Bishopsgate Depot Fire

The fire of December 1964 by a worker employed in the yard

5.50 a.m. December 4th 1964 - Bishopsgate Depot Fire

Early one morning before the break of day
A depot railway foreman working saw to his dismay
Smoke and flame rising from the lock up store
The fourth of December nineteen sixty four

The draught from the lift shaft Made the fire become a blaze
Fire warning to the staff and the alarm was raised
Combustible material exploded with a roar
Flames lapping high and wide to reach the warehouse floor

The blaze swept through the shed A swift engulfing tide
High in the bonded warehouse two men were trapped inside
We cannot move the trailers or the loaded trains
Forgotten rules and failures added to the flames.

The roof and warehouse crashes two customs men have died
In the ruins and the ashes a thousand jobs beside
Those brief and tragic hours and the lives they stole
As the fire's power wanes the firemen gain control.

The depot walls are standing blackened, gaunt and bare
The faces of the railwaymen reflected their despair
I see the smoking ruins with bitter irony
The future holds nothing now but redundancy