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Dave Jenner

Alvis Salamander Crash Fire Trucks (Foamite and Pyrene)

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In the late 1950's and during the 1960's Alvis produced the chassis for the Saracen, Saladin, Stalwart and the Salamander Airfield Crash Fire Tender the FV651. The Museum at RAF Scampton has the first production model of the Salamander that was introduced into service with the RAF and designated Mk6. We believe this to be the only surviving original that still runs. The fire fighting equipment and bodywork on the RAF Mk6 were made by Pyrene.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]86143[/ATTACH]

 

As far as we know, just two company's adapted the FV651 Chassis into fire fighting vehicles, Pyrene and Foamite. However, we know very little about the Foamite variant. From pictures we have it does appear to have been very well engineered. It has an interesting centre section that looks as if it might have been removable for access to the hull for servicing and repair. The american fire equipment and vehicle manufacturer American LeFrance did have a Canadian company, LaFrance Foamite in Toronto until 1971. Is it possible that they were produced at this factory.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]86142[/ATTACH]

 

If anyone has any knowledge about the 'Foamite' Salamander I would be most interested to hear from you. Lots on ebay, sadly only models produced by Matchbox!

 

Regards Dave

Alvis Pyrene.jpg

Alvis Foamite.jpg

Edited by Dave Jenner
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Dave, Foamite built 7 of those crash tenders for south Africa between March 58 & Oct 62.

 

 

TED

Edited by ted angus
correction

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Dave, Foamite built 7 of those crash tenders for south Africa between March 58 & Oct 62.

 

Thanks Ted, these 7 are all I seem to be the only ones I hear of; do you think it's possible they were the only ones built?

Do you know anything more about foamite? Dave

 

Taken a while back before paint job!

TED

13.jpg

Edited by Dave Jenner

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DAVE this SALAMANDER was at FV RARDE CHERTSEY in the mid 1960s for user trials l do not know if its a pyrene or foamite

only its a FV 651 A l have a short clip of it in use at chertsey

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DAVE this SALAMANDER was at FV RARDE CHERTSEY in the mid 1960s for user trials l do not know if its a pyrene or foamite

only its a FV 651 A l have a short clip of it in use at chertsey

 

 

Hi Wally, I can confirm that this one is a Pyrene version, I think it may have been the final pre-production vehicle that was tested to destruction. If you have any footage I would be very interested to see it if possible. Cheers Dave

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Thanks Wally for the shot that was the pre production proto RAF reg 22AG 54 it was tested to destruction ??!!** at Chertsey then used as a training aide.

 

Dave thanks for the data plate, you must have read what I wrote before I deleted it- there was/is another MK in restoration/ or has been restored which is an amalgamation of at least 2 vehicles, and I was thinking of that when I saw yours - because you have fitting a set of secondary media hose stowage cages, which of course were not fitted on your original varant Mk6; It looks as if the secondary media hose reels were missing soon after the RAF handed it to the National Fire Service Museum Trust. . I have attached a picture of your 23 AG 56 when it was in store for the National Fire Service Museum trust . I believe it was lodging in the RAF museum reserve store at its previous site at RAF Cardington .

 

regards TED

MK63.jpg

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DAVE the clip is on a video that runs for 20 minutes its shows stalwart prototypes saladin salamanader The alvis works

l will take it to see if l can get the clip put on another video tape for you and one for TED if you wish scampton is not far away from me

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DAVE the clip is on a video that runs for 20 minutes its shows stalwart prototypes saladin salamanader The alvis works

l will take it to see if l can get the clip put on another video tape for you and one for TED if you wish scampton is not far away from me

 

Wally, that does sound like a very interesting 20 minutes of video! I would be more than happy to cover any costs and postage etc, but if you would like a VIP visit to the museum I'm sure I can arrange that for you. Thanks again, Dave

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Isn't there a Salamander at Headcorn airfield in Kent, home of the IMPS "Combined Ops" show??? Bright yellow IIRC???

 

 

I have seen pics somewhere of the yellow one and I seem to remember being told it was at Headcorn.

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Thanks Wally for the shot that was the pre production proto RAF reg 22AG 54 it was tested to destruction ??!!** at Chertsey then used as a training aide.

