Micro-trauma #3: Kingsland Fire Station

10 fire stations around London closed yesterday. I'd heard on the radio that there would be firemen protesting at each site.

I'd seen previous protests at Kingsland fire station and heard about the local campaign to save it. I thought I'd head down and chat to some of the firemen. R. said we should take them biscuits. I asked why and he said, 'Dunno, you get cold don't you? Protesting. Hungry.'

As we walked down we talked about the possibility that the fire service might be the first emergency service to be privatised. First shut down the fire stations to make the service worse, wait a year and then demonise it with scare stories of slow response times drip fed to the newspapers. It's the prime service to be privatised too - it doesn't have the complexity of the Police or the NHS as there is less human contact involved. Just a bit of water isn't it?

The Hackney Gazette ran a story about generations of local firefighters meeting in the Duke of Wellington on the night before the closure.

At the back of the fire station there is a tower - built like the stairwells of the De Beauvoir estate to train the local firemen. We talked about the possibility of getting into the tower and doing a Radio Anti broadcast at the top.

When we got to the front no one was protesting. I'd got it wrong. It turns out that the protests were all at Clerkenwell fire station which is a bit more architecturally distinguished,  has more history.

There were all these signs on the building saying 'THIS FIRE STATION IS NOW CLOSED'.

R. said there was something a bit passive-aggressive about them, like the designer was part of the union and thought he'd take the opportunity to make a point.