Jess Hurd

Photographer
Posts Tagged ‘cuts’

The Last Shout – Film Launch

Myself and Jason N. Parkinson are very pleased to be able to tell a little of the story of Sian Griffiths, an inspirational woman and firefighter.

This year we celebrate 30 years of women in the fire service.

It is also time to say farewell to Paddington, London, White Watch manager Sian Griffiths, who is retiring after 30 years.

One of the first generation of women to enter London Fire Brigade, she blazed a trail for women. Awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service, she was the inspiration for the female character in TV drama London’s Burning.

Please view the film below.

Special thanks to the TUC and the 2.2K shares via Stronger Unions and also to the Fire Brigade Union for their support.

The Last Shout – ©Jason N. Parkinson & Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

We asked about her life in the Brigade. (First published in The Firefighter magazine)

When I joined as a woman firefighter there were five women, there are 333 now. I would have liked to seen a lot more women in the fire service after 30 years. It is still very much a male dominated job, so there is still work to be done.

At training school there were 11 women and what seemed like hundreds of men. I had one other woman in my squad and she lasted three weeks. You just had to keep going, dig in and be resilient. I had to prove, especially to the men, that I could do it. Not only be as good as them but sometimes a bit better.

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   info@reportdigital.co.uk   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.

 

I passed out on 4 July 1985, then the next day we were all dropped at our stations. When we got to Euston the men were hanging out the window shouting ‘where’s the women’, not in a very nice way. I thought, my god, what have I let myself in for. But when we arrived at Manchester Square they were all very polite, reasonable people.

But there were still people that would not talk to me at other stations, people that would like to see me struggle. As a Leading Hand I went to Charlie 28 which was Islington at the time. There was a lot of hostility there. Initially they would get up and walk out the room when I went in, not talk to me around the mess table, be difficult on the fire engines, especially if I was in charge, to get them to do things.

I was only two years in when Kings Cross happened, in November 1987. At that time we were wearing plastic leggings, wool tunics and cork helmets. It was very basic. There was a small fire reported on the Tube, which became a huge fire. Basically it flashed over, it got really hot and exploded. Over 30 people were killed that night, including one firefighter, Colin Townsley from Soho.

As we arrived all I remember was the smoke coming out of every orifice at Kings Cross. As I was about to descend down into the stairway, they were bringing somebody out. They came out of the smoke with somebody, they were carrying him. Then I realised that that somebody was firefighter, because they had tunic on. And then I recognised him. And then we went in on the back of that.

It became very real the job that we do and what can happen.

 

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.

 

I like the fact that I did try to do the right thing for women, that I represented women, that I did stand my ground. People might not have always agreed with me and sometimes I am seen as a thorn in their side, but hopefully they understand why I have done these things. Because I think it is really important that if we had a normal workplace there would be less abnormal behaviours. And I think people will be more respectful of each other and that would provide an even better service to the members of the public.

The Fire Authority will argue that cuts are not going to affect safety. Of course its going to affect safety, because if the neighbouring station is no longer there and we are busy at another incident, who is going to attend?

Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.

 

People that once were held up as public heroes and something to aspire to are now going to be put on the scrap heap and not be able to get their pensions. They have been paying into it for 40 years and yet when they are nearly there and they are really used up, physically exhausted and damaged, they are not entitled to it. I think its a really really poor way to treat anybody.

Last role call for Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   info@reportdigital.co.uk   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

 

The people that are in charge of us, namely those people that have never worked for the fire service seem to treat us with complete contempt. And I do not think it is getting better, it is getting worse.

That is why it is so important to have a union. If we do not have them as a buffer between the employers, we would be really undermined and our conditions of service and our pay would really be worse than they are now. Its right to fight for that. Everybody should fight that. It should not be a battle to the lowest common denominator, we should aspire higher than that.

Last role call for Sian Griffiths, White Watch Manager. Retiring after 30 years and one of the first LFB female firefighters. Paddington Fire Station. London.

 

© Jess Hurd/Jason N. Parkinson

Defend the #MagnaCarta – #Relay4Rights

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Defend the Magna Carta. Justice Alliance, Relay for Rights along the Thames from Runnymede, the birthplace of the Magna Carta to the Global Law Summit. Against cuts to legal aid by Chris Grayling MP and and the coalition government.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Images available from www.reportdigital.co.uk

Fire Station Closed

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Fire Station closed in East London.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

 

FBU Pensions Strike

FBU 4 hour strike over firefighters pensions and retirement age. East Ham and Poplar Fire Stations, East London.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Save Legal Aid

Protest outside the Ministry of Justice to defend legal aid. Westminster, London.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Images available to licence from: www.reportdigital.co.uk

 

We Are Not Inbreds!

 

City Clean workers in Brighton march on a council meeting calling for the Green Party council leader, Jason Kitcat to be sacked, in an unofficial dispute over a proposed £4,000 pay cut for some staff. GMB workers were also angered by the comments of  Cllr Anita Kitcat, the wife of the council leader, also Green Party, who allegedly called the locals “inbreds”. Workers occupied their canteen at the city’s Hollingdean refuse depot in a dispute with the only Green-led council in the UK. Brighton.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

See slideshow here

Slideshow with captions here

Images available to licence from www.reportdigital.co.uk 

Brighton & Hove Green Party speak out against Jason Kitcat’s pay negotiation strategy.

