On the 18th March, the group were privileged to have been invited to carry the late, Fireman George Bish, on the final part of his life journey.
George, who had served at the old B29 New Cross fire station in SW London at the time that 240FLM was delivered from new, would have ridden the appliance so it was fitting that he should be carried on it one last time.
240FLM and her crew were in attendance to serve as the lead vehicle in the funeral procession of the late, well liked and highly respected Firefighter Steven Bird. Steven was laid to rest in Chingford, North East London following a ceremony which was attended by many of his former colleagues from a number of fire stations in the North and East London areas.
As well as a fine turnout of retired colleagues, Steven was also shown respect from serving staff at Chingford fire station when they paraded outside the station for a 2 minute tribute as the procession halted before continuing to the church.
Steven was carried into the church by a combination of former colleagues, 240FLM crew and funeral staff.
Recently, and at extremely short notice, the group needed some magnetic GLC door crests for an event that we were invited to. We had been lucky enough to obtain 2 original GLC self adhesive crests from the various memorabilia circles but we didn't want to mess around with those so new ones were required.
240FLM was brought into service under the auspices of the former London County Council (LCC) and after only a year, this authority was reconstituted to become the Greater London Council, however, our appliance continued to be in service for a further 16 years under this authority. Currently we have the old LCC crests permanently on the cab doors and will in time replace these following a full respray.
As we stared our hunt for a competent supplier, we were directed towards a chap called Andy Hills who is based in West London and is well known to those preservationists in the South east of England.
Contact was made, the situation explained and without any fuss or drama, the magnetic crests were made, dispatched and in use within 5 working days despite a couple of technical issues. We are delighted with the product and service, especially as Andy keeps his prices well within the industry norm and goes out of his way to be helpful.
The colour reproduced in the images below should be disregarded as the pictures were taken on a camera phone and in flourescent lighting.
The weekend of August 3rd and 4th 2019 saw 240FLM arriving at Odiham in Hampshire for the last ever “Fire Show” to be staged by the staff and friends of Odiham Fire Station.
This event has been running for over 20 years and with the very sad passing of its founder and perpetual organiser, Mick Paull, the decision was made to make this the final show.
Our appliance arrived on Thursday and made its way to its designated spot in amongst an array of beautifully restored former London Fire Brigade, and other appliances. The group of LFB appliances made up by far the largest contingent of vehicles and between them they covered the service period from the 1920’s right through to the 2000’s.
With fine weather expected, the scene was set for a wonderful weekend of static displays, arena demonstrations Turntable Ladder demonstrations, live fire shows, children's water squirts, steamer displays and the familiar smells and sounds of all those side shows one would expect at this type of event.
During the weekend, 240FLM was again a huge draw as she was one of the only two only appliances allowing visitors to actually get on board, a feature of our project that whenever possible, we encourage the public to get up close to our vehicle so that they can fully experience what it was like in its heyday. The 2nd appliance,. a beautiful vintage pump owned by the Paull family provided exhilarating rides for children, and many parents, around the show site all weekend.
Unfortunately, during the Turntable Ladder demonstrations our appliance started to suffer a mechanical/electrical issue which prevented it form carrying out its full range of manoeuvres but nevertheless, she still did the group proud.
Several group members made the journey down to the show to support Colin Farrington who had piloted the appliance all the way from Norfolk and established it at the show and subsequently operated the appliance over the weekend.
A wonderful, very well supported show and a fitting tribute to a lovely man who dedicated his life to vintage and preserved fire appliances and which concluded with a mass demonstration of firefighting jets.
Please note that all images are copyright protected and must not be copied or reproduced without the prior permission of the appropriate photographers and they can be contacted via this group website.
Our grateful thanks go to the following photographers for allowing us to reproduce their work:
Ivan Barefield, Paul Wood, Bryan Jones, Nigel Saunders. Steve Houston and Steve Lomas.
Travelling the 24 miles across Norfolk, 240FLM arrived on Friday the 26th July at Bressingham in East Norfolk in advance of this years event. The traditional " Fish and Chip" run to the Fair Green Fish and Chip Shop for the evening meal!.
With the Friday evening gathering and final organisation completed, the 2 day event opened on Saturday morning with leaden skies but the sun popped out and the day was dry and hugely successful. Bressingham has a vast array of steam attractions and a wonderful museum so there was plenty to see and do.
