Page 3 - July 2020
P. 3

From the Editor
Robert Farquhar
This is a very special edition of Salamander and, by necessity, an on-line one. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected our lives but also the normal operation of the Company. Many individuals as well as Fire Brigades have had to adapt to different working conditions and many of us will know and applaud those thrust into the front line in hospitals, critical care and many other key duties aiming to reduce the impact of the pandemic on our society. As we now approach the easing of lockdown, the editorial committee felt it appropriate to produce an issue that reflected on the lives of the Company, Company members and Fire Brigades in particular throughout this unprecedented time in our history.
We hear from our Master on how her life and year in office has been impacted over the last three months by the pandemic. It is indeed a great shame that many of her planned events, including the Massey Shaw dinner, had to be cancelled but we hope that the extended tenure of her office
will still provide some memorable events after our lockdown is suspended. The normal functions of our Worshipful Company, as with other similar City Institutions, have been suspended and special emergency measures to continue its operation are now in force. An update on the operation and objectives of the Emergency Strategic Coordination Board is provided by Graham Maltby QSFM, its Chairman.
We, as members, have appreciated the dedication, not only of the NHS, who are bearing the caring brunt of the pandemic, but also of the many firefighting crews around the country, who have been providing dedicated support in many front line ways such as driving ambulances, supporting communities with food supplies and ensuring vital services are maintained. In this issue, we hear first hand experiences from brigades in Bedfordshire, Kent, London, Suffolk as well as Lancashire, Gatwick and East Sussex. The inventiveness, good communication skills and care that is shown in their work for the vulnerable and very young is brought out in some detail and we are very grateful to those writers and also those that facilitated them. It is worth noting that the views expressed in these articles are those of the authors themselves.
We have also brought some stories that highlight a similar dedication to service within our own community, such as the work being undertaken by Liveryman David Holt in running a medical laboratory in London, specialising in forensic toxicology, and that of Rodney Bryant, brother of Bob Bryant, whose own personal reflection on getting COVID-19, a
frightening experience, is definitely worth reading. We also hear how the life of Liveryman Ian Withey (an MOD Firearms Officer) was changed and how Liveryman Alistair Milner is helping in his local area on fire safety related issues in getting schools back into service.
Throughout the lockdown period, our Almoner and his dedicated team have also been in touch with almost every member of the Company, finding out how they are and reassuring them on the Company’s support in this troublesome time. We also give thanks to two long standing stalwarts of the Company (Ian Parlane and Michael Leaver) who have retired from their respective responsibilities on the financial affairs of the Company.
Within this issue you will also find the regular update reports from the Charitable Trust, Firefighters’ Memorial Trust and the Clerk, who concludes the issue with some comment on the impact of COVID-19 on the City.
Finally, we felt it important to also include an article on the Massey Shaw, one of the famous small boats that helped rescue so many from the beaches of France 80 years ago this June. The Worshipful Company has long been a supporter of the Massey Shaw Charity and Liveryman David Rogers has penned a very interesting article here as well as providing an on-line presentation.
The Worshipful Company remains “open through isolation” with up to date website, facebook pages and twitter feeds and our aim is to keep you informed about any relevant issues until normal times return.
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