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Dave Jenner

C/O RAF Fire Fighting Museum - Alvis Salamder

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Good Morning All

 

I was kindly introduced to this site by Jim Davies after contacting him with regard to his Alvis Saladin restoration project.

 

I'm an ex RAF Fireman and just one of a group of volunteers at the Museum of RAF Fire Fighting based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Although we are lucky enough to have premises at this famous RAF station, we are in fact a privately owned collection that includes over 40 ex military and civilian fire trucks, from a 1940's WOT1 through to a 30ton MK11 Major Foam Vehicle. One that is of special interest, and possibly the last runner is our 1959 MK6 Crash Fire Truck, named by Alvis her builders as the Salamander. She is a sister to the Saladin, Stalwart and Saracen.

 

23 AG 56 is one of the original MK6 Crash Fire Trucks. She had a partial restoration about ten years ago and until recently was at the RAF Fire Service Museum at Manston. She is now at RAF Scampton where we intend to complete her restoration so that she will be able to travel to local airshows and events under her own steam. She is currently a runner but no footbrake and a few clunks and knocks from the transmission. We have good engineering knowledge and skills available within the team of volunteers but could do with some guidance from those that have already been involved with the restoration of the Alvis 6 x 6 family.

 

We are also lacking in any technical manuals or servicing guides and would welcome any help in this area. I have recently discovered that theArmy had one Salamander converted for water production, for an ammunition dump at Kineton, does anybody have any knowledge of this vehicle? I have also learnt that when the RAF de-commissioned the Salamanders in 1978 that a number were passed over to the Army. Once again if anybody has any knowledge of this I would be most interested to hear from you.

 

I would love to hear from any members that could offer any help or advice with the task of restoring one of the last of a kind. It would also be nice to hear from anyone that is simply interested in this vehicle or perhaps in visiting our collection at RAF Scampton.

 

Regards

Dave

MK6 005-Optimized.JPG

Edited by Dave Jenner

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I have the 378 pg document "FV 651/CCT Fire Crash Tender Technical Handbook" and three Alvis "Mk6" vehicles in varying states. I am trying to restore one as a crash tender. I would be very happy to exchange (i.e. provide a copy of) this document in return for similar technical documentation on same appliance. Rgds, Dan W.

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It would also be nice to hear from anyone that is simply interested in this vehicle or perhaps in visiting our collection at RAF Scampton.

 

I like the looks of the Salamander! I have drooled over the one in the RAF museum in Hendon.

395.jpg

 

Would be nice to see yours in running order at one of the shows this summer!

Would like to visit the museum in Scampton. Met Steve Shirley at Beltring in 2011.

 

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Daniel

354.jpg

Edited by dan110
added picture of Salamander

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Hi Dan, sorry for delay getting back to you but was at Sacmpton until late yesterday. You have three Salamanders!!! Wowee, how on earth did that come about? We know of about twelve "out there" and I'm now wondering if yours are amongst that 12 or an aditional three? But I'm guessing that if you have met Steve that you talked about them and he's aware (which would put them amongst the twelve). We have two as you probably know; the one I'm working on is now running nice and sweet and is driving well and will now stop after a long haul on getting the brakes sorted. It proved so difficult to get parts for the master cylinder and then the Hydrovac servo needed stripping and this was to prove almost impossible. Fortunately, just a strip, clean and re-build has it working again. The engine has not been such an issue as parts for B81 seem readily available.

 

A copy of your technical handbook would be so appreciated I can tell you! We do have lots of other stuff for you by exchange, technical manuals on the entire foam system which goes into how to remove water and foam tanks etc, lots of Alvis pamphlets and driver instructions, RAF training notes, driver instructions, 1st line servicing etc. I would also be more than happy to pass on anything that might help you with your vehicles. I have almost a full tool kit recovered from the bottom of the hull...best quality RAF stuff as well!

 

Have a look at the clip below from just a few weeks ago out testing brakes, Dave

 

Where are you? more than welcome for a visit and you can come see one running...nothing quite like it!

 

 

 

 

 

I have the 378 pg document "FV 651/CCT Fire Crash Tender Technical Handbook" and three Alvis "Mk6" vehicles in varying states. I am trying to restore one as a crash tender. I would be very happy to exchange (i.e. provide a copy of) this document in return for similar technical documentation on same appliance. Rgds, Dan W.

