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I'm trying to research the early history of my Series 1 Land Rover, NGY 990 which, from records at Gaydon appears to have been a Ministry of Supply vehicle sent to the Armaments Research and Development Establishment at Fort Halstead at Sevenoaks.

From various posts in this forum, it seems possible that there is some knowledge or some records existing of the NGY registration series.  All the other Land Rovers that I've identified with NGY numbers have been originally supplied as fire appliances to MoS sites although there are no signs that mine was ever red or had the various fixtures and fittings of a normal fire engine version.  It did have a centre power take-off and several drilled holes and "shadows" where some sort of equipment has been fitted to the load floor though, leading me to wonder if it had been some sort of auxillary fire appliance, such as a foam tender or mobile control centre.

Fort Halstead's heritage centre have tried to be helpful but not really come up with anything useful...despite a safety film on their website made there showing a couple of Land Rovers - one a fire appliance of similar vintage (but red) and another slightly earlier green Land Rover bearing a MoS badge -they  seem convinced that they didn't have any as on-site vehicles!

Would anyone have any further information or suggestions?

Edited by scimart
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Thanks Wally - that seems to be at odds with the Land Rover despatch records but who knows what errors may have slipped in 65 years ago!  Could I ask what your source is?  Are there any details of how it was equipped or chassis numbers/other details in your record?

MatchFuzee - how would I go about checking in the National Archives?  Is there an on-line facility and what records would I ask for?

I appreciate the quick response from both of you.

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2 minutes ago, wally dugan said:

the information came from the establishment ledgers from FVRDE that l was given when it closed and not the internet  FVRDE CHERTSEY supplied vehicles to other establishments FORT HALSTEAD just one of them

 

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That's very interesting and should be pretty authoritive.  I've had a look at the FVRDE on Wikipedia (for what that's worth) and it seems rather ironic that in 1984 the RARDE became connected with the Chobham site.

I wonder if my Land Rover was diverted to FVRDE after being despatched to the MoS?  It might well explain the difference...

Sorry - just saw your last post after sending this reply.  Would I be correct in assuming that FVRDE might have converted the vehicle for use at Fort Halstead in some particular role?

Edited by scimart
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IT would appear that it arrived at Chertsey as a  fire tender  and left there as such as to FORT HALSTEAD  converting it is anyone's guess But if they just needed a standard 88 inch to convert they could have just got one there were plenty in service why take a fire tender which would have been more use to them in that role

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What's confusing me is that when it left the factory, in whatever configuration, it was destined for Fort Halstead but seems to have ended up at Chertsey,  The chassis number corresponds with the factory records but there are no obvious signs of the normal fire engine fittings.

I wonder if this film might offer a possible explanation?  Could it have been filmed at Chertsey?  At around 1.16 there is a Land Rover fire engine with the registration number NGY 998 - if it is Chertsey, was this number ever recorded there or could someone have mistaken an 8 for a 0 ?

 

Edited by scimart
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l am  right in thinking the fitting out  as a tender would be done by  a supplier of fire fighting equipment so the 88 left the factory as a  basic land rover. Mistakes can and do happen  l can only repeat what is in the ledger but it would seem strange that a vehicle bearing the number you gave NGY 990 was at FVRDE if it was a mistake then the details in the ledger would have been changed to a eight on leaving  so that the establishment number file would match that vehicle number        I will  check if a 88 inch quarter ton with the number  998 was at FVRDE

Edited by wally dugan
miss spelling
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20 hours ago, wally dugan said:

l am  right in thinking the fitting out  as a tender would be done by  a supplier of fire fighting equipment so the 88 left the factory as a  basic land rover.

I'm not sure if this was a question or a statement but I've always believed that the fire engines were factory built and available to order.  The parts manual lists all of the fittings and the workshop manual details operation and repair procedures for the pump.

In later years, I believe that most if not all fire appliance conversions were carried out by outside firms such as Carmichaels.

Edited by scimart
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I'm trying not to sound ungrateful for your help in this matter and I'm sure that was what happened from some point after the Series 2 was introduced but to the best of my knowledge they were certainly producing factory built fire engines before and after 1955 - not least according to the noted early Land Rover authority, the Dunsfold Collection.  From their website... "This is a factory-built 86” fire engine from 1956. These fire tenders were built at Solihull and had a full red paint job and extras such as oil cooler and red seats."

