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Reading & Berkshire Fire brigade Caversham Road
Fire Engine Photos
No: 5767   Contributor: Chris Whitton   Year: 1972   Manufacturers: AEC, Dennis   Country: United Kingdom
Reading & Berkshire Fire brigade Caversham Road

Reading & Berkshire, Caversham Rd line-up, Dennis W/E FMO 635, AEC TL PRX 62 & 3 BBL taken early 70's.
If anyone can shed any light on the whereabouts of these machines or any further history i would be grateful.
I do know that the sister engine to BBL also served with Reading at Dee Rd.
To me this photo is the hey day of British manufacturing when Fire Engines looked special.
Picture added on 14 January 2008
add commentComments:
Chris, not only the UK, I would say right across the World! I don't know if it was you that captured this picture and really it doesn't matter, the fact is this is one fabulous time capsule of an era long gone that us old-timers still dream and talk about constantly, , , , Well done mate, excellent stuff!

Added by Pavel - Western Australia on 14 January 2008.
What a fantastic photo, agree 100% all british applianceson a night time turn out.
Fantastic photo, thank you so much for sharing this. John.

Added by John Johnstone on 14 January 2008.
thats a great pic....

Added by Pete on 14 January 2008.
Fmo 635 was preserved and to the very best of my knowledge, still is. 3 bbl was last seen intact, privately owned, though not so far as can be seen from the photograph I have(origins unknown)as a fire appliance. it was re-registered mfo 813. I believe - though am unable to conmfirm - that prx 62 was also preserved.

Added by Ian Moore on 14 January 2008.
Fmo 635 was once owned by me and now lives in edinbourgh.
i owned it for a year and was acquired from the back of the fire station at Mortimer near reading.
its in excellent condition picture's are on the site of it at an event that I took it too

Added by Jason on 14 January 2008.
Fao ian m - ian thank you for your info, would it be possible to see a photo of bbl.
i will be posting some photos of fmo whilst at mortimer prior to jason taking her.
the photo was my prize possession that I kept under raps for a while, glad I have shared it!

Added by Chris Whitton on 14 January 2008.
Fao: chris w. i'm reluctant to post the shot of 3 bbb as mfo 813 since it's not my copyright. could you drop me a line direct please.

Added by Ian Moore on 15 January 2008.
Chris, iv'e found a very old picture of PRX 62, the AEC/Merryweather Turntable that was stationed at Caversham Road, it was taken many years ago when it was in presevation.I can't be sure if its still around today though but its a nice picture so will post for you in due course.
Added by Pete Matten.

Added by Pete Matten on 15 January 2008.
Fao ian m, if you email me direct on whitton2005@aol.com that would be great.

Added by Chris Whitton on 15 January 2008.
Chris - I have posted a photo of FMO 635 taken last year, it is very much alive and well and in speaking with the owner is currently undergoing more restoration work. Currently located near Inveraray in Scotland.

Added by Ricky on 15 January 2008.
Chris

Would you believe it, MFO 813 has appeared on ebay today somewhere in in Colchester !

Added by Ricky Newton on 16 January 2008.
I also have this picture for several years now and MFO813 formaly 3BBL she sadly had all fire equipment removed before my purchase I used her as a showmans tractor with a generater in the back where water tank was. she is now just for sale on Ebay trucks section where you will find up to date pics of her as I now no longer use it and althought I had hoped to keep her for just rallys and shows I am just too busy and so she has to go I would enter a picture here but dont know how.PS there was not a sister engine she was the only AEC of that type made by Carmicheals.

Added by John Morley on 17 January 2008.
Yes it's item number 140199441270

Added by John Draysey on 17 January 2008.
Just a little info which may throw a light on above :-
1. Special Unit ( b.a., foam, salvage, Control.) XJB 999 was on a AEC chassis and orignally stationed at Caversham rd.
2. W R L. 2 BBL a Commer (petrol) originally stationed at Maidenhead was purchased at the same time as 3BBL. the then Transport Officer A.D.O.(Jet) Warren was evaluating fuel consumption, performance etc.
regards alan.j.

Added by alan jones on 17 January 2008.
Mfo 813 formerly 3bbl was entered in the auction on 26th October 2008 at carters yard in maidenhead www.cartersentertaiments.com hope this helps to keep the situation updated.

