Supporters of the London Fire Brigade Museum have renewed their campaign to save the capital's collection of historic firefighting equipment and archives amid fears that fire bosses will seek to abolish the museum.
The museum is located in Southwark Bridge Road and is open to visitors by appointment. Occasional public open days, such as this summer's event to mark the 150th anniversary of the great Tooley Street fire, are also held.
Three years ago Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, caused outrage among serving and retired firefighters when he tried to close the museum, telling a City Hall committee that "when you've seen one brass helmet you have seen them all".
After a high-profile campaign the museum won a temporary reprieve, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson promising to investigate the potential of a new 'blue light' museum devoted to the history of the capital's emergency services. As we reported earlier this year, those proposals came to nothing.
Next month the fire authority's finance committee will consider a report on proposals for the brigade's 2012/13 budget which friends of the museum fear will include plans for closure and the possible dispersal of the museum's collection of vehicles and artefacts.
We asked the London Fire Brigade to comment on its current intentions for the future of the museum. A spokeswoman told us: "The fire authority which runs the London Fire Brigade has not discussed the future of the museum at this stage."