Did you manage to find anything about the fire engine in the video I posted (NGY998)?  Do you think it was filmed at Chertsey?  I have to say that I can find no evidence that NGY990 has ever been a conventional fire appliance - not a trace of red paint anywhere  down to the metal - although it has had some sort of unidentified equipment fixed to the load floor and a centre power take-off fitted at some point in its first 24 years of life before I bought it.

Edited by scimart
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l think you will find the factory only built 47  fire tenders  FACT  NGY 990  is SHOWN as been  a quarter ton land rover fire tender and at chertsey so l know that is a fact So  until some one can prove me and the ledgers wrong why it was there  and how it was fitted out until a photograph shows it as it was then its all guess work The video looks like chertsey but again it could be any where the facilities  at chertsey  were  used by the society of motor  manufacturers and traders for testing vehicles and equipment.  As you state DUNSFOLD are the experts so may be  PHILIP BASHALL who is on this forum may want to comment as to NGY 998 l do not remember  see that number thou there are a number of NGY registrations allocated to a variety of makes of vehicles and types in the ledgers if l locate it l will let you know

 

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Factory built fire tenders - I would expect a line built vehicle was taken, (special arrangements made for red)  so probably less bodywork - then Solihull  SVO would complete - that's what they were there for..

 

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It gets more confusing the more information comes to light!  I'm conscious that I might seem to be arguing with your expert opinion but it's in order to clarify things in my mind and I very much value your time and interest.

From my point of view, I have stripped the chassis and bodywork extensively and there is not the slightest hint of red paint in even the most inaccessible places so the possibility of it leaving the factory painted red is infinitessably small.  There are no holes in the bodywork where the hoses or pump would have been mounted. I have located the chassis number in the correct location which matches all the records and the original looking dash mounted data plate corresponds with this.

My best guess is that it left the factory painted green and was perhaps converted to some form of fire appliance - but not a conventional Land Rover fire engine - by the MoS before arriving, assuming there was not a transcription error with NGY998, at Chertsey.  I will see if I can track down any more details about NGY998 in case they can throw any light on that part of the mystery.

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I did have a feeling that might be the case.  I'm still not clear on why NGY990 ended up at Chertsey though when it was supposed to go to Fort Halstead but this will probably be lost in the fog of time.  It might explain the lack of info from Fort Halstead but I'm still in the dark about how it was configured.  It was a hard top when I got it - I wonder if anyone can suggest how it was equipped - the centre power take-off might provide a clue...

I'll start trawling for period photos from FVRDE...

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I worked on a bronze centrif. pump (impeller shaft seized)  - may have been a Godiva - on a 86" owned by my employers.  The pump was in the tub and driven by centre power take off.  This had a full khaki hood .

Another method was rear power take off & pump overhang the rear cross member - these usually had a pick-up cab.  The tub space was taken up by a very large hose reeler drum.    The crew-space for both was probably just driver + two front seats.  Various methods of stowing extinguishers , hoses / ladders.

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That first suggestion is  a promising possibility - I don't suppose you've any recollection of how it was mounted?  Would these hole positions correspond with any memories?

(Rear of tub at top of picture)

1905779008_20190515_165731annoted.thumb.jpg.9a1c96af2399aa556d5a01aa44846486.jpg

Edited by scimart
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I have been following this thread with interest.  My understanding is : All series one fire tenders were Land Rover products, Carmichael and others became involved with the introduction of the Series 2.  The conversion included a 50 gall water tank onto which was mounted a hose reel. There was a hose carrying container along each side and of course mounting of the Pegson pump on the back along with a control panel.  Scimart maybe you can align some of the holes in your tub with the standard items in the pictures. I especially included PGK 965 for this purpose;  Just to throw a spanner in the works there can be no doubt these machines changed locations during their lives to meet vehicle unserviceabilities and changes to establishment.  On a list I was once given for which I cannot say how accurate it is __ NGY 990 is shown as a GP with hard top ? 998 fire tender at ROF (later OS & DD) Rotherwas  and 999 at Chertsey.    regards TED

NGY899.jpg

PGK 960.jpg

PGK965.jpg

Edited by ted angus
correction og reg number
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Thanks Ted.

A lot of this aligns with my knowledge and assumptions but I'm quite convinced that NGY990 was not built in (or modified to) the full fire appliance configuration as shown in your illustrations. 

My suspicion is that it was built as some form of auxillary tender - quite possibly with an internally mounted pump as suggested by ruxy, which would fit nicely with the centre PTO fitted when I bought it in '79.  This may well explain why Wally's records show it as a fire tender.

I'm assuming that you meant NGY990, not NGK990?  If so, that fits nicely as mine had a hard top when it came to me.

Edited by scimart
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