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Fire Engines Photos

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Dorset Fire Brigade Wimbone station
Fire Engine Photos
No: 18200   Contributor: Morgan Chapman   Year: 1964   Country: United Kingdom
Dorset Fire Brigade Wimbone station

Wimborne Fire Station 1964. Photo courtesy of Simon Hilliam.
Picture added on 09 July 2009 at 01:46
add commentComments:
Thanks Morgan, what a line up!

Added by John Stott on 09 July 2009.
now these are what you call fire appliances!!!! I defo like the older appliances, don't know why though as I grew up with the Dodge K's then bedford's then the series 3 scannys of strathclyde's but have always liked the older machines.

Added by Stevie Murray on 09 July 2009.
Early 1950s Bedford-HCB Type B pump water-tender plus an Austin K4 heavy unit, issued as a National Fire Service emergency pumper during WWII. The Austin had an independently-powered pump, no water tank or hose reels, and carried a limited amount of equipment. But many were placed into service for several years after the war, because they were still relatively new. Both normally carried a crew of four to six firemen - no ladies in those far off times!

Added by Rob Johnson on 24 May 2013.
The back end does not look like a normal HU and you cannot see the pump. In NFS days the Home Office workshops did play around with some HUs to make WrTs etc and I wonder if it is one of those. From memory there was a HO workshop near Swindon so one might easily have been allocated to Dorset.

Added by Neal Glover on 28 May 2013.
The curved rear side body panels are indeed certainly not original, but it is difficult to speculate from this angle of the photo what other changes might have been made. I would have thought that if a 400 gallon tank had been installed, it would have been quite a lot higher, not to mention taxing the carrying capacity and engine of this Austin chassis. The original 400 gallon NFS Mobile Dam Unit was quite different looking, and resembled a standard truck much more than a Heavy Unit.

Added by Rob Johnson on 28 May 2013.
In Wheels of Fire by Alan House there is a photo of GLE852 modified with a round or oval tank possibly 200gall, hosereel and dismounted Coventry Climax FSM pump with the handles shortened and towing a TP Lt. It looks like this one could be a similar modification.
The Austin K4 MDUs ran with 2x500gall tanks + a dismounted TP(s) still with the 3.5l engine! see MoF part2 1st edition.

Added by Neal Glover on 29 May 2013.
The K4 had a total permissible payload of 4 long tons - hence its designation. The body and crew plus the pump and tank itself all had to weigh something, so the carrying capacity for water could not possibly have been anything like 1, 000 gallons, which is 4.465 long tons.

Added by Rob Johnson on 17 May 2017.
I have since learnt the K4 had the bored out 4 litre engine. Photos exist of K4s with 1000 gal tankage. What weight was the 60ft TL ladder set?

Added by Neal Glover on 17 May 2017.
Must have been very tough on the suspension, wheels and tyres. Even at 4.0 litres, these had to be awfully slow!

The only explanation I can think of is that "there was a war on", so a few split tyres and broken springs or axles was a relatively small price to pay!

Chassis were hard to come by, because so much lorry production was going to the armed services, so I suppose compromises like this just had to be made. (It was not unheard of for army units to overload their vehicles, either...)

Looking at these two ancient beauties together, the S series Bedford had a bare chassis payload of around six tons, and could accommodate a standard JCDD 400 gallon tank, so a 200 or 250 gallon tank on a modified K4 would seem to be about right.

Added by Rob Johnson on 18 May 2017.
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