Added by Rick Loudon on 23 November 2008.
As an artist and liveing in Reading i have fond memories of this fire engine,as my father was stationed at Caversham during the early 50's and has often spoken to me about his time as a fireman. My current painting is of this fire engine from the period my father spent at Caversham. Using colour photos my father has, and referance material from books i am building up a picture of FMO at Caversham. Seeing your photo from the 70's i see that the doors are wooden, would these same doors have been around the 1950's to aunthicate my period painting.

Added by Morryce Maddams on 17 June 2010.
Morryce,
The doors of the appliance room at STN 1 Caversham Rd were definitely wooden front and rear.They were made of teak with glass panels which started about 1m from floor level.
All the metal hardware i.e.internal handles were made of brass and i am sure he will remember polishing these as part of his "boiler duties" whilst on station routines.
Your father would have served with Brian Whitfield and Ron Tyler who have now sadly passed on.
Your family name is known to me as i beleive I met your father in the past.
I began my career at Caversham rd in 1962.

Added by Alan Jones.ex Berkshirea on 18 June 2010.
What a great photo. Brings back a lot of good memories for me. My Dad (Jim Davis) was a fireman for 15 years in Berkshire. He was mainly at 3 tones station. I have been on all the above appliances. As a child I was on FMO in the Woodley carnival and also was involed with carol singing around the woodley area for the Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund. Good times. Alan, I know the name Brian Whitfield so you may may know my father?

Added by Paul Davis on 16 July 2011.
Paul,
I knew your dad very well, he was on White watch I was on Red at both Stn, s 1&2 at about the same time.Remember the carol singing and Woodley well, happy days!
FMO 635 is preserved in Scotland and 3 BBL was recently seen at Woodcote Steam rally, PRX 62 I have been trying to find its whereabouts.
My regards to your Dad(Jim Boy)who I have not seen for many years as I now live in West Sussex on the coast.
Regards Alan.J.

Added by Alan Jones ex Berkshire on 20 July 2011.
Well ! What a photo. I drove all of those appliances when at Caversham Road in '67. And brassoed the door furniture, a lot, under direction of Stn O Wharlow

Added by Peter Russell on 21 September 2011.
Peter,
Caversham Rd now run a 1 Wrl switch manning a Water/fire rescue boat and an Animal rescue unit, there are three other stations in Reading now, how times change. I was on the Red under Stn O Fenwick when you were there, where did you end up.

Added by Alan Jones on 23 September 2011.
Lovely to see this picture. My dad was stationed at Caversham Road in the mid 70s to 80s before moving to Dee Road then up to Lincolnshire. Used to go on all the engines photographed and enjoyed many occasions at the station itself. My dad sadly died recently but he was always proud of his time there. His name was John Fowler if anyone remembers him.

Added by Elaine Burton on 22 March 2013.
Stationed at Slough and Langley for 20 years, I knew all of these machines. The only additional info I have is that 3BBL must have been scrapped, as this reg. no. is now on a hearse in Lancashire. Glad to see that old duffer Alan Jones is alive and kicking, how are you mate?

Added by Keith Wells ex Berkshire on 05 June 2013.
3BBL (Now MFO 813) survives as a showmans tractor and was sold on ebay in the last month

Added by Rick Loudon on 05 June 2013.
3BBL is alive albeit re-registered and now a showman's tractor

Added by Adey Allison on 05 June 2013.
Chris, I have this photograph hanging on my wall, it was taken by a Reading Chronically reporter named Neil Lofthouse. I know this because I was the driver of 3 BBL or lovingly called Telstar. The other drivers were Alf Budgen, Brian Chaplin. Alf presented this photo to me when I got married, I believe I may still have one of the door shields. Please feel free to email me for more info. I served from1969 to 1976.my father served during the war

Added by Robert.roberts999@btinternet.com on 17 October 2014.
There's some photos of TL PRX 62 on flickr taken in Oct 2014, appears complete but in need of restoration.

Added by John D on 29 November 2014.
Inspiring picture. I have been compiling a fleet list of BRFB vehicles, listing chassis, service type, equipment, station, dates in and out of service, etc. together with images where possible. I would like to share this task and pool info to get an accurate and comprehensive fleet list together. Any others who might be similarly interested?

Added by Chris Vaughan on 25 November 2016.
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