Monday, 25 March 2013

London’s Burning!

cuming museum fire 25 03 13

Breaking news- the lovely Cuming Museum on the Walworth Road in South London is on fire. Liz just phoned to alert me to this – because it is on the corner of the road where she lives. She cycled home from work, just to check that all was well at the flat. Happy to report everything fine at her home, and Monty the Cat is alive and well.

Video here. Southwark Council have issued a statement

“It is too early to say what the cause of the fire is and how long services from that building will be suspended for. It does not appear at this time that surrounding buildings or any residential properties have been affected but we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and continue to assist the emergency services where we can. Whilst our first concern is for the safety of residents and our staff, we are also worried about possible damage to the museum’s collection.”

This is a great museum and I have enjoyed visiting it with Liz- I am so glad nobody was injured, but I know they have some valuable artefacts there [and part of the building is the well-stocked public library] – and fire, smoke and water can do an awful lot of damage, especially to books and documents.

The Cuming Museum is one of London’s true treasures, containing any number of unusual exhibits, such as artefacts from Captain Cook’s voyages, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair, protective amulets, mummified wheat from ancient Egypt, a Zulu fly-whisk and a piece of cake from Edward VII’s wedding.


Looks like a pretty intense blaze to me [Liz just reported yet another fire engine - going the wrong way down their one-way street!]



  1. What a shame, it's a beautiful building.
    A family friend was a fire fighter/ engine driver. He got so mad one day because he couldn't get the engine down the street due to cars parked too far into the road.He decided that getting to the fire ASAP was more important than the cars...and ploughed through the cars, damaging quite a few in the process. He'd be the sort of fire fighter I'd want if ever my house was on fire!
    Jane x

  2. I lived in the Walworth Road decades ago but was unaware of the museum. We worshipped at East Street Baptist Chapel trying to get our singing louder than the market traders!

  3. So sad. Looks like the fire may be in the attics ~ hope they can get it out before too much is lost. Glad to hear your daughter is fine and no one has been hurt.

  4. The fire crews have been doing a tremendous job - there were 15 appliances from a number of stations battling the fire, including crews from Southwark, Kingsland Road, Clerkenwell and New Cross. Mayor Boris Johnson has proposed closing these stations to save money - but how many lives would it risk?

    1. That's just typical of Boris. He is one of the few people I would describe as 'utterly odious'

    2. There was a interesting programme about Boris last night on TV. Not sure I'd call him "utterly odious"......privileged, amoral, egocentric perhaps. Like Nigel Farage he's quite amusing at times, especially on HIGNFY, although I wouldn't dream of voting for either of them.

  5. Oh goodness - I hope that they can save as many of the contents as possible. Jx

  6. Oh no that looks really bad.


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