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Metropolitan Fire Brigade Turn Out

"London's Burning, London's Burning"... A dynamic early film of horse-drawn fire engines 'turning out' at Southwark Bridge Road.

Non-Fiction 1899 1 mins Silent


You can almost hear the clip-clopping hooves and jangling alarm bells in this evocative late Victorian film. It consists of one well-composed shot of three horse-drawn fire engines leaving the Metropolitan Fire Brigade headquarters at Southwark Bridge Road in south London. The entrance to the fire station is shot from an angle, with the camera placed at a sufficient distance to capture the horses running past. Throw in the first fire engine billowing smoke and a crowd of onlookers streaming into the road afterwards, and you end up with one of the more visually dynamic British films of its time.

Fire Brigade demonstrations were popular events, frequently recorded on film at the turn of the century: Edwardian pioneers Mitchell and Kenyon shot several examples.