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Fire Engines Photos

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Period picture of York Dennis Big 6
Fire Engine Photos
No: 2404   Contributor: Mark Loudon   Year: 1940   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: United Kingdom
Period picture of York Dennis Big 6

This picture was taken some time early in the war pre August 1941 due to the use of the AFS rather than NFS on the side of the following towing cars
Picture added on 11 March 2007
add commentComments:
Great picture man I've been searching this site for pictures like this.

Added by Andy on 13 June 2009.
Terrific picture - it has captured an important time in British Fire-Fighting; when All-Out War made a need for all kinds of volunteers, and equipment to be enlisted and trained up, for war service. In this case, Firefighting.

I have faith that one of our Knowledgable Readers will place this location, and the Dennis Pump VY 5445.

Um, the ,er, rainy day could perhaps help....British Isles, maybe ?!

Obviously a parade, through a town, for the AFS Crews and apparatus. The Dennis has the "Black-out" head-lights, but looks to be still in her peace-time paint, as maybe are the towing cars.

Did the gray paint-scheme come in, with the National Fire Service ?

Good view of the sedan cars converted to fire engines - with the towing hitch and trailer-pump,
ladder-rack and ladders on the roof, hoses; and the crew wedged into the car.

At war's end, they would have all been stripped and reverted to their peacetime occupations, especially with the great shortage of cars - automotive production having been stopped and converted to war-production for the 6 years...
some were Taxicabs.

For my North American colleagues, imagine clanging off to a major fire-scene, in a hack.... I don't 'spose the meter would have been ticking
(<;}

Which makes this photo all the more valuable.

'Nuff from me, in Canada,
Regards, Pat_R-B



Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 15 June 2009.
Thanks for this Mark, Pats said it all really. As for location, VY I think is North Riding and I think thats the Minster behind on the right.

Added by John Stott on 15 June 2009.
Couple of things to note of interest in this particular picture,first,note the Fordson in the NFS grey livery in the convoy which shows the photo as being after August 1941 when the NFS was formed.The other thing I noticed is that the leading pump escape still has the wording of the brigade on its side(which looks like York?)which at sometime during this period was discontinued for security.All local authority appliances from when the NFS was formed became then part of the National Fire Service.With some vehicles having still the markings of the AFS,this puts the date of this picture as being 1941.

Added by Pete Matten on 15 June 2009.
Not far off John Stott, she's on lendal bridge in the cenre of York, the camera man has his back to the minster, rear l/h of pic is the railway offices on station rise, bar walls to the rear right and war memoiral in centre back of pic .

Just to clarify, she was heading out of town towards the Bootham / Minster area of York.

Added by John Johnstone on 15 June 2009.
i think this is york as john has said, it could be the lord mayors walk, with monk bar at the very back of the pic

Added by Ian Mac on 15 June 2009.
Hi Gents. There is a copy of this photo in York fire station, I also have a copy at home, its a great picture. John the reg letters VY were the old City of York letters when there was a vehicle licencing office in the City in Petergate (Sorry to be picky) The photo was taken from Lendal Bridge looking towards the Railway station. The large building to the left is the old railway headquarters (I think old GNER) The War Memorial is in the centre, and to the right behind the escape ladder is the City walls (The Bar Walls)The big building through the trees on the right is the Royal York Hotel next to the Railway station.Paul.

Added by Paul Warnock on 15 June 2009.
Thanks John and Paul, my dad said the VY was North Riding ( lets me off!) As for location, well its the true capitol of England, nuff sed?

Added by John Stott on 16 June 2009.
it sure should be John !

VY, BT & DN were the regestrations issued to York, DN being the 1st, hence the lord mayor's car carries the plate DN1, and a mobile police office carries AJ1, AJ being a North Yorks regestation .

Added by John Johnstone on 16 June 2009.
Thanks John, I told dad he was wrong and he muttered summat about folks from York being posh! Asked him what he meant and he said only a true Dalesman would understand, the AFS really affected him!!lol!

Added by John Stott on 16 June 2009.
Hehe, sounds like a TRUE Yorkshireman, nowt wrong with that !

AJ1 used to be on the head of North Yorks un-marked Police car ( a Volvo ), got a shock when i saw it on a 7.5 ton Ford cargo, just doesn't seem right .....

Added by John Johnstone on 16 June 2009.
Yeah I know what you mean! as bad as ADO 1, wont mention the brigade, he might read this!

Added by John Stott on 17 June 2009.
Never realised AJ1 was a police car at 1st, black un-marked Volvo, i was crossing the road and it nearly took my legs out ! i , as you do gave the driver the Finger, he pulled over and asked if i knew who was in the rear of the car, i said, well not the pope or queen so why should i give a ---- ?

Driver got back in and drove off, sadly, the officer in the back got the finger too, well, be rude not too !

Added by John Johnstone on 17 June 2009.
AJ and VN were North Riding Issues
DN and VY were York numbers
BT was an East Riding issue until 1975-then passed to York LVLO

Added by David Hick on 03 December 2009.
The cars look very American, and these were quite popular with the AFS because they were relatively spacious and powerful. Can anyone identify what makes they are? I think the front one is an Oldsmobile, but .....

Added by Rob Johnson on 01 September 2013.
The Fordson heavy unit in the background will have been delivered in grey as were all the Home Office issued appliances, possibly pre war. This may have been a recruiting drive for the AFS. The helmets say pre Aug 41 when the service was nationalized.

Added by Neal Glover on 02 September 2013.
Neal: They may indeed have been recruiting, but these appliances don't look too short staffed!

Added by Rob Johnson on 23 October 2018.
This is Chassis No:7646, supplied 24/7/1934, fitted with Dennis No 3 Pump.

Added by M.West on 30 October 2018.
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