with hosepipes, Shad Thames, SE1

Firefighters in action with hosepipes, Shad Thames, SE1
Firefighters in action with hosepipes at night, at a fire in Shad Thames, 19 February 1958, at the premises of Corry & Co, showing the Gainsford Street/Maguire Street corner of the building

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Chambers Wharf, Bermondsey, WW2

Blitz in London -- Chambers Wharf, Bermondsey, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action with fire engines and hosepipes at Chambers Wharf, Bermondsey Wall, on 12 August 1944. Date: 1944

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Old Compton Street, WW2

Blitz in London -- Old Compton Street, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action in Old Compton Street, W1, where a gas main was ignited by a high explosive bomb and buildings were damaged by the blast, 24 February 1944

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters in action in Commercial Road, East London

Firefighters in action in Commercial Road, East London
Firefighters in action with hosepipes at business premises, 81/85 Commercial Road, East London, 18 June 1957. The first floor, a large tailors workshop

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work, WW2

Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work, WW2
Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work with hosepipes

Background imageHosepipes Collection: NFS - Home Office hose tests at Wimbledon, WW2

NFS - Home Office hose tests at Wimbledon, WW2
London Region NFS/AFS firefighters assisting in Home Office trials to improve water delivery systems to emergency dams and onto fires after the fire service was nationalised in August 1941

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in the City of London - AFS firefighters, WW2

Blitz in the City of London - AFS firefighters, WW2
Blitz in the City of London - AFS firefighters at work with hoses following a bombing raid. Date: 1940s

Background imageHosepipes Collection: LFB firefighters in multi-hose display

LFB firefighters in multi-hose display
LFB firefighters in a multi-hose display at headquarters, with pumping machine and vehicle

Background imageHosepipes Collection: LFB Dennis F101 appliance with hose ramps

LFB Dennis F101 appliance with hose ramps
LFB Dennis F101 appliance with brackets fitted to the rear to carry hose ramps

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighting at Eccleston Place, Victoria, London SW1

Firefighting at Eccleston Place, Victoria, London SW1
Firefighting at the Scripture Gift Mission, Naval & Military Bible Society, Eccleston Place, Victoria, London, on 23 April 1956, where there had also been an explosion

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters in action with hosepipes, London

Firefighters in action with hosepipes, London
Firefighters in action with hosepipes at a blazing fire, London

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Fire on 24th Street, New York City, 1907 (pastel on paper)

Fire on 24th Street, New York City, 1907 (pastel on paper)
CH204244 Fire on 24th Street, New York City, 1907 (pastel on paper) by Shinn, Everett (1876-1953); Private Collection; Photo © Christie's Images

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London Fire Brigade Firemen Firefighting Firefighters

London Fire Brigade Firemen Firefighting Firefighters
london, fire, brigade, firemen, firefighting, firefighters, lfb, light, alloy, hose, hoses, hosepipe, hosepipes, ramps, ramp, protect, protecting, protection, marked, dead, slow, equipment, metal

Background imageHosepipes Collection: LFB light alloy hose ramps

LFB light alloy hose ramps, marked DEAD SLOW -- one pair of four-foot end sections assembled to bridge two lines of 2.75 inch hose

Background imageHosepipes Collection: LFB firefighters in action in a London street

LFB firefighters in action in a London street
LFB firefighters in action with ladders and hoses at a fire in a London street. Date: mid-20th century

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Duke Street, Strand, WW2

Blitz in London -- Duke Street, Strand, WW2
Blitz in London -- fire crews at work with hosepipes in Duke Street, off the Strand, 17 April 1941. Date: 1941

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighting at Eccleston Place, Victoria, London SW1

Firefighting at Eccleston Place, Victoria, London SW1
Firefighting at the Scripture Gift Mission, Naval & Military Bible Society, Eccleston Place, Victoria, London, on 23 April 1956, where there had also been an explosion

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Three fire engines and crews, Hanover, Germany

Three fire engines and crews, Hanover, Germany
Three fire engines and their crews (Automobil-Loschzug, Berufs-Feuerwehr-Hannover), Hanover, Germany

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters in action with ladder and hosepipes

Firefighters in action with ladder and hosepipes
Firefighters in action at the scene of a fire with a turntable ladder and hosepipes

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London Fire Brigade photographer at work

London Fire Brigade photographer at work
London Fire Brigade fireman-photographer at work, with hosepipes trained on a burning building

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Bomb damage, Marlow Road, East Ham, WW2

Bomb damage, Marlow Road, East Ham, WW2
Panoramic view of extensive bomb damage in Marlow Road, East Ham, London, 28 November 1944, with firefighters and rescue workers

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Oxford Street after an air raid, WW2

Blitz in London -- Oxford Street after an air raid, WW2
Blitz in London -- the aftermath of a nights bombing on Central London and the West End, 18 September 1940. The John Lewis department store (left) was destroyed

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Southern Railway Firemen

Southern Railway Firemen
Firefighters working for Southern Railway spray water onto the roof of a train. Southern Railway employed eighty A.F.S. men in order to fight fires caused by Luftwaffe incendiary bombs. 1940