Firefighting displays were put on and all ages were able to participate. The aerial ap[appliances demonstrated their abilities and the crowds keep coming all weekend.
Make a note for next year as this is an event not to be missed for a family day out.
Please note that all images are copyright the following authors and are not for copying or reproduction without prior permission:
Colin Farrington, " Heritage Snapper", and Norfolk Fire Museum.
240FLM was safely moved from its London base up to the rural pastures of Norfolk for this years Weeting Steam Engine Rally and Country Show. This is the 2nd year we have attended and once again the appliance proved to be a key attraction even though its not steam powered!
A fabulous country event and growing in popularity year on year, this year it was was blessed with wonderful weather and huge crowds who were entertained by the steam giants, animals, crafts and other specialist vehicles,attractions and displays.
This year, we were pleasantly surprised to win the "runner up" place in the judging for best preserved vehicle and
240FLM was used in various displays over the event with many a young person getting drenched from high above!
A wonderful event as ever.
Please note that all images are copyright the following authors and are not for copying or reproduction without prior permission:
Colin Farrington, " Heritage Snapper", Nigel Saunders and Norfolk Fire Museum.
Once again, 240FLM participated in this classic vehicle event with a crew of 4. The day included a stop at one of the original stations where the appliance was based, its old number was K22 Wandsworth but today it is numbered H33 and is located on West Hill in Wandsworth. SW London. The run this year was less troubled by traffic congestion and the appliance performed superbly. On arrival at Madeira Drive in Brighton, It became a well visited appliance by enthusiast and spectators and even the Mayor and her party stopped by. The awards this year went to other beautifully presented vehicles but 240FLM still stood out as a " specialist appliance". Another wonderful run for the old girl was enjoyed by all the crew of Colin Farrington, Paul Wood, Mike West and Steve Houston. On our " moving pictures page" there is a full video review of our involvement.
The waiting was over, the decision made, the funds approved and finally, the majority of the items needing re-plating were off to the factory! Although as a group we had decided from the beginning that 240FLM was not going to be restored to "Concourse" condition, we had always envisaged that she would look at least as good as when she was operational. Items which would detract from that look were always likely to be the shiniest parts and during the restoration it became apparent that the Francis searchlight, which sits very prominently on the cab roof, and the interior grab handles were probably going to be the items most in need of re chroming. As we had reached a suitable point, the hunt began for a company capable fof undertaking this work, which we had assumed would be straightforward. This was a wrong assumption though as most plating companies will not deal with cast brass items, which both the grab handles and blank cap are made of, and the quantity is rather small. It was a relief indeed when we did manage to locate a company near Stevenage in Hertfordshire willing and able to offer a full professional service. The items have now been returned and look fantastic, almost as new, and we look forward to installing them in the new year.
During the course of November, a number of working parties have taken place. The purpose was initially to seek to remove the differential so that a troublesome oil leak could be repaired. However, on the chosen day, an electrical issue meant that we were unable to relocate the appliance from Romford to a pre-agreed location nearby where we could have use of HGV ramps.
Undaunted, the team set about the next task of dealing with the removal of the rear brakes to assess the condition of the linings and other mechanical parts. Over a period of 4 weeks, the small team, working outside in all weathers, removed both sides, and sets, of wheels, brake drums, hubs and seals. A thorough inspection revealed that the hub seals were failing and the brake linings were heavily contaminated so the decision was made to replace all these parts. The brake shoes were relined and new seals installed.
This was an onerous task, made all the more difficult as most of the team are of a more mature age and the weather was not always very kind. However, a very determined and small group of members, led by Colin Farrington and Trevor Barnwell supported by Dave Porter, Steve Houston, Steve Lomas and other supporters got the job done.
With the first, and unexpectedly busy summer now firmly behind us, the team are preparing to get stuck into some much needed winter maintenance on 240FLM. In particular, the differential has developed a leak and Colin, Trevor and Steve Lomas have prepared plans to access it and install new seals and oil with support from other group members.
Other maintenance will include complete renewal of the brake linings and adjustment of the handbrake cable as well as general greasing of the grease points and perhaps an attempt to get the onboard pump working so that 240FLM can once again pump her own water supply to the monitor.
