On Thursday 14th November we gathered to welcome the prestigious St Florian Collection into its new home at IFE House, Stratford-upon-Avon. The collection, a library of more than 500 books about fire and related topics collected by Patrick Sheen during his lifetime, was gifted to the Worshipful Company of Firefighters to form the basis of a national library of fire, before being passed to the IFE to look after.
Patrick Sheen, known as Paddy, was a highly acclaimed and respected international forensic and consulting engineer, he held the position of International President of the IFE from 1991-1992, served ten years as a firefighter with Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, while also being Principal of Peterborough Regional College and was one of the very first members of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters. Alongside this Paddy was recognised as a highly experienced forensic science investigator, who specialised in fires of electrical origin. Through his life and experiences Paddy collected a large number of books and publications about fire and related topics – a collection that involved around 600 titles.
The collection has been housed in various places including the London Fire Brigade Museum at Winchester House, before moving to its permanent home at IFE House. Bruce Varner, International President for the IFE, 2019-2020 and Frances Blois, Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters witnessed the momentous occasion, alongside other IFE employees, Worshipful Company of Firefighters members and Henry Jerwood, Chaplain at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Roy Bishop, CEO of the IFE said:
“We’re so pleased to have given this well preserved and educational collection a permanent home.”
“The IFE prides itself on being a facilitator of knowledge and technical expertise in the fire sector, and having the collection in our care shows how seriously we take this preservation of knowledge.”