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Fire at Chinacraft store, Oxford Street, London

Fire at Chinacraft store, Oxford Street, London
LFB firefighters in attendance at the Chinacraft store, 499 Oxford Street, London, on 28 July 1958. A fire had occurred in the basement area. A policeman keeps pedestrians and traffic moving past

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- gas works, Old Kent Road, WW2

Blitz in London -- gas works, Old Kent Road, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action with hoses at a gas works, Old Kent Road, SE London, on 7 September 1940. Date: 1940

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Britannia Row, Islington, WW2

Blitz in London -- Britannia Row, Islington, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action at the premises of Hill & Co, Britannia Row, Islington, damaged by bombing on 22 March 1944. General view at the rear of the building. Date: 1944

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Bomb damage, Marlow Road, East Ham, WW2

Bomb damage, Marlow Road, East Ham, WW2
Panoramic view of extensive bomb damage in Marlow Road, East Ham, London, 28 November 1944, with firefighters and rescue workers. Date: 1944

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work, WW2

Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work, WW2
Blitz in London -- AFS firefighters at work with hosepipes. Date: 1940s

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London Fire Brigade photographer at work

London Fire Brigade photographer at work
London Fire Brigade fireman-photographer at work, with hosepipes trained on a burning building

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Westminster Bridge Road, WW2

Blitz in London -- Westminster Bridge Road, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action with hoses at John Oakey & Sons, Westminster Bridge Road. The building is at risk, as the wall is bulging. Date: 1940s

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London firefighters at work on staircase, Carron Wharf

London firefighters at work on staircase, Carron Wharf
London firefighters at work on an adjoining external staircase during a fire at Carron Wharf, Upper Thames Street, on 28 June 1939

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Firefighters in action, Calders Wharf, East London

Firefighters in action, Calders Wharf, East London
Firefighters in action at a fire in Calders Wharf, East London, 21 May 1955. Seen here with hosepipes, cooling down barrels of collodion cotton and boxes of paint

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- Britannia Row, Islington, WW2

Blitz in London -- Britannia Row, Islington, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action at the premises of Hill & Co, Britannia Row, Islington, damaged by bombing on 22 March 1944

Background imageHosepipes Collection: London firefighters at work with hosepipes

London firefighters at work with hosepipes

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Fire at Chinacraft store, Oxford Street, London

Fire at Chinacraft store, Oxford Street, London
LFB firefighters in attendance at the Chinacraft store, 499 Oxford Street, London, on 28 July 1958. A fire had occurred in the basement area. A policeman keeps pedestrians and traffic moving past

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- St Bride Street, WW2

Blitz in London -- St Bride Street, WW2
Blitz in London -- St Bride Street, with firefighters at work in a smoky atmosphere

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in London -- gas works, Old Kent Road, WW2

Blitz in London -- gas works, Old Kent Road, WW2
Blitz in London -- firefighters in action with hoses at a gas works, Old Kent Road, SE London, on 7 September 1940

Background imageHosepipes Collection: Blitz in the City of London - Queen Victoria Street, WW2

Blitz in the City of London - Queen Victoria Street, WW2
London firemen at work with hoses in Queen Victoria Street following a bombing raid and incendiary attack, 11 May 1941



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During the Blitz in London, hosepipes became a lifeline for firefighters battling the relentless flames that engulfed the city. From St Bride Street to Farringdon Street, these brave men fought valiantly to protect their beloved capital from destruction during World War II. In Nuremberg, Germany, Henry Simonis & Co fire appliances were deployed with precision and expertise. Their powerful hoses unleashed torrents of water onto blazing infernos, quelling the devastation caused by fires that threatened to consume entire neighborhoods. At 298 Old Brompton Road in London SW5, a fierce fire raged uncontrollably. But determined firefighters armed with hosepipes bravely confronted the flames head-on, risking their lives to save others and prevent further destruction. The iconic image of an AFS firefighter perched on a ladder amidst the chaos of war symbolizes resilience and bravery. These heroes scaled great heights to combat fires during the Blitz in London, demonstrating unwavering dedication in protecting their fellow citizens. Hose training drills played a crucial role in preparing firefighters for battle against formidable blazes. Through rigorous practice sessions, they honed their skills and mastered techniques essential for effectively handling hosepipes under intense pressure. Back in Nuremberg, Germany's Henry Simonis & Co fire appliances proved indispensable once again. With unrivaled efficiency and power, they swiftly extinguished fires that threatened homes and livelihoods throughout this historic city. In Orange Street located at London W1 during World War II's tumultuous times stood a Scammell pump ready for action. This robust piece of machinery was instrumental in delivering high-pressure water streams necessary to combat raging infernos threatening countless lives. King George V Dock witnessed two fearless firefighters working together tirelessly as they battled against towering flames consuming East London's waterfront area. Their synchronized efforts showcased both strength and camaraderie amidst adversity. Old Compton Street served as another battleground during the Blitz where AFS firefighters fought relentlessly to save lives and protect the city they held dear.