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Firefighting Van

Strathclyde University Archives

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Firefighting Van

A van belonging to the University of Strathclyde, equipped for fire-fighting during a firemen's strike in December 1977. Like many other Glasgow institutions, the University had to improvise fire cover as best it could.

When the Fire Brigades Union announced a strike to begin on 14 November 1977, there was understandable alarm in the city which had the worst record for fire deaths in the UK. Basic cover was provided by the armed forces with their out-of-date "green goddess" fire engines. Volunteers in schools, hospitals, libraries, old folks' homes and day nurseries stayed up all night on fire watch duty.

With firemen standing by to help when lives were at risk, the number of deaths during the strike, which lasted for two months, was not abnormally high. The most spectacular fire during the dispute was the one that destroyed the Grosvenor Hotel on 9 January, 1978. Navy firefighters blamed the lack of access to modern equipment such as turntable ladders for their inability to contain the blaze. Owner Reo Stakis promised to rebuild the hotel, and proved as good as his word.

Reference: P3/93

Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives

fire appliances, Fire Brigades Union, fire engines, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, firefighters, firefighting, firemen, fires, green goddesses, Grosvenor Hotel, strikes, University of Strathclyde, vans

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