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Sidney Tate
Londonfire
Rank Station Officer
Station Blackwall Fire Station
Spouse(s) Nancy Tate
Relatives 1 son (deceased)
Played by James Marcus
First appearance Pilot (1986)
Last appearance Series 3, Episode 8 (1990)

Sidney Tate was Station Officer at Blackwall Fire Station from the pilot movie until series 3.

BiographyEdit

Sidney Tate joined the Brigade in the 1960s. Forthright and old fashioned, he was regarded as a dinosaur by some officers, out of touch with the Brigade's modern image and values. When Blackwall received its first female officer, he remarked to John Hallam that "In my day you joined the Brigade to get away from them". He was seen as a paternal figure by Blue Watch.

He was married to Nancy, who also worked for the London Fire Brigade, first as a control room operator, then as a Careers Officer. They had had a son, who died of leukaemia years earlier and Nancy was unable to have any more children. Over Christmas, he and Nancy took in Paul, a boy born with half-limbs. Vaseline gave his newborn son the middle name "Sidney" in Tate's honour.

When the new ADO, the pedantic jobsworth Scase, arrived at Blackwall, he did not approve of Tate's more pragmatic methods. When a group of men were trapped under scaffolding on the Thames, Tate defied Scase's orders to first secure the scaffolding, reasoning that by the time they had done so the tide would have come in and the men drowned. He branded Scase "inept" and "high and mighty" and Scase responded by reporting Tate for insubordination. Tate received a reprimand from ACO Bulstrode, though, as a fellow "dinosaur", Bulstrode privately sympathised with his point of view and it was Scase who was transferred away.

Following Scase's departure, Tate was promoted to temporary Station Commander. However, he missed Blue Watch and was relieved to learn that the posting would not be permanent.

Tate began to have panic attacks and doubts about the job, which were exacerbated by a shout in which the dry risers in a tower block had been vandalised. He began drinking heavily. After a row with Nancy, he failed to turn up for work and Hallam was forced to report him as AWOL. Tate had instead driven to the Kent coast and spent the day staring into the horizon over the sea. He was given a week's leave and returned to Blackwall to a warm welcome from his watch. Shortly afterwards, he talked down an armed man who was holding everyone at the station hostage.

On a shout, Tate experienced chest pain and, in Series 3, failed a routine medical due to a heart condition and was told that he would be taken off active duty with immediate effect. Bayleaf and Hallam urged him to appeal against the decision, but he realised the writing was on the wall and accepted the decision. In retirement he kept bees, according to ACO Bulstrode. Bulstrode had an old photograph in his office of him and Tate as young recruits back in the 1960s. He told Nick Georgiadis that Tate was a "good man" and a "good officer". When Blue Watch tested out a fire helicopter, Sicknote and Bayleaf both joked about how Tate would have reacted to the idea of firefighters using helicopters.

AppearancesEdit

See also: Sidney Tate/Appearances

Sidney Tate made 23 appearances in London's Burning between 1986 and 1990.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Station Officer Sidney Tate was played by James Marcus in the TV Movie (1986) and in series 1-3 of the television series.

Blue Watch
STATION OFFICERS: Sidney TateNick GeorgiadisChris HammondJohn ColemanMick Callaghan
SUB OFFICERS: John HallamCarole Webb
LEADING FIREFIGHTERS: Malcolm CrossGeoff PearceDan Barratt
FIREFIGHTERS: Lesley 'Charisma' ApplebyKenny 'Rambo' BainesAdam BenjaminGregg Blake
Roland 'Vaseline' CartwrightSally FieldsGeorge GreenJosie InghamAndreas 'Ethnic' Lewis
Stuart 'Recall' MacKenzieCharlie MeadKevin MedhurstFrank MooneyJack MorganChris 'Skippy' Newman
Colin ParrishBert 'Sicknote' QuigleyBilly RaySally ReidCraig RossTony SandersonRob 'Hyper' Sharpe
Ronnie 'Hi Ho' SilverKate StevensJoe WalkerMike 'Bayleaf' Wilson
MISC: Lloyd AndersonVernon 'Clingfilm' ChiversMelissa ClarkeLiver SaltsCarmen MillerJaffa Parrish
SparkyWebley

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