Petition launched to save the London Fire Brigade Museum

Rebecca Atkinson, 31.10.2011
Friends of the museum warn it may close next April
A petition to save the London Fire Brigade Museum has been set up ahead of the Fire Authority Committee budget meeting at the end of November.

The Friends of the London Fire Brigade Museum understands that the meeting on 24 November will include a proposal to close the site in south London next April, with the collections disposed of to other museums and the original owners or sold.

Tony Sweeney, chairman of the Friends of the Museum, has set up a Facebook page and an e-petition to keep the museum open to the public.

He told Museums Journal: “Our concern is that if the museum does shut then the collection might be sold as there is a big market for these items.”

The museum currently employs two members of staff and costs about £81,000 a year to run.

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Authority said it had not discussed the future of the museum at this stage.

This is not the first time the museum has been earmarked for closure. In 2008, the London Fire Authority investigated various options, including transferring the collection to another museum, as part of a wider budget review.

As reported by Museums Journal at the time, London Assembly member Brian Coleman said the London Fire Brigade Museum was "a luxury we can no longer afford".

The museum was offered a reprieve after a number of organisations expressed an interest in keeping it open. At the time, the Mayor’s Office said that it supported keeping the museum open.

He also proposed opening a Blue Light Museum for all the emergency services but this plan was put on hold earlier this year because of the economic climate.#

Update
10.11.2011

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has now published a budget submission that includes details of the proposed closure of the London Fire Brigade Museum.

Click here to read the pdf submission (pages 56 to 58)

The submission states that the chairman of the authority has proposed the museum closes on 1 April 2012, with staff retained for 18 months to deal with the disposal of the collection.

The authority will meet on the 24 November to discuss the budget submission.

Links

Friends of the London Fire Brigade Museum

Save the London Fire Brigade Museum e-petition

Save the London Fire Brigade Museum Facebook page

Comments