XYM 677 This is a 1960 Matchless G3LS motorbike which was with the AFS. It has a 350cc engine and was stored in a Scottish aircraft hanger with eight other examples when the AFS disbanded in 1968. 11 years later it was sold to a private owner.
The rear view of the Matchless, showing the canvas panniers and solitary rear light (arm signals were used for turning).
B759 GCN This vehicle used to be ‘foxtrot zero eight’ with Tyne & Wear MFB. It is a Dennis SS133 and is used solely for transporting ‘foxtrot zero nine’, fire boat Tinea.
The rear view. Tinea is a twin-engined Marshall Branson boat that was new in 1990. This boat and trailer combination saw many years service from Walker fire station in Newcastle.
JEN 507G is a 1968 Haflinger ‘First Aider’ fire engine. This very small fire engine is by Ryders / Schofield & Sons and was originally painted yellow. The role of the vehicle was to be a first response to fires in difficult terrain, such as off-road. This was helped by its selectable four wheel drive but hindered by its 28 bhp engine.
The side view of this diminutive engine. Two firemen would fill the cramped cabin and it is easy for an adult to look over the top of it. It has a 50 gallon water tank, equipment lockers and a small set of ladders on the roof. This was the only vehicle ever built and served in Sedburgh (Cumbria) until 1981.
WRM 554S is a 1978 109″ Land Rover HCB/Angus light fire appliance. When new, it was destined for Tanzania, but the order was cancelled and it actually started off its life with British Steel, then went on to a paper mill in Cumbria. It was used as a control unit and this can be seen by the red light fitted (it is also fitted with a blue and an amber light). When it retired after 23 years to be placed in a museum it had covered only 3,700 miles!
CYY 299C This is an Austin Gipsy AFS (Auxilary Fire Service) vehicle. It did not see very much action in its life: most of the time it was stored as a reserve and amazingly covered only 3,000 miles from 1965 to 1997! Note the amber lights above the headlights – a forerunner of blue flashing lights.
The rear view of the same Gipsy. This is a 1965 (series 4) example with the 2.2 lire petrol engine producing a frugal 72 bhp. The canvas back and all of the tyres are original and unrestored. The Austin Gipsy was built from 1958 to 1968 and is commonly mistaken for a Land Rover.
ACH 746H A Carmichael FT5 Landrover light four-wheel drive pump that was used by Rolls-Royce at their Sinfin test site (in Derby). This 1974 photograph illustrates the type of fire appliance used by Rolls-Royce in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was one of 5 FT5 airfield rapid intervention vehicles used during the period.
GXH 864 A blast from the past here with a preserved National Fire Service vehicle. It has a ‘George Rex’ insignia on the doors and the wartime headlight blinkers.
The rear view, showing that it is actually an almost-empty van with wooden roof ladders.
Watch a video of this vehicle in action!
THN 948S An ex-Cleveland County Fire Brigade engine is easy to spot with its white front. This Dennis is equipped with horns, a bell, blue lights and rather surprisingly around that back …
… a wheeled escape! This is the very last engine to have such an arrangement (1977), which had been used for hundreds of years to help fight fires.
EJV 955 This old Dennis turntable ladder used to belong to Grimsby Fire Brigade. It was new in 1955 and decomissioned in 1982. It is now in preservation (2005). Notice the blue flashing beacon on top of the cab, next to the bell. Grimsby Borough Fire Brigade was merged into Humberside Fire Brigade in 1974.