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Open South African Dennis
Fire Engine Photos
No: 15164   Contributor: Dr. B.A. Hutchinson   Year: 2009   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: South Africa
Open South African Dennis

There has been some recemt discussion of the open South African Brewries Dennis pump ( picture #3880 ). The South African fire brigades had been long time users of Dennis appliances and in the photograph above we see another of their traditional style open pumps before shipping to its final destination. Notice the Dennis factory bicyle sheds in the background. This photograph is reproduced by the courtesy of Dennis Bros., Guildford.
Picture added on 18 February 2009
add commentComments:
Barry, what an impressive looking pump. I take it from the hand rail there was room for the crew to sit facing backward in a 'granny seat.' The fitting adjacent the electric bell I take is a siren? The hose reel nozzles are interesting?

Added by Pav on 01 March 2009.
The hose reels are fitted with the original high pressure branches....looked a bit like sub machine guns when operated....quite common from the mid 1950s

Added by Barrie Green on 01 March 2009.
Pavel, I do like this picture myself. There was so much variety in design in days gone by. I just wish there is this kind of flexibility in design freedom today. Unfortunately the mocking 'Euro-toaster' designation does hold some truth.

By the way, how is the Rolls Royce holding up?!

Best wishes,


Added by Barry on 02 March 2009.
Barry, funny you should mention that, I'm doing a three-Roller wedding this Saturday!

Added by Pav on 05 March 2009.

Added by Barry on 05 March 2009.
If on looks carefully at the Picture, The afrikaans words stand "Stedelikke Brandweer Kaapstad." This translates as City of Cape Town Fire Brigade. This was a municipal unit and not the breweries. Cape Town still has ether a F8 or F12 standing at it's Woodstock station. Will check when I return as I stay in Pretoria, 1000 miles away.

Added by Patrick on 15 January 2010.
Another great B & W photo of a classic Fire Apparatus; and uniquely interesting to the rest of us.
I can see the olde-style, sideways bench-seating for the crew - the overhead ladder-stowage and the other custom-fittings, for its fire-role..

Doc Barry, and Info-ee's - thanks for showing us.

Regards, from Canada,

Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 15 January 2010.
Patrick, could I ask a favour? If you ever have contacts with the South African Fire Brigade, would it be possible to ask about the Dennis shown in picture #1605 on this site. I have no history at all for its first 50 years.

Best wishes,

Added by Dr. B.A. Hutchinson on 16 January 2010.
Ref: the beautiful little 1927 Dennis Ajax Pump, with solid-rubber tyres.

Alas, Doc Barry; my South Africa info is all from this Web-Site; I will poke around a bit on the Search Engine(s), and see what comes up, though.......

Is there any Reader, out there, on the World-Wide Web; who could help with this info ?

Regards, from Canada,

Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 18 January 2010.
I was a driver in the Cape Town Metropolitan Fire Brigade in the 1960's. All their motor pumps, turn-table ladders etc were Rolls Royce powered Dennis fire-engines. The hose reels with high-pressure fog-jet nozzles were invaluable in motor car and shanty/ shack fires.
I was stationed at one time or another at all the C.T. Fire Stations and therefore must have driven the so called "Breweries" fire engine.
There are currently in storage at the Salt River Fire Station (Woodstock) what looks like a 1940's motor pump and a 1950's turn-table ladder. Both are reported to be in running order but need a good clean!

Added by Terry Malone on 03 May 2012.
Hi Terry, any photos you like to share please : )

Cheers, Frank

Added by Frank on 04 May 2012.
Hi Frank, will take photos when next in Cape Town.

Regards, Terry

Added by Terry Malone on 07 May 2012.
Hi Terry, thanks for that. But you don't have anything from the 60ties please?
Cheers, Frank

Added by Frank on 07 May 2012.
The "breweries" pump was an ex Johannesburg Fire Department pump, it had a four door cab, still open top, I serviced it back in the early nineties and it was still in good running condition. Johannesburg had a few of them still in service up to early nineties.

Added by Doug Hardy on 18 September 2012.
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