From time to time I have books sent to me to read in the hopes that I'll write about them on my blog, and I have no trouble doing this – who doesn't like to get free stuff from time to time. As long as I'm honest and disclose that I haven't paid for them I think I've covered my 'blogger's ethical code'.

'Underfire', by Ray Chilton is a book about working for the London Fire Brigade. I've often joked that if 'Trumpton' were to write a blog it would go something like this.

Day one. Slept all shift.

Day two. Polished fire engine.

Day three. Refused to rescue cat out of tree as we don't do that any more.

Day four. Put out a fire in a bin.

Day five. Slept all shift – woken up by ambulances whizzing past our station with their sirens on.

But of course that isn't the truth.

Ray's book comes after thirty years of working for the LFB, he joined in 1968 and it's very much his story. Taking us from the late sixties up past the millennium Ray talks about the changes that have occurred in the LFB, and some of the memorable jobs that he's done. There is no shortage of tragedy as well as some of the jokes and station humour that is compulsory in people who live and work together in a job such as theirs.

It's a good book, Ray writes as if he were telling you the story sat across a pub table and it's an interesting insight into another world and by reading this book I have a better idea what the LFB do (and the reasons why they sometimes seem excessively destructive).

If you liked my book I'm sure you'll like this.

5 thoughts on “Underfire”

  1. I saw a while back you were reading this, so I took note and bought a copy – and as you say, what a wonderful interesting book.

  2. I did ask the kids for this book for crimbo, but they thought it was expensive for a paperback – grrrrrrrrrr!as my brother has just retired from the fire service I suppose i'm just having to get if myself to understand what he went through.

    sadly I couldn't get to his leaving bash, but boy they did him proud.

    once again thank you Tom for bringing something new to me.


  3. If you go to the publishers, Jeremy Mills Publishing there is a special offer. Underfire plus Red Watch by Gordon Honeycombe (another really good fire service book) for 19.99 post free. As I have told Tom on many occasions I have always disliked the price but I had no say in the matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *