Can Anyone Smell Burning?

The programme of events for the Old Fire Station official opening is beginning to take shape. Taking place over the weekend of Saturday, 30 June & Sunday, 1 July events include tours, exhibitions, a book launch and a host of free talks and workshops.

One of these free talks will be presented by Laura Miller entitled: Can Anyone Smell Burning? A History of London and Fire.


London is just one of those cities that is always burning down. This illustrated talk will take a lively look at the history of fire, and fires in London from the Romans to the 21st century.

We’ll look at why they happen and how people have tried to fight them. We’ll hear a few stories from London’s past and learn about some catastrophic conflagrations and their effects. We’ll hear tales of bravery, stupidity and greed.

London is a ‘phoenix’ city, and fire has shaped the London we live in today and the way we live. What better place to consider this than in a beautiful restored Victorian Fire Station?

The talk does not require an in-depth knowledge of history but is not suitable for young children.

Laura is a qualified City of London Guide, An Associate of the Institute of Tourist Guiding and is a ‘Green Badge’ guide. She operates unusual walks through the City of London as the ‘City Mole’. Last year she took SLT members on a walk through the City ‘behaving badly’.

A Cambridge educated Historian, her day job for the City has existed since the 13th century and is a ceremonial role. She lived in West Norwood for 40 years before recently abandoning it for Dulwich.