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Dennis F8 Pump Leed city Fire brigade
Fire Engine Photos
No: 18001   Contributor: Graham Willey   Year: 2009   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: United Kingdom
Dennis F8 Pump Leed city Fire brigade

Dennis F8 Pump Leeds City Fire Brigade (Now Preserved). Photo taken at Preston Hall Fire Engine Rally June 2009. I remember this F8 being stationed at the old Park Street Fire Station in Leeds about 1968. I spent an afternoon looking round the station in 1968; the station had a blazing open coal fire at the back of the appliance room. No health & safety then!
Picture added on 01 July 2009 at 21:16
add commentComments:
I'm trying to find thecurrent owner of this appliance. I sold it to him in the late 80's from a Chemical company and had this and her sister F12 appliance at my wedding. His name was Andrew but can't remember his surname. Anyone out there know?

Added by Trev Dobson on 31 August 2010.
Trevor, according to the 2009 Souvenir Programme from Preston Hall, this 1953 Dennis F8 is owned by a A.D.Lee(Andrew?)from Lincoln.Is that any help?.

Added by Pete Matten on 31 August 2010.
Andy Lee still owns the appliance and regained posession of the F12 about 3 years ago.

Added by Neal Glover on 31 August 2010.
Hi Neal

Sorry to confuse you Mark bought the appliance and Andy is currently custodian of YUM 513


Added by Rick Loudon on 31 August 2010.
Thank you all for your help it is very much appreciated.

Added by Trev Dobson on 01 September 2010.
Hi Graham
This F8 was one of two such Pumps stationed at Park Street when I joined in 1963. Believe it was purchased by Leeds City Fire Brigade around 1954. I remember after passing the Red Machine driving test in 1965 taking this to several fires until around 1970.
It had a 'reverse' gearbox with first and second on the right and third and fourth on the left unlike normal gearboxes. The driving seat was positioned off centre to the steering wheel and was easier after double-clutch to hit fourth gear using ones left elbow! Certainly not driver friendly!

Added by Colin Dyson on 31 December 2010.
In total, Leeds had five of these F8 jobs - RUM 966-970.

Added by Ian Moore on 01 January 2011.
This brings back many memories of my time at Park St. Leeds from 1968 to1973 and some of the charachters on White Watch under S.O. George Shaw, Arthur Bryan, Eric Buckle, with John & Eric Franklin, Ken Noble, Dinger Bell, Fred Metcalfe, Dennis Waterland, Dave Kellett, Dave Simpson to name but a few!

Added by Dave (sammy) Hall on 18 August 2012.
Wow guys, this machine realy brings back some fantastic memories of hunslet fire station and our pump RUM 969. I started in 1969 on red watch with stn o bradburn and sub o Eric Gledhill.
Brian peaches Jackson passed me out as a driver on this pump.Oh happy days

Added by Ex Fm 955 Dave Robinson [red Robbo ] on 01 June 2013.
I attended a few fires on this appliance in 1968/69 with Terry Wrighton, "Sooty"Dyson, Dave Rowell, Agid, L/F Frampton, S/O Dobson, Clarky, Barry Goddard, Simmo, & all of blue watch at Park St. Leeds.

Added by G Smith on 21 January 2014.
Oh the memories! I joined Blue Watch at Bramley in February 1968 under Sub Ofr Wally Veitch, we had a Major Pump and Pump Escape, both Dennis. Became a driver in 1970 and eventually transferred to Dewsbury Road in 1972. I remember many names from the above posts even though I left in 1973 to come to Australia.

Added by Terry Sheard on 11 October 2016.
Would love to hear from any ex Leeds City Fire Brigade members, especially from the late 60's early 70's. Reach me via Facebook. Terry Sheard (No. 933)

Added by Terry Sheard on 18 October 2016.
I was at Stanningly Road (Western Stn) for a couple of years, 65 - 67, there was an F8 there alongside a Dennis PE and a Leyland Merryweather TL. Access to the crew cab was unusual on the F8 I recall, used to mount the appliance at the rear and shuffle along the appliance to a narrow set of sliding doors into the crew cab. In decent weather didn't bother with the cab, sat on what I recall were the water tanks in the open, health and safety??

Added by Malcolm Squires on 06 November 2016.
I,ve just acquired a 1:18 scale model of F8 RUM966, I did see the real life version of same when it was stored at the old Horton Kirby fire station in Kent about 10 years ago, can anyone tell me what the water tank or tanks capacity would be and was RUM966 fitted with the Rolls Royce engine??

Added by Roy Moore on 15 February 2017.
Hi Roy. Yes they had a straight Rolls Royce engine.

Added by Robert Hields on 22 March 2017.
Thanks Robert, I have now acquired a second 1;18 model of RUMM966 and a miniature RR badge for the radiator grille.

Added by on 22 March 2017.
This configuration with rear crew access was indeed quite unusual, and seems unnecessarily difficult. Most F8s had normal rear side doors for the crew members, except of course for the driver and OIC who sat either side of the engine.

This was the RR B60, a 4.25 liter inline six with 120 BHP output, which was quite strong in its day for a vehicle this size and weight.

The standard tank was 200 gallons (910 liters) with the option of a 300 gallon tank, but the configuration of this unit with a center aisle may well have meant that it had a smaller tank capacity.

Several versions were built to different brigade requirements, but tank capacity was limited by the gross weight and the appliance could not carry the 400 gallons to qualify it as a pump water tender.

