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Military Fire Appliances Gallery


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Having been involved in some restorations in the past for the Manston Fire Museum, here are a few that we done for them, not completely finished in these photos though. They are a 1956 Dennis F12 appliance built for the Royal Navy and used at an Ammuntion Depot and the other is the first 1969 Land Rover TACR1 issued to the RAF, its last use was at Lydden Motor Circuit before laying derelict.


These photos were all taken over 12 years ago now and the vehicles are well known at shows, both fire and military.


MFM 001.jpg

MFM 002.jpg

MFM 003.jpg

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Guest catweazle (Banned Member)

Was the Denniss built as a 6 and 8 cyl,got film somewhere of one doing about sixty and when he backs off sheet of flames from the silencer:cool2::cool2::cool2:

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Was the Denniss built as a 6 and 8 cyl,got film somewhere of one doing about sixty and when he backs off sheet of flames from the silencer:cool2::cool2::cool2:





Some used B60 ( 6 cyl ) or the bigger bore B61 and others used B80 or B81 ( 8 cyl ). The Dennis here is a B80. I have driven it many times and it is a real classic machine with a good turn of speed and yes they do tend to flame, just tell people its the afterburner :rofl:

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Not quite on the same scale here is my Army Fire Service trailer pump. built nov 1943 , spent its complete life with the Army, by 1945 it was in Germany. Later it returned to Bicester depot and it ended its days in the 1980s at Culttybraggen camp in Perthshire. It was rescued by the previous owner from a scrappies in Perth.

When I bought the pile of scrap in 1997 I presumed it was ex NFS, research then revealed its true identity which was a real bonus as I was a member of the Scottish Military Vehicle Group. I still had about 7 years left in the RAF at the time and I lived in MQ therefore a full size vehicle was out of the question at the time.

With red, grey and matt drab/green being the common colour for pumps at the shows I chose 1954 as the restroration point knowing the correct colour was gloss deep bronze green ; even RAF fire appliances in Germany at that time were in gloss DBG.

Pure coincidence that 6 years later I chose another gloss DBG vehicle for a restoration !! but thats another story

Yes that was the kitchen where I rebuilt the engine !

No timing marks on the engine, so a big card protracter was constructed so I was over the moon when after completion she started 2nd turn of the handle.





Birth of Balmullo Vol FB.jpg

Birth of Balmullo Vol FB 2.jpg

Birth of Balmullo Vol FB 3.jpg

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Attached are a couple of pre restoration pictures.

The lad who rescued it from the scrappy got her running, did some cosmetic work and put her into NFS grey she was in IRR matt green when rescued. He caught the restoration bug in a big way and stripped her down to do a full job. He even took the rings off the pistons !!

He then got the chance of an even larger trailer pump, mine got pushed to the back of his shed and forgotten about. He did a fantastic job on his new aquisition showed it for a couple of years then put it up for sale.

I got a call from a 3rd party saying a pump was for sale. Paid the guy a visit but said no thanks I want something to restore not just polish; attention then turned to the trailer chassis and pile of boxes at the back of his shed. I'll take it !! The late Bill Ireland ( a top man that many MVT members will remember) lent me a trailer and a couple of days later a deal was done and the attached piccies show most of it in my married quarter back garden. THe engine in "restore 1 " is an SM from a Coventry Climax ex army generator this was to be a donor for spares. The head from the FSM engine can be seen just below the trailer wheel. The block, crank and pistons were safely in my nieghbours garage (only every second MQ had a garage) pending negotiations with I.C. House !! I soon tracked down a WW2 spares manual and operating manual. but there was never a H O workshop book. (I later tracked down an RAF tech manual for it). I tracked down an WD generator manual to obtain TDC BDC etc etc. I then got a call from the Station's housing office asking if it was true that I had a fire engine in my back garden Yes I answered and put the phone down on them . !!! They were all civil,servants and found us W.O.'s difficult creatures to deal with ! Some bits took some real searching, whilst other items were fabricated the manhandling bars were missing , they are spring loaded and they took some fettling until they operated correctly.

Turning to the T reflector I made that I saw one on a trailer at a show sketched and measured it in great detail . Made up 2 paxilin jigs one for the plate the other for the T that sits on the back of the plate. After several false starts the plate was made and given a wired edge the hollow T was made the circular cutouts put into the plate. I then got a couple of red oblong reflectors and cut the reflective portions to fit inside the T. then attached the T to the back of the plate.

THe silencer was no too brilliant, it gets filled with water from the exhaust ejector primer when you pump from open water, I got her skinned and she has been fine for the last 10 YEARS.

Alas back in june at the village gala the pump was pushing exhaust out throuigh the pump !! you guessed the silencer had totally collapsed internally. I believe one from a FWP climax pump(side locker of a Goddess) will fit just need a slight modification to the pipe joint, just waiting now for my source to finish moving house and get it in the post.


PS once it was restored I couldn't get it out of the garden but I had been nuturing a contact at the housing office they converted a section of my garden fence into a double gate !!

restore 1.jpg

restore 2.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
Just a few more of the collection.



I like the Bedford HCB/Midi, I think it would look nice next to my Landy, I remember when I was given the guided tour of the sheds at Manston before the museum was opened, I sat in one of these, thinking "mmm, nice!"


I think Steve Shirly said that they were used to teach firemen how to tow a trailer pump.


Apart from the Manston one, is any of them preserved?


All the best



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