Massey Shaw

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Career (UK)
Name: Massey Shaw
Namesake: Eyre Massey Shaw
Owner: The Massey Shaw Fireboat Society Ltd
Operator: London Fire Brigade
Builder: J. Samuel White, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Cost: £18,000
Launched: 1935
Acquired: 1982
In service: 1935
Out of service: 1971
Status: Museum ship
General characteristics [1]
Type: Fire float
Tonnage: 50.54 GT
Length: 78 ft (24 m) o/a
Beam: 13 ft 9 in (4.19 m)
Draught: 3 ft 9 in (1.14 m)
Installed power: 1 × Russell Newbery 2-cylinder Type D2 diesel engine
Propulsion: 2 × 165 bhp (123 kW) 8-cylinder Gleniffer DC8 diesel engines
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Capacity: 2 × Merryweather & Sons 4-stage 8-inch centrifugal fire pumps, each rated at 1,500 gallons (6,819 l) per minute
1 × 3-inch (76 mm) fire monitor

Massey Shaw is a former London Fire Brigade fireboat. The historic vessel was saved from dereliction by a group of enthusiasts who are currently engaged in its restoration. Thanks to a successful Heritage Lottery Grant in 2008 the vessel has been completely restored in Gloucester dock by a professional team of boat builders.

The Society plans to return Massey back to the River Thames in May 2013 by sailing her around the south coast of the UK, stopping off at various ports on the way, including Cowes, Isle of Wight where the vessel was built in 1935.

Ship history[edit]

The Massey Shaw was built in 1935 by the J. Samuel White company at Cowes, Isle of Wight. She was built to a London County Council design, and cost around £18,000 to build. The vessel was named after Eyre Massey Shaw, a former chief of the London Fire Brigade.

During the Second World War, the Massey Shaw, along with a volunteer crew of firemen, formed part of the flotilla of small vessels which were sent to Dunkirk to help evacuate British troops from the beaches. The Massey Shaw made three trips to the beaches and rescued over 500 troops.

The Massey Shaw served throughout the remainder of the War as a fireboat on the Thames. During the Blitz, the vessel pumped vast quantities of water from the Thames to fight fires all along the Thames waterfront.

She can be seen in the 1958 film 'Dunkirk' starring John Mills and Richard Attenborough. The Massey Shaw remained in service as a Thames fireboat until 1971 and is now undergoing restoration by enthusiasts.

See also[edit]

  • Salvage Squad, the Massey Shaw's restoration was the subject of two episodes of this TV programme.
  • Fireboat

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Massey Shaw - Specifications". www.masseyshaw.org. 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.