Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the administrative county of Kent and the unitary authority area of Medway, covering a geographical area south of London, to the coast and including major shipping routes via the Thames and Medway rivers. The total coastline covered is 225 km; the FRS provides emergency cover to a population of nearly 2 million. The area meets the boundaries of the London Fire Brigade to the north of the county, Surrey to the north west and East Sussex to the south west of Kent; the first fire brigade appeared in Kent in 1802 when the Kent Fire Office formed an insurance brigade in Deptford. In the same year, separately from insurance companies, Hythe became the first town in Kent to set up its own fire brigade, followed by Ashford in 1826. By the 20th century, it was quite fashionable for local authorities to have their own fire brigades. Maidstone had seen the formation of its borough fire brigade in 1901 when the Royal Insurance Company provided a new Shand Mason horse-drawn steam fire engine, named The Queen.
This company had taken over the Kent Fire Office in the same year disbanding their own brigade. Things became competitive between individual town and village brigades, in many instances, each one trying to outdo its neighbour. In 1910, Bromley became the first town in Kent to house motorised fire engines, with two new Merryweather vehicles being stationed there; until 1938, the provision of a fire brigade was a discretionary power, there were a few local authorities that regarded it as an unnecessary expense. However, due to the threat of war, Parliament enacted the Fire Brigades Act 1938 and made it a duty and so created over 1,600 individual fire authorities across the nation, it was these local brigades and the Auxiliary Fire Service – formed in 1938 – that valiantly coped with the consequences of the Battle of Britain and much of The Blitz. In August 1941, local brigades and the AFS were absorbed into one organisation called The National Fire Service, it was in 1941 that the current Headquarters house The Godlands was requisitioned for war-time use by the National Fire Service and it has remained with the fire service since.
World War II brought dark days indeed for Kent fire-fighters. Fire-fighting has been and will always be a dangerous occupation, the Roll of Honour 1899-1990, compiled by Geoffrey Cooper, an ex-Kent fire-fighter, details the deaths of Kent fire-fighters while on duty. Of the 122'Kent' names listed, 15 were pre-1939, 16 were post-1939 and 91 died during World War II. Nationally, well over 1,000 fire-fighters died during World War II, with stories of fire stations and the water supplies needed for fire-fighting being targeted by German bombers, to maximise the damage caused by incendiary bombs; the last death on duty of a Kent fire-fighter was in 1990. The fire service was returned to local authority control on 1 April 1948 under the Fire Services Act 1947, with responsibility in England and Wales being given to the 146 counties and county boroughs of the day; the County of Kent and the City and County Borough of Canterbury combined to form Kent Fire Brigade, taking over 79 fire stations from the National Fire Service.
Subsequent local government reorganisations have had their effect upon the brigade, most in 1965 when eight fire stations in the northwest of the county were transferred to the newly created Greater London area. Further reorganisation in 1974 saw Canterbury lose its county borough status and the fire brigade became the exclusive responsibility of Kent County Council. In 1998, the structure of local government changed again and Kent combined with the new Medway Towns unitary authority for fire brigade provision. On 1 October 2003, Kent Fire Brigade was renamed Kent Fire and Rescue Service to better reflect the requirements demanded of it for many years; these changes were reflected nationally by the enactment of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which came into effect on 1 October 2004. In the spring of 2011, Kent Fire and Rescue underwent changes to its structure, these included restructuring from three divisions to 5 area groups: North Kent, East Kent, West Kent, South Kent and Mid Kent.
