The Great Fire of Amble

Pupils at a North Northumberland first school assembled, and later set fire to, their own model of London while studying fire safety this week.

Children at Amble Links First School used the 1666 Great Fire of London as a prime example of what not to do.

Children of Amble Links First School and their model of Pudding Lane

Children of Amble Links First School and their model of Pudding Lane

The pupils had constructed a cardboard model of Pudding Lane, and after a few attempts, the firefighters present set the street alight. It burned down within minutes, showing the children just how quickly the original fire would have acted.

Headteacher Paul Heeley explained that the project, dubbed Fire Fire, was a cross-curricular project covering many topics including awareness of fire safety.

The project also consisted of visits from watch manager Michael Hindhaugh and his team as well as a trip to Amble Fire Station, learning how to prevent fires as well as how a firefighter responds to a fire.

After the fire demonstration, the pupils put these methods to the test, comparing the modern techniques of today’s firefighters with the original bucket lines used in the times of the fire, represented by the children.

Deborah Burn, seven, said: “The buckets weren’t able to put out the fire because they just couldn’t get enough water out in time.” It is safe to say that modern practices carried out by the firefighters that day prevailed in the race with the pupils’ bucket line.

Projects such as these have proven to be successful as, according to Mr Hindhaugh, the number of fires reported down by the dunes, an area popular with young people, has declined dramatically over the recent years.

So, we won’t need those buckets just yet.