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Durham County Dennis BL
Fire Engine Photos
No: 30992   Contributor: Martin A. Routledge   Year: 1985   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: United Kingdom
Durham County Dennis BL

Photographed at Teesside rally in 1985. I believe this was stationed at Darlington.
Picture added on 04 January 2012 at 18:45
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Now owned by the good Doctor was new to Darlington Fire Brigade then spent time at Bishop Auckland.......

Added by Barrie Green on 04 January 2012.
Darlington CB specified this unit after the A1(M) Darlington by-pass opened. They were inspired by the rescue crane operated by their twin town in Germany, Muelhiem an der Ruhr, which of course had a crane - just like many other German cities.

Added by Rob Johnson on 11 September 2013.
You are correct what you say....Rob, the chief of Darlington was very generous to a fault, there was no access to the A1M actually in the Darlington area and just a very short stretch of the motorway cut into the Borough...Mr Goulding managed to persuade the committee to my not only this machine but also a very fast Austin Princess ambulance for the motorway despite the fact that the legal requirement to cover the area was with Durham County Fire Brigade, (Darlington was until 1971, a combined fire and ambulance service)

Added by Barrie Green on 11 September 2013.
Darlington Fire Brigade had quite a reputation at different times for innovative thinking, going all the way back to 1930 when they bought one of the first two Dennis enclosed pump appliances ever delivered in the UK. They were also very quick to buy one of the first Snorkels (the only one with a Cummins engine) and of course they bought the first ever Leyland Firemaster TL, good old 999 MHN.

Added by Rob Johnson on 12 September 2013.
I forgot to mention they were also the first UK brigade to paint their helmets yellow, until they were told by the Home Office to revert to black - not long before yellow helmets then became the UK standard!

Added by Rob Johnson on 12 September 2013.
Notice the 2 Cleveland County Fire Brigade Transit vans in the photo to the rear of this Special.. one been a crew bus the other used to tow the 3 caravans used by CCFB..

Added by Dave Todd on 13 September 2013.
Rob, the saga regards the colour of the helmets was not the Home Office, but local reorganisation within Durham County Fire Brigade, I heard an officer ensured these were painted black in the early hours of the 1st April 1974 and as you stated in 1976 the Home Office adopted Yellow as the colour for Junior Ranks across the UK Fire Service, in gloss although Darlington had user a matt Hydrant paint along with the standard white rank markings, where as in 1976 the more easily recognised black was used.

Added by Brett Clayton on 19 September 2013.
I smile with memories of the yellow helmet. On discharge from the air force I went to work in civil aviation, kit was drawn from local county stores. Of course stores always have one size up, or down, never the correct one. My helmet was placed "on order" so I used my old RAF cork Cromwell for a few weeks.
The AFO i/c told me to paint it black as he did not like canaries riding around in his machines. Being a cussed type I painted it half black and told him I had run out of paint. My new helmet, in black, arrived a few days later. Some folk have no humour :)

Added by John Stott on 20 September 2013.

I don't know if you already know this, but your two-tone helmet - though original - was not unique.

To distinguish themselves from their - presumably inferior - engine company colleagues, San Francisco ladder company personnel wear a red and white harlequin check helmet. It too is quite distinctive! "What, you can't ask me to touch one of those nasty fire hose things, I am the axeman..."

Added by Rob Johnson on 31 August 2017.
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