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Fire Engines Photos

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Preserved 1951 Commer
Fire Engine Photos
No: 22532   Contributor: Greg Lundie   Year: 2009   Manufacturer: Commer   Country: United Kingdom
Preserved 1951 Commer

Picture of old timer taken on 25/10/2009 in Dunning by the owner G.Lundie
Registration MUR 530, see picture #22531 also
Picture added on 08 March 2010 at 09:36
add commentComments:
Hi Greg
Good to see your commer up and running, will you be taking it to shows this year.

Added by Archie McKinnon on 08 March 2010.
Does anyone know why various appliance builders ignored the fact that the Commer chassis was full forward control, and came with easily accessible front cab doors, so they ended up building vehicles like this, so the driver and officer had to climb in and out through the back doors? In Darlington, we had a Commer Carmichael - which had four doors, like the Dinky Toy, and a Commer Whitson, which was also a four door. Dennis never built appliances with the front doors blocked off, and the idea just seems silly. I can understand why earlier Bedfords and AECs had no front doors, because the driver and officer sat almost exactly over the front wheels, which made for quite a climb. London actually forced Merryweather to build a batch of pumps and some TLs with a full forward-control 4 door design, refusing to buy the standard version with the tiny central sliding door.

Added by Rob Johnson. on 26 April 2010.
Yes Rob both the two Darlington machines ended up with the Teesside Airport Fire Service, I drove them both.

Added by Barrie Green on 27 April 2010.
Barrie, do you agree the Whitson design with the huge rear access lockers was a pretty daft idea - it made the side lockers too small and there was quite a climb to get at the hose reels. The Carmichael was much better

Added by Rob Johnson on 04 May 2010.
Rob I cannot recall the rear access doors on the Whitson.....it may well have been modified from the original design as a Dennis No3 pump had been fitted , by Darlington FB the pump had been removed from an earlier machine. I agree about the height of the hose reels though, you would have to wear a safety harness to get up there these days

Added by Barrie Green on 04 May 2010.
Yes, it started life as a "Type A", with a separate hose reel pump and towed a trailer pump. The installation of the Dennis No 3 was made when the pre war Dennis pump escape was replaced by a new Dennis PE the following year, which came with its own center mounted No 3, so the old rear mount pump was fitted to the Whitson. The Commer Carmichael also got its No 2 Dennis pump from the NFS trailer pump which the Whitson used to tow - quite an economical way to get a fleet of very up to date appliances so soon after the war!

Added by Rob Johnson on 05 May 2010.
Interesting story on NHN 999, however the only Dennis in the Darlington pre war fleet was the famous first limousine built locally.The escapes were a Daimler and Leyland could it be another Dennis Trp provided the pump, I believe the Home Office workshops at Wakefield carried out a number of early conversions up grades of early Type A s

Added by Brett Clayton on 10 May 2010.
I was told the pump that was transferred to NHN 999 had a capacity of 700 GPM, which would fit with it coming off a Leyland PE, as Leyland offered a 700 GPM pump on their pre-war models. Do you have any data on the Daimler?

Added by Rob Johnson on 10 May 2010.
Does anyone have any information of the pre war Darlington fleet? I've seen a picture of the Limousine, but only side on.

Added by Andy Middleton on 10 May 2010.
The only one I ever saw in action was the Morris Magirus TL EHN118. This was bought in 1938 or 1939 from John Morris of Salford, who had the import license for Magirus. It had a Magirus single screw drive four section mechanical 27 meter ladder (88.5'). It was powered by a Meadows engine and had an open body very similar to Dennis and Merryweather TLs of the same era. I remember the accelerator was between the brake and cluch pedals for some reason, and the steering was very heavy and low geared. It was replaced in 1960 by the Leyland Firemaster Magirus hydraulic 30 meter ladder, 999MHN. At that time, EHN118 was sold to a local firm, but I do not know if it was preserved.

Added by Rob Johnson on 11 May 2010.
Andy:

I have since discovered that EHN 118 was on a Dennis chassis, and there are some photos on this site of almost identical prewar Dennis-Morris-Magirus TLs, a few of which were supplied to London Fire Brigade.

According to the captions, these were 100 foot (30 meter) versions, but in all other respects they look exactly like the Darlington machine

Added by Rob Johnson on 22 August 2017.
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