In many ways this seemed a bit of a challenge to review.Why? Because it reflects my own service with the London Fire Brigade .The period encompassed within the 583 pages was also my time of service.
I never met David personally although we have shared many of the same incidents so we are both ships that passed in the night so to speak.
I tried to detach from many parts of it but it was impossible not to be drawn back into the pages.
It is a remarkable piece of work and documents a historic time for the Brigade.
It was a period of change,from the austere mood of the war and the fifties into the new awakening of the 60's.
It was a period of change for the London Fire Brigade too with many of the wartime practices and traditions lingering on well into the late 70's.
The story encapsulates a lad embarking on an adventure,the last of such adventures, as today is a very different world.
The lad becomes a hardened fireman in the toughest peacetime period of the toughest Brigade in the UK if not the world.
The hardened fireman becomes an officer and embraces more responsibility.
With it comes wisdom,tenacity and the ability to pass it on to the younger men and women joining the brigade in the later years of his service.
A well crafted account of his time in Service.
David Pike has made a major contribution to the history of the London Fire Brigade and I am sure it will serve as a worthy reference to those who today and in the future will want to know what was it like to be a London Fireman.
A jolly good read and reference work.Beyond the Flames