Each group consists of a number of clusters, which are made up of a number of certain stations where resources are locally managed. The Letter prefix for each division was dropped in the station call sign, for instance Swanley, under the old system was named as Station S31 the S standing for South Division, now it is just Station 31. Water Tender: P1 Rescue Pump Ladder: R3/P1 Rescue Pump Platform: R1 Aerial Ladder Platform: A1 Turntable Ladder: A1 Swift Water Rescue Unit + Inshore Rescue Boat: B1 Command Support Unit: C1 Fire Fogging Unit: M1 Animal Rescue Unit: R2 Line Rescue Unit: R2 Water Carrier: W1 Water Management Unit: W1 General Purpose Vehicle: T1/T2/T3 General Purpose Vehicle + Breathing Apparatus Support Unit: T1 Light 4x4 Vehicle + All Terrain Vehicle: T1 Personnel Carrier Vehicle: T1/T2 Prime Mover + High Volume Pump: T8 Prime Mover + High Volume Hose Layer: T9 Prime Mover + Incident Command & Control Unit: T1 Prime Mover + Incident Support Unit T4 Detection, Identification, & Monitoring: H8 Incident Response Unit: H9 Prime Mover + Mass Decontamination Disrobe: T9 Search & Rescue Dog Unit: R9 General Purpose Vehicle: T1 Prime Mover: T5/T6/T7/T8/T9Pods: Module 1 - Technical Search Equipment Module 2 - Heavy Transport, Confined Space & Hot Cutting Module 3 - Breaching & Breaking Equipment Module 4 - Multi Pu
North Downs Way
The North Downs Way National Trail is a long-distance path in southern England, opened in 1978. It runs from Farnham to Dover, past Guildford, Merstham and Rochester, along the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Kent Downs AONB. Planning for a new Long Distance Path, as they were classified in 1949, began in Kent in 1950. After an extensive survey, it was agreed that a route on "a line which offers the best scenic qualities for the walker" along the ridge of the North Downs, rather than the Pilgrim's Way, was preferred. Working alongside Surrey County Council, plans were submitted in 1966; the North Downs Way was designated by the Minister of Housing and Local Government, Anthony Greenwood, on 14 July 1969, opened in parts shortly afterwards, becoming open in 1978. At that time, it was 141 miles long, 36 miles of. East of Boughton Lees, the path splits in two, the northern section running via Canterbury and the southern via Wye; the two sections of the path reunite at Dover. The northern route is 131 miles long, the southern route 125 miles, the current length of the North Downs Way being 153 miles.
The official guide to the trail divides the North Downs Way into fifteen sections. The pathway is mixed-category in that it varies throughout length from footpath status to bridleway and road; some 19 percent of the Way follows roads. The path runs along the ridge of the North Downs hills, follows parts of the Pilgrims' Way; as the pathway runs through the higher parts of the downland, the trail and surrounding countryside are characterised by chalk-based soil and calcareous grassland with broadleaf woodland on the upper slopes. It reflects the underlying sedimentary chalk deposits on the highest parts of the trail. There is livestock grazing on the lower slopes with clay soil and crop agriculture predominant in the valleys. Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom Hollingbourne Downs South Downs Way North Downs Way National Trail website Photos of the North Downs Way on geograph.org.uk Map of the North Downs way in two mile sections
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
Little Kit's Coty House
Little Kit's Coty House known as Lower Kit's Coty House and the Countless Stones, is a chambered long barrow located near to the village of Aylesford in the southeastern English county of Kent. Constructed circa 4000 BCE, during the Early Neolithic period of British prehistory, today it survives in a ruined state. Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building, widespread across Neolithic Europe, Kit's Coty House belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Medway, now known as the Medway Megaliths. Of these, it lies near to both Kit's Coty House and the Coffin Stone on the eastern side of the river. Three further surviving long barrows, Addington Long Barrow, Chestnuts Long Barrow, Coldrum Long Barrow, are located west of the Medway. Now a jumble of half-buried sarsen stones it is thought to have been a tomb similar to that of the Coldrum Stones.
The name is derived from the belief that the chaotic pile of stones from the collapsed tomb were uncountable and various stories are told about the fate of those who tried. Another nearby site that may have been Neolithic is at Cossington. There are between 21 stones depending on the authority, they were pushed over in the seventeenth century before any antiquarian interest was taken in them. William Stukeley attempted to reconstruct the damaged tomb in plan in the eighteenth century. Archaeological evaluation trenching in 1989 found no clear evidence of any surrounding quarry ditch which would have been excavated to provide material for a covering barrow. Iron Age activity was found close by. Little Kit's Coty House is known as the Countless Stones; the site is enclosed in iron railings and permanently open to visitors. It is about 3 kilometres northeast of Aylesford, is signposted from the Rochester Road; the Early Neolithic was a revolutionary period of British history. Between 4500 and 3800 BCE, it saw a widespread change in lifestyle as the communities living in the British Isles adopted agriculture as their primary form of subsistence, abandoning the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had characterised the preceding Mesolithic period.
This came about through contact with continental societies, although it is unclear to what extent this can be attributed to an influx of migrants or to indigenous Mesolithic Britons adopting agricultural technologies from the continent. The region of modern Kent would have been a key area for the arrival of continental European settlers and visitors, because of its position on the estuary of the River Thames and its proximity to the continent. Britain was forested in this period. Environmental data from the vicinity of the White Horse Stone, a putatively prehistoric monolith near the River Medway, supports the idea that the area was still forested in the Early Neolithic, covered by a woodland of oak, hazel/alder and Maloideae. Throughout most of Britain, there is little evidence of cereal or permanent dwellings from this period, leading archaeologists to believe that the Early Neolithic economy on the island was pastoral, relying on herding cattle, with people living a nomadic or semi-nomadic life.