In addition to this, further restoration will carry on and we are hopeful of re installing the communications system between the operator console and head of ladder, bringing the cab to a complete finish ready for next year with the installation of new interior lights, original equipment such as the radio system and all the small gear normally found in the cab of a fire appliance. All the original equipment has now been sourced and restored where necessary and is ready for installation and if at all possible, the final fit of the dozens of rubber treads to the 3 moving extension rounds.
On the exterior, the foot lockers on both sides of the vehicle need final carpentry work such as door shuts and then the refitting of all the small gear brackets and clips, of which there are many! Once this is done, the final painting can take place and then the equipment can be restowed finally.
Recently, we have been very fortunate to have been contacted by retired members of the London Fire Brigade with offers of some very rare items applicable to 240FLM. As well as uniforms etc of the correct period and which will complement our project beautifully, there has also been donations of: 2 original "Certificates of Ownership" to be displayed in the cab window, both have the signatures of the Chief Officers of the LFB at the respective times and each covers a block period of 240FLM's service period. An original and much prized, unused London County Council appliance log book and incredibly, an original mechanical clock, complete with bracket to sit proudly in the vacant space above the centre of the windscreen and a super rare original radio speaker to match the radio pack.
One item of particular historic value has been the gifting of an original 1965 LFB vehicle inventory sheet specifically for this type of appliance. To date, we have had to rely on memory and hearsay but now with the definitive list we can conclude our search for equipment far more rapidly.
A very difficult to find LCC hand Controlled Branch was also gifted to us and after full restoration it is now in its correct colour ready to restow. All of this however is now only possible thanks to the London Fire Brigade for allowing us to keep 240FLM warm and safe back in a London Fire Station and our group members who continue to support both physically where possible and financially likewise this project.
For all of this we are so very grateful because without the generosity of like minded people, the project may well have failed before now at worst or been nowhere near close to completion as we actually are!
After 3 years of collecting and having many items donated, the stores of uniforms, clothing and personal gear are now established at Romford. It was important to have it adjacent to the appliance so that on show days we can easily grab what we need to take with us.
Gary Quinnell and Paul Schedler Davis took 240FLM out for a lovely sunny day at the Dartford Classic Car Show in Kent. On show were a lovely variety of vintage and more modern vehicles although our appliance was the only fire engine on show, this of course meant that she attracted a lot of attention. Another excellent day and more publicity for our project.
240FLM and her crew were absolutely delighted to have been invited to attend one of the best Fire Station open days held in recent years. The organisers had gone to extraordinary lengths to get a broad range of attractions signed up and these included the traditional " wet sponge throwing" at various peoples heads which brought huge amounts of laughter, a wonderful selection of restored fire appliances, some right up to date and operational London Fire Brigade appliances and various side stands depicting the historical and cultural aspects of the Fire Service in London. One vital ingredients was an Ice Cream van which did a roaring trade thanks to the beautiful weather.
240FLM was inundated with children and adults all wanting to experience the inside of a vintage appliance, something that the group are keen to encourage as the vast majority of restored vehicles rarely allow this type of "hands on" approach for obvious reasons which are completely valid and understandable. The owners will have spent many thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours bringing the vehicles back to life and maintaining them and many of the "on board" items are irreplaceable. Alongside the fire appliances there were live action displays, demonstrations of the modern equipment, local suppliers of services and face to face communications with serving and retired London Fire Brigade members. At the conclusion of the event, all the vintage appliances participated in a historic "Turn Out" for a brief drive down the road and back, a real sight to see and it stirred so many memories for so many people. As a group we had a wonderful time. Thankyou.
The last weekend of July and 240FLM had made the journey across country from Warwickshire to the Bressingham Steam Museum near Diss in Norfolk for their annual " Steam rally" .
A fabulous weekend of steam, vintage vehicles, including a range of fire appliances, and other means of transport were on display and several live action displays were put on, some of which included the participation of the Norfolk fire cadets.
Camping was available on site and our crew of Colin Farrington, suitably supported by Steve Houston,took advantage of this option.