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Hello, Dave. I visited Scampton with my son James in Dec 2011 and spoke to Steve. We had a great day there. Our primary goal then was to look at the foam system on the Mk10. But the Mk6 has been an obsession with me for years. I own the heavily modified one that used to do beach rides at Skegness, then did the rounds on off-road shows, Avon Bassett, etc; a shame, but at least it survives. Then, about 3 years ago, I had a lucky find. One ~complete and one shell - minus engine and fire-fighting equipment that had been hacked around but that might one day be able to be made to resemble the driver training vehicle. I will set about copying this manual. I have between 1/2 and 3/4 tonne of spare parts (Mk6 parts), obviously I will want first pick for my restorations, but at the end of the day I don't want the stuff scrapped. PM me your address. I did discuss with Steve exchange of manuals but he and I are busy, so to date nothing has progressed. That is no slight on him. But now is the time! I would very muck like to collaborate. I have recently acquired an ex-reserve Foden 6x6 EKA so I am not scared any longer of lifting heavy components in and out of these FCTs. There are some pictures of a very small selection of my kit at http://www.flickr.com/photos/djw-trucks. Amongst the kit, a Mk1 stalwart which is in very good shape, though has a problem with the starter at the moment which is bugging me. Kind regards, Dan W.

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By the way, meant to say, those are great bits of film you have on youtube of the vehicle running. And I am near Birkenhead. Dan W

 

 

 

Where are you? more than welcome for a visit and you can come see one running...nothing quite like it!

 

 

 

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Blimey Dan you have progressed from the GG !!! Have been searching my dozens of RAF Fire service & MT publications but still havent found an RAF crash truck called an Alvis Salamander ????????????????????????????

Mnnnnnn !! ?*

your old mucker

 

 

TED

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Blimey Dan you have progressed from the GG !!! Have been searching my dozens of RAF Fire service & MT publications but still havent found an RAF crash truck called an Alvis Salamander ????????????????????????????

Mnnnnnn !! ?*

your old mucker

 

 

TED

 

Well, Ted, I needed more of a challenge. I know, but I didn't start the thread; I do try to use the correct term "MK6" and to educate others, I remember the salamander is the chassis. Anyway, hope you and Mrs A are well. Best wishes.

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Hi dave i only live nr kirton lindsey but never new about your collection at scampton and would be like to come for a look one day ,im shore your coverered for any lifting jobs but i do have a mk 3 milly recovery if you were ever in need of a help hope to meet you soon

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Well, Ted, I needed more of a challenge. I know, but I didn't start the thread; I do try to use the correct term "MK6" and to educate others, I remember the salamander is the chassis. Anyway, hope you and Mrs A are well. Best wishes.

 

Dan- glad my years of trying to educate the world were not wasted- But I think as your main vehicle ex Skeggie is just a chassis cab set up , then it can be called a Salamander without you reporting to the guardroom for some corrective training !! Not in good fettle at the moment popped discs in the lower back and a trapped nerve in my neck- I fear the Gipsy & trailer pump will have to go to a new home in the spring.

 

Dave --the Kineton job was a new build and was not a converted MK6- indeed they did refer to it as an Alvis Salamander although in truth unlike the rest of the ALVIS B series powered 6x6 variants ( Saracen Saladin Stalwart) Salamander was the Alvis chassis only name. THe Kineton job ended its days as a riot truck in N.I.

Attached are pictures of the MK6 concept proving vehicles plus the prototype . please not the heading on the Pyrene flyer I will be asking questions after class !! I have some cracking shots of the British Army's single example in a box when I find them- I will scan and post.

 

TTFN TED

Pyrene02.jpg

CNV00174.jpg

t3.jpg

t4.jpg

Edited by ted angus
amendments & additions

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Ted - phew, glad I'm spared that. And what amazing photos, and of historical importance. Thanks for sharing them. Do you know what the big aircraft hulk is? Maybe a York? I do hope the new year will bring you better health. Very best wishes, take care. Dan. PS miss you greatly on RSOLES.

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Great pictures posted on here by Ted and yes great historical significance. What else can you tell us about the one with reg 22AG54. Was this the last of the prototypes? The reason I ask is that we now know that 23AG56 has a serial number of 001 which leads us to believe it may have been the first in service and first production at least for the RAF.

