Massey Shaw

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This article is about the fireboat. For the article relating to the fire chief, see Eyre Massey Shaw.

The 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.

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.

The Massey Shaw remained in service as a Thames fireboat until 1971 and is now undergoing restoration by enthusiasts.


  • Length: 78 feet
  • Beam: 13 feet 6 inches
  • Draught: 3 feet 9 inches
  • Weight: 50 tons approximately.
  • Speed: 12 knots (maximum)
  • Engines: Two Gleniffer DC8 eight cylinder diesel engines.
  • Pumps: Two Merryweather & Sons, four stage fire pumps, 3,000 gallons per minute.

See also

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