Nostalgic photos show 150 years of London Fire Brigade

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image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionThe mother of a 19-month-old child rushes towards her son as he is rescued from a fire above a shop at Old Brompton Road in Fulham in 1956

Nostalgic photos showing the heroic actions of firefighters from London Fire Brigade have been released to mark its 150th anniversary.

Snapshots from the 1940s show crews saving lives during World War Two, assisting at road accidents and even taking a well-deserved tea break.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said there was "great affection and trust" in the brigade.

The first known record of a fire station in London was in Soho in 1699.

It was run by an insurance firm at "Tom's Coffee House" in St Martin's Lane.

Bombs on the Tube

Back then, firemen would leave a house to burn unless it bore a plate showing the owners were insured, the brigade said.

But after a blaze at a warehouse in Tooley Street in Southwark destroyed buildings a quarter of a mile away and killed their superintendent, the insurance companies asked the government to take over and The Metropolitan Fire Brigade was formed in 1866.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Londoners have a great affection and trust in the brigade and that is down to the huge professionalism of firefighters past and present."

Sixty-five drop-in open days are being held over the course of the year at fire stations all over London to mark the anniversary.

image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionHorse-drawn equipment was still being used in 1890 at Brixton Fire Station
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionWomen learn how to train a fire hose at the fire HQ in Lambeth
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionIn 1940 Soho Fire Station was hit by a bomb, killing several firefighters
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionFirefighters take a well-deserved tea break during World War Two
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionIn 1959, training at Lambeth lasted nine weeks and involved drills, parades - and hanging off buildings
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionA would-be recruit has his chest measured
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionAn elderly man had been burning planks in an open fireplace to keep warm when the top floor of the house in Langley Court, Covent Garden, caught fire in 1956
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionA Dennis fire engine, pictured around 1970
image copyrightLondon Fire Brigade
image captionThe London Fire Brigade assist at a bus crash in the 1970s
image copyrightDean Mouhtaropoulos/PA
image captionFire engines outside King's Cross station on July 7 2005

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