 

Scampton Museum is yet to have a WEB page but we do have a growing group on facebook with regular up-dates on all activity at the Museum and lots of video clips and photo's. It's an open group and we welcome all visitors and those that wish to join. Just type in at the search 'Museum of RAF Fire Fighting'

 

Dave

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Dan promoted to acting Cpl yes a York

 

Dave 22AG54 it was the pre production prototype and tested to destruction _that is their term-- by the ministry

 

TED

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Hello, Dave. I visited Scampton with my son James in Dec 2011 and spoke to Steve. We had a great day there. Our primary goal then was to look at the foam system on the Mk10. But the Mk6 has been an obsession with me for years. I own the heavily modified one that used to do beach rides at Skegness, then did the rounds on off-road shows, Avon Bassett, etc; a shame, but at least it survives. Then, about 3 years ago, I had a lucky find. One ~complete and one shell - minus engine and fire-fighting equipment that had been hacked around but that might one day be able to be made to resemble the driver training vehicle. I will set about copying this manual. I have between 1/2 and 3/4 tonne of spare parts (Mk6 parts), obviously I will want first pick for my restorations, but at the end of the day I don't want the stuff scrapped. . Kind regards, Dan W.

 

Took these pictures of Alvis Mk6 's in Skegness in 1988 recently scanned them in and have been trying to find some info about them , pleased to hear one may still survive !:D

 

Craig

A1.jpg

A1 (2).jpg

Edited by XS650

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Took these pictures of Alvis Mk6 's in Skegness in 1988 recently scanned them in and have been trying to find some info about them , pleased to hear one may still survive !:D

 

Craig

[ATTACH=CONFIG]104005[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]104006[/ATTACH]

That is very interesting! I am given to understand that one of the three of these I currently own is one the of former Skegness pair. As time goes by, I am less and less sure that I will be able to restore any of these, so if anyone is interested.....

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I am given to understand that one of the three of these I currently own is one the of former Skegness pair. As time goes by, I am less and less sure that I will be able to restore any of these, so if anyone is interested.....

 

I would be very interested to know more about your three vehicles and would very much like an opportunity to view them.

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That is very interesting! I am given to understand that one of the three of these I currently own is one the of former Skegness pair. As time goes by, I am less and less sure that I will be able to restore any of these, so if anyone is interested.....

 

I would be very interested in seeing a picture of your ex Skegness machine. I assume it's not on your flickr site as can't see it.

 

Craig

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Thanks for that , obviously much modified since beach days !

Don't suppose the reg.no. is still Q702OVL ?

Curiously this comes up on car number detail sites as a 1999 Bedford Fire Engine!

 

Craig

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Hi,

 

Thought I'd best put a reply to this thread as I have a bit more information to add in relation to Q702 OVL, which was put on an age related plate of DAS 623 in about 2000.

 

My name is Tom Overton and I am Barry Overton's son. My Dad rescued Q702 OVL from Skegness in 1990 after spying it when he was up there working. At the time he was into off-roading in a big way and was running an ex-AFS Bedford RL hose carrier in the AWDC's heavy trials at various sites around the country. Unfortunately it wasn't as competitive as some of the other surplus stuff coming up for sale (Stalwarts, 432's, Explorers etc) so when he saw Q702 OVL parked up looking very sorry for itself he thought it could have potential.

 

Obviously in the process of its conversion to a beach bus pretty much all of the original bodywork was removed by the previous owner (who to the best of my memory was called Neil, but bear in mind I was 5 at the time!) and only the front panel remained. All of the fire fighting and foam generating gear was gone. All 6 wheel stations were seized due to salt water exposure, several tracta joints were broken so it was only 6x2, first gear was burnt out and it had no brakes. It did however start and drive, but only just, and I recall a very very interesting journey up our street in the dark with it misfiring and coughing flames before cutting out completely and only being stopped from a roll back to the bottom by a forward thinking friend throwing a railway sleeper under the wheels!

 

Anyway, 4 years of restoration went by which involved my Dad fully restoring each wheel station in turn as well as building a completely bespoke, unique upper body, primarily with off-roading in mind, designed to take and survive a full roll if necessary. The servo and reservoir were relocated, along with power steering fluid reservoir and master switches etc, and primary entry was via a gull wing door on the nearside, above the centre wheel station.

