The already difficult to visit Fire Brigade Museum is about to become easier to visit, as it is closing for several years. Yes, that actually makes it easier to visit.

As part of a controversial deal to sell the building it sits in, the museum will get a new home in the Brigade’s old headquarters on Albert Embankment in Lambeth.

The current museum will remain open until September 2015, after which the process of packing, storing and auditing the museum’s contents will begin.

It is estimated it could take between three and five years until a new museum opens but plans are being developed that will ensure there are still opportunities for the public to view the Brigade’s historic collection.

These include temporary exhibitions at various spaces across London, including fire stations and Brigade headquarters; outreach visits and educational talks and lectures and events to commemorate next year’s London Fire Brigade 150th anniversary celebrations.

At the moment, the museum, is both very good and a right pain to visit. It’s is only open Mon-Fri and only to pre-booked visitors who have to take a guided tour.

They claim they have to turn away school groups due to a lack of space, but there would be plenty of space for individuals to visit for a wander around on their own, if only it were possible.

Hopefully, the new museum when it opens will be more welcoming to the visitor who just wants to go in for a look, on their own, on a Saturday.

Until then, look out for temporary exhibitions appearing next year — it may be the only way for the average London adult to see their exhibits.



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  1. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make a virtue out of necessity. How can being closed by up to five years possibly be a good thing? The only reason it’s difficult to visit is because of the visiting conditions, nothing to do with the building itself, which has historic ties to the brigade. But I suppose we all knew this was coming. What’s the building to become? Let me guess. Luxury flats?

    • Ian Visits says:

      ” How can being closed by up to five years possibly be a good thing? ”

      A museum that is damn difficult to visit will be easier to visit because it’s closing and putting the exhibits on display in “pop-up” displays around London. No need to take time off work, make appointments etc.

      It was a criticism the current difficult system of visiting the museum.

    • Well I agree with you that the current system is/was inadequate and which needed to be improved upon. I’ll judge these pop-up affairs when they happen. But losing the building is a disaster, second only to the loss of the Firepower museum in Woolwich, which will be pretty well permanent, it seems.

    • Simon says:

      You sound like you’re blaming Ian for the closure. Maybe you didn’t mean to, but some simple manners would go a long way.

  2. JB says:

    Yes the building is virtually impossible to get into, but surely the whole point of the museum currently is that it is in the actual building, in the actual rooms which were the first HQ of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Also as far as I am aware Albert Embankment (Lambeth) is still an operating fire station covering a significant part of central London (due to recent closures in Westminster and Southwark especially) – wonder where they will put the vehicle collection…

    • Ian Visits says:

      No, the whole point of the museum is to show off the heritage of the fire brigade. If it can do that in a historic building, then that it just the icing on the cake, not the “whole point” of the museum.

      It would still be as valid a collection of memorabilia if put in a box on an industrial estate.

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