A rear mounted Dennis No 2 500 GPM pump (2275 liters at 7 AT) was standard. Some units had a single transverse hose reel installed above the pump, others had one on each side. A few carried the "gutbuster" 45 foot (13.5 meter) metal ladder, but a 30 or 35 foot wood extension was much more common.

Because of its short wheelbase and narrow overall width of only 2.1 meters these F8s were very popular with brigades which had to contend with narrow streets and response areas which posed access problems for larger appliances like the F12 and F7 dual purpose pumps.

Added by Rob Johnson on 22 March 2017.
Cheers Rob, much appreciate the very comprehensive facts and fiqures to print out and stay with my models.

Added by on 23 March 2017.
If you look at picture 2305 this is my Dennis F8 with Alfred Miles bodywork...its one of 10 such appliances ordered by Northumberland Fire Brigade..all were designed to JCDD specifications and were A type Water Tenders with a 400 gallon tank but no main fire pump (instead they had two FWMP portable pumps in the rear locker ) ...other brigades such as Shropshire, Durham, Guernsey all had similar appliances with the main fire pump fitted (usually a Dennis) I believe they were also 400 gallon tanks ?

Added by Rick Loudon on 26 March 2017.
Thank you Rick, with the odd walkthrough set up on RUM966 etc obviously a standard tank was, nt an option, nice photo of your F8.

Added by on 04 April 2017.
Rick - the Miles light alloy framing and bodywork may have enabled brigades to squeeze both a 400 gallon tank and a No 2 pump on the F8 chassis, but the classic F8 from Dennis topped out at 300.

Added by Rob Johnson on 04 April 2017.
It occurred to me that the famous Derbyshire "classic" F8s with the transverse tank might have been over 300 gallons, but they too could not handle a full 400.

Added by Rob Johnson on 04 April 2017.
Hmm Rob the Miles bodied Dennis F8 isn't a classic ??...perhaps you meant the 'standard F8 from Dennis' ?

Notwithstanding that, the fact is mine is a Dennis F8 Water Tender nonetheless !

Added by Rick Loudon on 05 April 2017.
Hmmm the Miles bodied F8 is not a classic ?...perhaps you should have said 'standard bodied F8 from Dennis'?

Added by Rick Loudon on 06 April 2017.
For a positive spin, let's agree the Miles F8 with a full JCDD B type specification could perhaps do what the old F8 could not! So it was an improvement on the original, even if it did lose its front doors...

But I do recall that Miles built an awful lot of Bedford water tenders that looked very much the same as the F8 one, while the original F8 was a pretty unique concept!

If classic means original, it was the classic!

Added by Rob Johnson on 06 April 2017.
The difference being, the Dennis was a purpose built chassis whereas the Bedford was a mass produced lorry chassis. The Miles body was an off the shelf design whereas the Dennis was tailor made and bespoke. You pays tour money and takes your choice.

Added by Neal Glover on 07 April 2017.
Hi Roy The Leeds Dennis Major Pumps had two 40 gallon water tanks sited beneath the bench seats either side of the centre aisle. I started on Blue Watch Bramley in 1964 and have fond memories of the old Dennis's they don't make appliances like them anymore.

Added by Bob Alderson on 30 May 2017.
Hello Guys - Regarding the "Derbyshire" configuration for the Dennis F8, Dennis's own publicity ("Fire" magazine March 1953) states a tank capacity of 250g. This was achieved by mounting the tank transversely and sacrificing only a very small amount of locker space. For pictures see nos 8362 and 25255.

Added by Royce Treacher on 02 June 2017.
Bob - thanks for demystifying the Leeds F8 configuration!

I think these must have been unique, because it seems other brigades were quite happy with the more commonplace variants of the Dennis bodied F8...

At the time, the Home Office JCDD specification called for a 500 GPM pump and an 80 gallon tank, exactly like these Leeds F8s. Dual purpose appliances were required to carry 100 gallons and water tenders 400.

So the standard F8 with either 200 or 300 gallons was, as they say in Yorkshire, "neither nowt nor summat", but still quite a popular choice, particularly with urban brigades who wanted more compact units.

At least until the Miles-bodied F8 showed up later, with a lighter body structure permitting the installation of a full 400 gallon tank to bring it up to HO approved water tender status. (As Rick so helpfully pointed out - thanks!)

Added by Rob Johnson on 02 June 2017.
Leeds City fire brigade had to take into account the tramway system still in place. When it was introduced it was acknowledged as one of the best in the world. However, smaller machines were favoured to enable fast access around town centre. The city centre had a complex of about 80 huge underground fire tanks, so water was never a problem. Also Leeds has a number of quite steep hills as the city is predominantly in a huge "bowl" so weight was a factor to be born in mind. The trams disappeared, sadly in 1960 from memory, and the city centre has changed beyond recognition in perimeter areas. Hope this helps. Robert Hields

Added by Robert Hields on 08 June 2017.
Robert - Thanks for your perspective; it does make a lot of sense for Leeds to acquire these F8s!

Do you know if Leeds still has this underground tank system - it reminds me of similar facilities in both San Francisco and many Japanese cities, mainly to help sustain water supplies if and when mains are damaged in earthquakes.

Added by Rob Johnson on 09 June 2017.
I served at Park Street from 1962 to 1968
I remember RUM 970
I also remember Pump Escape 1278 NW
I also remember TL TUA 60?

Added by John Birch on 16 September 2017.
I believe the tanks are still there but probably unknown to the modern service personnel.

Added by Robert Hields on 28 September 2017.
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