Across Western Europe, the Early Neolithic marked the first period in which humans built monumental structures in the landscape. These structures included chambered long barrows, rectangular or oval earthen tumuli which had a chamber built into one end; some of these chambers were constructed out of timber, although others were built using large stones, now known as "megaliths". These long barrows served as tombs, housing the physical remains of the dead within their chamber. Individuals were buried alone in the Early Neolithic, instead being interred in collective burials with other members of their community; these chambered tombs were built all along the Western European seaboard during the Early Neolithic, from southeastern Spain up to southern Sweden, taking in most of the British Isles. Although there are stone buildings—like Göbekli Tepe in modern Turkey—which predate them, the chambered long barrows constitute humanity's first widespread tradition of construction using stone. Although now all in a ruinous state and not retaining their original appearance, at the time of construction the Medway Megaliths would have been some of the largest and most visually imposing Early Neolithic funerary monuments in Britain.
Grouped along the River Medway as it cuts through the North Downs, they constitute the most southeasterly group of megalithic monuments in the British Isles, the only megalithic group in eastern England. The archaeologists Brian Philp and Mike Dutto deemed the Medway Megaliths to be "some of the most interesting and well known" archaeological sites in Kent, while the archaeologist Paul Ashbee described them as "the most grandiose and impressive structures of their kind in southern England"; the Medway Megaliths can be divided into two separate clusters: one to the west of the River Medway and the other on Blue Bell Hill to the east, with the distance between the two clusters measuring at between 8 and 10 kilometres. The western group includes Coldrum Long Barrow, Addington Long Barrow, the Chestnuts Long Barrow; the eastern group consists of Smythe's Megalith, Kit's Coty House, Little Kit's Coty House, the Coffin Stone, several other stones which might have once been parts of chambered tombs, most notably the White Horse S
Thomas Cubitt was an English master builder, notable for developing many of the historic streets and squares of London in Belgravia and Bloomsbury. The son of a Norfolk carpenter, he journeyed to India as ship's carpenter from which he earned sufficient funds to start his own building firm in 1810 on Gray's Inn Road, London where he was one of the first builders to have a'modern' system of employing all the trades under his own management. Cubitt's first major building was the London Institution in Finsbury Circus, built in 1815. After this he worked on speculative housing at Camden Town, at Highbury Park, Stoke Newington, his development of areas of Bloomsbury, including Gordon Square and Tavistock Square, began in 1820, for a group of landowners including the Duke of Bedford. He was commissioned in 1824 by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, to create a great swathe of building in Belgravia centred on Belgrave Square and Pimlico, in what was to become his greatest achievement in London.
Notable amongst this development are the north and west sides of Eaton Square, which exemplify Cubitt's style of building and design. After Cubitt's workshops in Thames Bank were destroyed by fire, he remarked "Tell the men they shall be at work within a week, I will subscribe £600 towards buying them new tools."Cubitt was responsible for the east front of Buckingham Palace. He built and funded nearly a kilometre of the Thames Embankment, he was employed in the large development of Kemp Town in Brighton, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, completed in 1851. Cubitt's public works included the provision of public parks, including being an organiser of the Battersea Park Scheme. In 1827 he withdrew from the management of the business he had established at Gray's Inn Road leaving such matters to his brother William Cubitt. Cubitt had two brothers, the contractor and politician William and the civil engineer Lewis who designed many of the houses built by Thomas, his son by his wife Mary Anne Warner, created Baron Ashcombe in 1892, was the great-great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
He died in 1855 and was taken from Dorking for burial at West Norwood Cemetery on 27 December 1855. After his death, Queen Victoria said, "In his sphere of life, with the immense business he had in hand, he is a real national loss. A better, kindhearted or more simple, unassuming man never breathed."Another statue of Cubitt can be seen in Dorking, opposite the Dorking Halls, as he was favoured there for his architecture on his Denbies estate. In 1883 the business was acquired by Holland & Hannen, a leading competitor, the combined business became known as Holland & Hannen and Cubitts and subsequently as Holland, Hannen & Cubitts. Restaurants and other places have been named in honour of him