I have rather mixed feelings about the devastating fire at the nearby Grenfell Tower. Having been brought up and worked most of my life in this part of London; I am even a Freeman of this great city. As a young boy I often visited family friends in who lived in Grenfell Road, long before the tower was built. The physical proximity and personal memories of the neighbourhood mean that I am keen to go over there and help. That then causes stress because of the appalling scene which prompts thoughts of the agonies experienced by thousands of people, many of whom we probably knew by sight. We do our weekly shopping in a nearby supermarket where we have probably chatted with some of them as we queued at the checkout.
The ruin now stands as a reminder of a tragedy which will never be forgotten in this part of the world. Indeed we still often think about the Great Fire of London that devastated our city 350 years ago. Yes, it caused devastation but it led to a better city with wider roads, a better layout and the foundation of our Fire Service.