 

Dave thanks for the data plate, you must have read what I wrote before I deleted it- there was/is another MK in restoration/ or has been restored which is an amalgamation of at least 2 vehicles, and I was thinking of that when I saw yours - because you have fitting a set of secondary media hose stowage cages, which of course were not fitted on your original varant Mk6; It looks as if the secondary media hose reels were missing soon after the RAF handed it to the National Fire Service Museum Trust. . I have attached a picture of your 23 AG 56 when it was in store for the National Fire Service Museum trust . I believe it was lodging in the RAF museum reserve store at its previous site at RAF Cardington .

 

regards TED

 

 

I did see it Ted and as I already had a pic of the plate I thought I may as well post it. We also have some earlier pics of 23 AG 56 that show her in original Mk6 format (with the CBM hosereels etc). We believe, that as new production models emerged, 6a,b,c and finally d, earlier models would be 'up-graded'. We have some service records that show she went back to both Alvis and Pyrene to have modifications done. There is in fact a plate in the cab that states that the braking system has been upgraded to a Mk6a. Looking around 23 AG 56 you can clearly see the evidence of all this. The suction eye removed from the left hand side locker, the pneumatic saw removed from the rear left locker that then becomes the new location of the batteries. The direction indicator moved from the sides to the front. The best bit though Ted, is Steve Harrison, ex RAF fireman who is also a volunteer, drove this very vehicle when they were both stationed together at RAF Wyton during 1973 to 76 and he has photo's of her as she is now. So officially she's a kinda Mk6a! We did wonder whether we should during re-furb take her back to being a '6', but I think we decided that was not a good idea as she had been modified in service. Nice to see that earlier pic of her, are we ok to use it at the Museum Ted? Dave

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Hi Dave yes please use the pic . Thanks for the info . Some strange things went on with these trucks. They were the dread of MTSS ! The one that was at Barkston 26AG70 this belonged to the RAF & DFS association any idea where it is do you have it at Scampton now ? It and another were at their museum at Shoreham then they moved to Halfpenny Green then the trucks moved to Barkston.

 

I believe this is the one that contains the parts of 2 different trucks ??

 

Hi Wally love a copy of that video please

 

must go sick dog and sick wife so I am ic house today

regards TED

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Hi Dave yes please use the pic . Thanks for the info . Some strange things went on with these trucks. They were the dread of MTSS ! The one that was at Barkston 26AG70 this belonged to the RAF & DFS association any idea where it is do you have it at Scampton now ? It and another were at their museum at Shoreham then they moved to Halfpenny Green then the trucks moved to Barkston.

 

I believe this is the one that contains the parts of 2 different trucks ??

 

Hi Wally love a copy of that video please

 

must go sick dog and sick wife so I am ic house today

regards TED

 

Hi Ted, yes it is indeed now at Scampton. It's correct serial number is FCT16 and the reg should be 23AG70. It was the Barkston one, the association have now given it to Steve Shirley. She is not in such good condition as 23AG56 and not a runner, or likely to be unless we win some grant! Just working on 56 is proving a challenge. I had the brakes working again last year, just to now have them pack up...my fault! Going to try again soon! Regards Dave

Edited by Dave Jenner

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DAVE l have just found this in amongst some of my files do you want a copy if so pm me with a postal address

 

Wally, this looks most interesting indeed, thanks for offer, have sent you my details, Dave

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I use to drive the Mk6 in the RAF at Kinloss, Scotland in the 1960s during the cold war. Great vehicle with the introduction of the fluid flywheel and five gears (forward or reverse). Backed up with a Dual Purpose (DP) filled with water it could produce a massive amount of foam. I used to drive it cross-country at the end of the runway taking it very slow on the high ground ridges.

At 80 years old I recently found one at the RAF museum. I had my RAF test for driving on an airfield at Garstang (North East) driving on the then A1 dual carriageway.  I was an SAC and once drove from Kinloss with a sergeant in a Mk5a down to the servicing depot in the South West (A 500 mile journey). A great drive but servo brakes did heat up causing problems. The hills were terrible and so were the brakes on an exercise from Kinloss to Wick with full water containment. The driver of the DP (Dual purpose) used for domestic fires and feeding the Mk6 and Mk5A was lucky. He had the first of the air brakes.

 

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Background Flickr photo of Alvis Salamander  in Aden  with RAF Land Rovers-

.A photo album of the British people when they lived in the city of Aden 1959_1967.

 

 

 

Edited by XS650

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