Plumstead Fire Station Lantern

Restoration of the fire station lantern

Plumstead Fire Station is a key architectural landmark in its locality—set at the principal crossroads of Plumstead. The station was opened in June 1907 by the Chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee of the LCC, Rupert Guinness. It is in the Edwardian Baroque style, one of more than 50 fire stations built across London between 1895 and 1925. All of these were carefully detailed constructions and range from the Arts & Crafts style in Euston, Belsize Park and East Greenwich to the Wren-revival Edwardian Baroque in Westminster, Waterloo and Plumstead. At Plumstead, red facing bricks are contrasted with ionic classical detailing in Portland stone. The ‘LCC Fire Brigade Station Plumstead’ frieze is in Doulton’s majolica faience, from Doulton’s factory in Lambeth. The station was built at the threshold of the invention of motorised fire engines and thus was designed to accommodate horse-drawn fire engines alongside motorised ones. The large blue-glass fire station lantern was lost in the mid-20th century although its iron fixing straps remain.

HOLT’s funding is going to enable the restoration of the lost lantern. Its replacement will be constructed from archival images to match the original, fitted with a handcrafted copper frame, engraved glass and replacement bracketing. Prominent lanterns have always acted as emergency beacons for fire stations. This lantern will indicate that this is a working fire station, as well as providing an opportunity for community youth projects (involving Proud Places) promoting engagement with London’s historic fire service.

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