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1937 Leyland/Metz TLP 101ft Turntable Ladder.
Fire Engine Photos
No: 29009   Contributor: Pete Matten   Year: 2011   Manufacturers: Leyland, Metz   Country: United Kingdom
1937 Leyland/Metz TLP 101ft Turntable Ladder.

This lovely old 1937 Leyland/Metz TLP 100ft Turntable Ladder(reg-DGJ 309)was well worth photographing again when attending this years Odiham Fire Show held on the 6th&7th August 2011.
Its been afew years since I've seen this one at a fire show and again I took several pictures of her from different angles,including this rather different nice rear shot.
To read the appliances full history,with many added comments look at(picture #20453)posted back in November 2009.
Picture added on 09 August 2011 at 22:53
add commentComments:
Pete, what interests me are the hook ladders attached to the side of the ladder, I can't recall having seen that before. But I guess it's logical that once extended, if unable to reach the desired location, one could attempt with the hook ladders. I seem to recall there was a drill in one of the Manual of Firemanship? I think we use to practice from atop the wheeled escape against the tower. (That was before someone dropped it, , the escape I mean).


Added by Pav on 10 August 2011.
Pavel, the hook ladders attached to the side of the ladder it seems were quite common, and this is also shown in my other(picture #29011).Also, I've just looked through a book on the LFB and even in the mid 1960's this practice was still carried out even on the new incoming AEC/Merryweather hydraulic Turntable Ladders.

Added by Pete Matten on 10 August 2011.
Hi Pav, In London we carried hook ladders on all TLs right up until hook ladders were withdrawn from service in the late 1970s. The same goes for Essex, although they withdrew their hook ladders many years ealier than London. I can't ever remember us ever taking them off the TLs except for monthly testing. I certainly do not remember us having any laid down drills for using them from the top of a TL. To be honest I think it would have been an extremely dangerous operation!

Added by Murray Beale on 10 August 2011.
The only drill I did with a hook ladder was from the top of the escape on my recruit course, we did carry hook ladders on our appliances but not on the TTL.they were removed in St.Helens in the early 70's

Added by Dave Price on 11 August 2011.
We used to have a drill in London called 'the London Drill'. This involved pitching the wheeled escape to the third floor, attaching the first floor ladder to the head of the escape to the fourth floor and then a hook ladder was pitched to the fifth floor. It was a common drill if you had a wooden escape ladder, but when we were issued with a Merryweather Steel Escape (ours came with our new ERF appliance) we couldn't do the drill anymore and our first floor ladders were exchanged for alloy triple extension ladders. All a long time ago now. The new trainees wouldn't even know what we are talking about now!

Added by Murray Beale on 11 August 2011.
Do you think the carrying of hook ladders on the TL's was a carry over from the WWII days when extreme acts of heroism by the firemen of the time were common in London and the other major cities in the UK during the bombing?

Added by Pav on 11 August 2011.
Hi Pav, we have pictures in the LFB Museum of Wooden Magirus TLs on Dennis chassis carrying hook ladders way back in the late 1920s. Your point about WWII is valid though as I think I've heard of one or two extreme rescue done with hook ladders and TLs. Unfortunately they were tales told to me in my early days in the job by guys that had served in the war years. Sadly there are not very many, if any, of them left now. So much history gone!

Added by Murray Beale on 12 August 2011.
Good morning all, hook ladders were carried on all front line LFB appliances from probably 1920s on, usually in pairs. When I first bought DGJ309 in 1981 the twin hook ladder carrying brackets were still on the side of the main ladder, however one set had been blanked off. It would appear that in its later days with the LFB only one hook ladder was carried.
When wheeled escapes were withdrawn in 1984 hook ladders were withdrawn about the same time which enabled me to purchase a few to kit out DGJ309 and F101 PE SLW178. I was told of a rescue with hook ladders that took place only a matter of hours before they were officially withdrawn.
Murray do you remember scaling ladders?
Best wishes to all, trying to keep history alive.

Added by Mike Hebard on 17 August 2011.
Thanks again for your input on your lovely old Leyland/Metz Mike, it was really good to see her again after so many years at the Odiham Rally.I was also pleasantly surprised to see her again at the Redhill Steam Fair in Surrey on the 13th August.
Is there any chance you could put a picture of your old Leyland/Metz 150ft TL on the site for us all to see please.Its one appliance I never came across and have a chance to photograph, and proberly never will now because I think its back up north in a Museum.Pete.

