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Dennis F15 WRT RWB 999
Fire Engine Photos
No: 20979   Contributor: Graham   Year: 2009   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: United Kingdom
Dennis F15 WRT RWB 999

This photo was taken by Chris Wood who has given permission for it to be published.
Taken on the day Chris purchased the appliance. She had been in this location in Norfolk for 15 years and had built up quite a collection of birds nests and associated droppings! There were even hens eggs in the cab! New to City of Sheffield Fire Brigade in 1953. Photo taken 6 November 2009
Picture added on 10 December 2009 at 10:03
add commentComments:
Graham or Chris, what became of this one, thanks. I note with interest the interior of the off-side crew cab, if you were riding #4 you'd have this stuck in front of your face? What was it for, thanks, ,

Added by Pav on 17 June 2013.
Hello Pav, thanks for your interest again in this appliance. My original plan of getting her mechanically sorted out evolved into a chassis up restoration and I'm still at the chassis stage! It has proved hard going getting everything removable off and cleaned up as there was a lot of rust.
The cab layout is a standard one offered by Dennis on this type of machine. There is virtually no forward visibility because of a substantial storage unit running the full width of the cab.

I'll send you some pictures direct of the work I've been doing.

Added by Chris Wood on 19 June 2013.
The limited number of side lockers suggests to me that this appliance must have had an unusually large water tank, or a siseable supplementary foam tank, or both. Also, where was/were the hose reel(s)?

There are very few mentions of F15 water tenders on this site, and the only one I ever saw "in the flesh" was Middlesborough's unique half cab low profile water tender, which was I believe still actually designated as an F12.

Were these really very rare, and if so - why? The contemporary F12 dual purpose was extremely popular, and F17 Metz ladders were also fairly common. Not to mention the F8, which was quite widespread but did not actually qualify as a "real" water tender, because it could only accommodate either a 200 or 300 gallon water tank. Many brigades ran F12 pump escapes along with Bedford or Commer Water tenders, when one might think standardization would have made more sense.

Added by Rob Johnson on 04 August 2014.
As I understand it an F15 was an F12 with beefed up suspension, they were usually water tenders and quite rare.

Added by Neal Glover on 06 August 2014.
Neal - Thanks, this is also my own understanding.

I am wondering why the F15 was not more successful. Was it too pricey when compared to a Bedford or Commer? Or was it because the F8 did most of what you could do with an F15 at lower cost? Or was it just too big for most brigades?

The F24 and F28 were much more popular in the water tender role, and probably outnumbered dual purpose appliances. But most of them had the short 10'9" wheelbase, which made them very manouverable. Perhaps this was the secret of their success?

Added by Rob Johnson on 07 August 2014.
Derbyshire were a keen user of the F15 with this fact a 'sister, to this appliance also with the City of Sheffield...ended up in Derbyshire Fire Brigade after boundary changes saw it change was surviving in a very similar state to this appliance about 10 years ago at an auction in Leicestershire but has since disappeared !?

Rob, You are of course forgetting that Northumberland had 10 F8 Water Tenders with Alfred Miles bodywork with the full 400 gallon water tank !

Added by on 10 August 2014.
True - I was thinking about the "classic" F8s! But it still does not explain why the F15 was not really very popular...

Added by Rob Johnson on 14 August 2014.

I'm VERY hurt !! my Northumberland Miles F8 LTY 352 is a 'classic F8' !!

Added by Rick Loudon on 18 August 2014.
Gee, Rick, not my intention at all. I was Miles away from thinking that it might have been anything other than a real Dennis. Does my apology hold (enough) water?

Added by Rob Johnson on 31 August 2014.
Yes 4 Rob...... ( as did the 400 gallon tank) LOL !

Added by Rick Loudon on 03 September 2014.
Hello Rob
I would like to add some information after your comment about the lockers on this appliance. The water tank holds 500 gallons and there is no foam tank. There are a good number of variations to the standard F15 water tender body (of which around 80 were made) and in this case, Sheffield chose to have the hard suction in tunnels alongside the tank and also a 6ft long locker underneath them. If they'd had them externally mounted over the rear, F8 style eg LDW 238 or in sill lockers F12 style eg OED 888, then they could have had more shallow lockers on the sides. The hosereels were originally mounted on top of the body one each side as was normal but Sheffield moved the o/s one to the n/s and ran a number of machines with this configuration.
RWB 999 was one of three F15s bought new by Sheffield, the others being PWE 111 and SWB 222. As someone has suggested, there was another, RRA 598 but it actually moved from Derbyshire to Sheffield when Mosborough changed brigades.
As to the rarity of F15s, I agree there aren't many around. Of the four built to carry escapes, at least three survive - HVG 999 (now YPW 600X), LNR 900 and HCB 500. Of the water tenders, Glamorgan's MNY 741 is the only one I know of in good restored condition although a few others are still about in less than good order.

Added by Chris Wood on 16 September 2014.
As I may have mentioned earlier I was by Division Street station in Sheffield most days over the period 1956 to 1959 and the F15 there had hose reels either side over all of this period. A stirring sight alongside the F12 PE and that wonderful looking F12 ET (later badly smashed in a road accident I believe).

Added by Royce Treacher on 19 September 2014.
This machine is still patiently waiting for her on/off restoration to be completed. This should be aided by the purchase of one of her sister machines, RRA 598 earlier this year. As mentioned in my comment above, RRA 598 transferred from Derbyshire Fire Service to the City Of Sheffield in a 1967 boundary change. I believe she spent many years in a Lincolnshire barn before turning up at an auction in 2001. As Rick Loudon says, she was in a similar state to RWB 999 at that time - weathered but complete. Between then and 2018, for reasons unknown by myself, most of the body was removed along with the water tank and pump leaving little more than the chassis and drivetrain. From this I hope to salvage some parts to help get RWB 999 back on the road which would be some compensation for the loss of an F15.

Added by Chris Wood on 19 November 2018.
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