The Argus


Eugenics Project – Mr Cameron?

How’s The Eugenics Project Going Mr Cameron? East London graffiti and political commentary on the government welfare cuts programme.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Image available to licence from: www.reportdigital.co.uk

Atos – Blood On Their Hands

 

Disabled protesters from DPAC and UK Uncut against the cuts to disabled benefits through the Paralympic sponsor Atos, outside Atos HQ and later occupy the Department of Work and Pensions. London.

See photo slideshow here

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Images available to download and licence from: www.reportdigital.co.uk

 

Atos Paralympics

Disabled People Against Cuts protesters lay a coffin outside Atos HQ to represent the people who have died or committed suicide after having their benefits cut following an Atos assessment saying they were fit to work. Opening day of the Paralympics where Atos is a sponsor. Euston, London.

Images available to licence from www.reportdigital.co.uk

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

 

Spanish Miners Mountain Battle

Miners win running battles with police in Cinera after they have blocked the mountain road. The miners have been on strike since the government announced cuts to mining subsidies due to austerity cuts which will mean an end to mining. Leon, Northern Spain.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

See web gallery here

See video here

More images and video can be licensed at www.reportdigital.co.uk

 

Spanish Miners – Asturias

Miners march past Pozo de Soton coal mine after fighting between police and miners to keep control of the pit. The miners have been on strike since the government announced cuts to mining subsidies due to austerity cuts which will mean an end to mining. Asturias. Northern Spain.

See web gallery here

More images available to license from www.reportdigital.co.uk

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

 

Clegg’s Street Party

Fuck Clegg Victoria Sponge cake. UK Uncut Great London Street Party outside Nick Clegg MP’s London home. Putney.

See slideshow here

Images available to license from www.reportdigital.co.uk

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Disabled Protest blocks Trafalgar Sq

DPAC action against benefit cuts, care funding and Loss of Remploy jobs.

Disabled activists block Trafalgar Square against benefit cuts and the Welfare Reform Bill. London.

See slideshow here

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Greek Revolution

Demonstrators with a hangman’s noose outside the Greek Parliament. Against IMF imposed austerity measures. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Greek General Strike

Man stands in front of graffiti on the Eurobank as running battles between police and protesters take place outside the Greek parliament. Trade unions hold a general strike against IMF imposed austerity measures. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

See web gallery here

The Indignant movement planned to circle the parliament in a huge show of public opinion against the savage IMF austerity measures. Thousand began gathering early Wednesday morning in Athens, many who had never previously joined demonstrations. Carrying banners with “Traitors” and waving Greek flags.

Around the polytechnic those involved in the general strike were also massing and planning to march to Syntagma Square.

It wasn’t long before battle ensued. Early attempts to pull down a fence guarding the parliament building were fought back with volleys of tear gas from the the Greek police. Fights broke out between right-wing opposition supporters, who were also in large numbers outside the parliament and those intent on fighting the police and who planned to occupy parliament. Street fighting between left and right gave way to intensified police attacks from all corners of Syntagma Square which drew the protesters away from the parliament building and into the side streets.

Running battles ensued, barricades were built, buildings spray painted, banks attacked and marble was chipped from any available surface for use as ammunition. The police were brutal, tear gas grenades, high powered pepper spray, concussion grenades and violent arrests.

It looked like a war zone, the police repeatedly saturated Syntagma Square with gas, which had become a permanent tented protest camp, leaving many chocking and blinded, ambulances arrived to collect the wounded.

By early evening word was spreading about the proposed changes to parliament, the reshuffle was met with distain, “it’s still the same people” said one man working near the square. More protests are planned tonight.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

March for the Alternative

March for the alternative. Jobs, Growth and Justice. Organised by the TUC.

With images from Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square later in the evening.

See web gallery here

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Firefighters March on Downing St

Firefighters from all over the UK lobby MP’s and have an impromptu march down Whitehall to Downing Street. FBU members are campaigning against threats to jobs, shift patterns and the fire service. Westminster, London.
For more images: www.reportdigital.co.uk
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

The Siege of Millbank

The Siege of Millbank – UCU/NUS National Demonstration for Education occupies Conservative Party HQ. London.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

See web gallery here

No Austerity

ETUC day of action, unions from the UK and across Europe march in Brussels against austerity cuts, Belgium.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Mervyn King protest

POA and PCS delegates protest against the ConDem cuts as Mervyn King, Govenor of the Bank of England speaks at TUC, Manchester 2010.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

TUC For Public Services

Brendan Barber joins TUC delegates as they launch a campaign against the ConDem cuts. TUC Manchester 2010.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

No ConDem Cuts

Trade unionists lobby the TUC General Council to call for a national demonstration against the government cuts. Called by the Shop Stewards Network.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

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