Added by Pete Matten on 17 August 2011.
Hi Mike if you have parted with the Hull TL could you tell me where it's gone. Up north could be Rugby to some. Regards Neal

Added by Neal Glover on 17 August 2011.
Hello Pete and Neal, the Hull Metz still exists and is still in Surrey. It is totally unrestored and needing a lot of work. I did part with it back in 1998, however the original owner and I are taking steps - I am not going to say anything further at this stage. I will try and sort a photo out of it when it was first rescued from a scrapyard many years ago.


Added by Mike Hebard on 17 August 2011.
That is good news. Would it be worth chatting to the Lottery Heritage fund? After all it is unique and was an icon in its time ie all the photos appearing in fire brigade history books, not to mention the MoF.

Added by Neal Glover on 18 August 2011.
Hi all, sorry I haven't replied yet Mike, but I have been on my hols! Yes I do remember scaling ladders, and just how useful they were. We had a thousand uses for them, or so it seemed. From what I can make out they were used for over 140 years in the LFB and it's ancestors. It would seem that they may even have been carried by one or two of the Insurance Brigades. All LFB pumping appliances (PEs and Ps) carried two right up to the late 1970s. I am told that the original purpose of scaling ladders in the MFB/LFB was to be able to construct a ladder to the rear of terraced houses when there was no access for wheeled escapes. I know that we had great difficulty believing they were going to be withdrawn. We were told it was due to the lack of 'proper chippies' at Brigade workshops, they could no longer be repaired. The alloy ladders that replaced them and the first floor ladders were no where near so adaptable.

Added by Murray Beale on 28 August 2011.
Hi there, Sorry im a bit late, just to say that Hook Ladder and escapes in London went in 1985, I know as I was one of the last squads in training school (southwark) to train on Escapes and they told me I would never ride with one on the run when I went to station. Well I rode with one on an old Dennis for a year at the old Leyton fire station as that was the only fire engine the LFB could give us but wasnt fitted out with a 135 ladder gantry, but alas never used one in anger or the Hook Ladder.The Hook Ladder what a confidence builder once you had been trained on them there was hardly no where you would not go, again only did one man one ladder and only put one up a building off the head of an escape the first floor ladder was long gone, twenty three years later I was a line rescue technician absailing down the tower so life goes on. If anyone knows the where abouts of a Hook ladder in good nick I am interested in purchasing one for my Man Pad where it will sit on my wall for posterity.

Added by Bill jones on 24 October 2012.
I saw a video of a rescue at a fire in Paris very recently, where hook ladders were still being used. I later found out that all Paris firefighters are trained on them - but they are a very youthful and extremely physically fit service. These ladders were of course invented in France, to access high floors in buildings where long extension ladders or TLs could not gain access, and in Britain they were originally called "pompier" ladders, the word pompier being French for fireman. The whole idea was that two were used together, so carrying a single ladder on a TL seems a bit counterproduvtive. Perhaps Bill you can take a vacation trip to France to find one!

Added by Rob Johnson on 24 October 2012.
Thanks Rob, I want one like I was trained on and I would imagine the french version would be a slight variation on the theme. the italian ladder has a central stem which the rounds (rungs) are attached to. The wooden hook ladders in the UK had piano forte wire attached running down the strings so should the timber fail the ladder would still be held together. Still will keep my eye out for one, I bet that there is some one out there with one in their garage rotting away.

Added by Bill Jones on 25 October 2012.
Good luck with your search. Its a very good excuse for a nice holiday, if you do decide that a French or Italian hook ladder will do! By the way, when fire departments here in the US still used them, they were the original center rail type - I think this design was favored because it was lighter.

Added by Rob Johnson on 26 October 2012.
Paris firefighters are still routinely performing rescues in courtyard apartment buildings in older sections of the city, at a rate of two or three every month. Every pumper, including the unique pump-ambulance "PS" combo, carries at least one hook ladder, so that a pair are available to the first responding crews at every structure fire in the city. They are all aluminium alloy.

Scaling ladders are still widely used in Germany, Scandinavia and Central Europe, usually in a set
of four - and are also popular in Spain.

In Sweden, some pumpers carry a set of carbon fiber scaling ladders, which are very light and extremely strong, with minimal overlaps so that can reach much higher than the older wood or alloy types...


Added by Rob Johnson on 01 January 2018.
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