 

Due to the design of the body, access to the driveshafts was pretty straightforward so we used to drive the vehicle to events in 6x2, with only the centre wheel stations driven. Upon arrival, it was my job to jack up each of the front and rear wheel stations in turn, line up the oil filler caps on the hubs (so it would be easy to see if there was a breakage, no white stripes on our hubs!) then wiggle the wheel until the splines lined up and the muff couplings could be fitted. I was the only 10 year old in my school who could explain what transmission wind up meant!

 

I grew up with the vehicle slowly taking shape on the drive. I was there when it was started for the first time, and I was sitting in the O/S passenger seat when it made it first journey. I drove it off road more times than I can remember, waaaay before I passed my actual driving test. It used to scare the sh*t out of me as the brakes were what I can only describe as 'interesting' with a very firm pedal and the throttle pedal had a very on/off nature, at least to my 10 year old inexperienced legs! Dad could make it dance though and upon completion it proved to be massively effective as an off road toy, with only the lack of a first gear and the bargrip tyres holding it back in terms of off road ability. The pre-selector gearbox meant that climbs could be approached at speed in third with a quick change to second taken if necessary without losing any momentum. This got us round most places without difficulty.

 

Later on, around 2003/4 a new gearbox and 1600 x 20 Michelin XCL's were fitted although the tyres proved to be a bit big and heavy and actually resulted in the first bit of damage in the form of a bent steering arm and trackrod (I believe), so they came off again in favour of the lighter bargrips.

 

In around 2005 a change in circumstances meant that Dad needed a tractor and in an effort to keep the vehicle useful he fitted a Renault Midliner 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine and gearbox. Much engineering ensued and the gearbox was successfully mated to the Alvis transfer box via a small Scammell-style propshaft. The conversion went well and the vehicle was able to be started and driven however a further change in circumstances meant that it had to go fairly quickly and that is where 'djwalker' took over I think, in around 2009.

 

I would be very very interested to know of its whereabouts, condition and proposed future. The vehicle holds massive sentimental value for me, as you can probably imagine. If the current owner could get in touch I would be grateful.

 

I have a few photographs of the vehicles restoration and early life, then quite a few of it playing, I'll attach them shortly. Apologies to the purists among you, particularly FV600 (MK6) fans who might baulk at the sight of the vehicle, but please bear in mind that it was 95% dead upon purchase and my Dad rescued it. It might not look much like a Mk6 (Salamander), but it bears a passing resemblance to the Runway Friction Tester and certainly got used as Alvis intended, in good old off-road conditions. Here's some pics:

 

Mid-build, probably around 1992:

 

AlvisMid-Build.jpg

 

First drive, spring 1994 (I am in the O/S passenger seat, aged 9):

 

AlvisOnRoadFirstTime.jpg

 

All polished up for a show at Donington Park, probably around 2001:

 

AlvisAtDoningtonFreshPaint.jpg

 

On the XCL's and next to my own toy at the time. October 2005:

picture-3.jpg

 

Playtime:

 

AlvisOffRoadAvonDassett3.jpg

 

AlvisOffRoadAvonDassett2.jpg

 

AlvisOffRoadAvonDassett1.jpg

 

AlvisOnTheRocks8.jpg

 

AlvisOnHill4.jpg

 

AlvisOnPlayArea2.jpg

 

AlvisClose-Up.jpg

 

AlvisInWater10.jpg

 

AlvisInWater13.jpg

 

It also starred in a Sky TV program called 'Off The Road' in about 2000 or 2001. Tony Mason presented the show and came to Avon Dassett quarry to film. Dad got interviewed and the crew took a few decent external and interior shots. There are two YouTube clips, the vehicle is on the second one (but you may as well watch them all to see some heavy stuff playing!):

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading, hope it's of some interest.

 

Tom

Edited by Purple Tom

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Dear Tom,

 

I am in many ways a purist but I darn well loved reading your accounts of what was done to the vehicle and how and why.

 

Very interesting, please don't stop on my account, great read.

 

By the way, how did it perform? Looks like the centre of gravity was way lower and th power to weight ratio was good and the only issue would be choice of tyres.

 

I have a soft spot for anything Alvis six wheeled, I was fortunate enough to swim a Stalwart out here in Canada adn drive it cross country. Loved it.

 

Robin

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