During one of these wet displays, 240 did spring a couple of leaks but these can be fairly easily rectified, and, given the amount of miles she has covered, and the amount of pumping undertaken recently, the appliance held up remarkably well. The appliance was eventually returned down to Romford on Monday and a review of the journeys, displays and other vehicle activities has produced a "To Do" list which is not to painful to read!!.
All images are courtesy & copyright of the Norfolk Fire Museum, C Farrington and S Houston and no reproduction is permitted.
240FLM made the long journey out to the British Motor Museum last weekend to participate in the Fire service Preservation group 50th Anniversary rally. The appliance formed both part of the static display and also participated in live practical demonstrations during the weekend. Our particular demonstration was the 1960's to 1990's theme where 240FLM was used as a " water tower", something she was designed and built for as well as rescue operations.
A blisteringly hot weekend was enjoyed by all the group members who travelled out to help support the appliance and Colin, our valiant driver who had transferred the appliance from to and from Romford. A wonderful weekend of nostalgia, meeting and making friends and sharing in the remarkable event.
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With a crew of 3, Steve Lomas, Gary Quinnell and Steve Houston on board, 240FLM attended her first event at a London Fire Station open day on Saturday when she did the short, 30 minute journey to East London to F44 East Ham Fire Station. Gary had been born in East Ham, and the 2 Steve's both know the area well from their Brigade service so it was quite a trip down memory lane for them.
A lovely day was spent entertaining the visitors and the "on call" crews put on an excellent demonstration of vehicle extrication and cutting despite the intense hot weather.
The appliance, although breathing hard in the sunshine, performed as expected and the return trip was made that evening ready for the very next day where a group of members from the " Fire Brigade Society" were starting their London tour at F38 Romford, home of 240FLM. The current PL and our own appliance were brought out into the sunshine for the photo call.
The group were proud to have been invited to attend, and act as a backdrop, to an official London Fire Brigade retirement ceremony held at F21 Stratford Fire Station on Wednesday 20th June 2018.
As it was planned to be an early start, Colin Farrington had relocated the appliance from Romford the night before to be sure of being on site in good time.
240FLM undertook its second "out duty" on the early May bank Holiday Sunday last weekend with its participation in the 2018 London to Brighton Historic Commercial Vehicle Run. This was not the first time that the appliance had done the run from Crystal Palace to Madeira Drive in Brighton but the last time was 1994 so quite a gap between attendances!
The crew of 4, consisting of Colin Farrington, Peter Russell, Paul Wood and Steve Houston, gathered the day before at Romford to transfer the appliance down to its secure overnight parking at the Crystal Palace Park ready for the 0815 start the following morning. During the first part of the journey the crew made a brief stop for photos at the original, first home, of 240FLM at New Cross Fire Station in SE London. The "on duty" watch were delighted to see one of their historic vehicles pull up outside and, for one of our crew members, a unique moment as he had driven our appliance when brand new at New Cross in 1964! A real moment of history.
Once photos had been taken and a brief chat with the station personnel concluded, it was back on the road to the overnight parking at Crystal Palace Park. The crew were staying at a local hotel and had booked an early taxi for the return to the appliance, however, the taxi failed to appear so after some fine diplomacy, the team who had brought a beautiful 1948 single deck coach from the South Yorkshire Transport Museum kindly agreed to give our lads a lift to the park in time for their allotted start so the 0815 time was just met.
Once on the road, the initial journey was quick and untroubled and they headed south to reach the 1/2 way stop at the George Hotel near Crawley.
This was a welcome break given the rising temperature on this beautiful day and the stop also allowed plenty of local visitors and supporters of the run to get a close look at 240FLM and take pictures before the crew were back on board and moving again.
Sadly, the smooth journey was about to come to a halt near the notorious " Pease Pottage" Boot sale venue where the combination of boot sale visitors, historic vehicle and their supporters and holiday makers all came to meet and create a 90 minute delay with static traffic for most of it. Not to be daunted, the crew reverted to old school local knowledge and took to the country lanes, not necessarily something to be done to often with a vehicle of this size and age, but nevertheless, better than sitting any longer being cooked in the cab next to a 6 cylinder diesel! Once out of the traffic chaos, the run down into Brighton was smooth and the lads arrived at their allotted position at just about 13.45.
Once parked up in the midst of several other fire appliances, lunch was happily devoured, obviously fish and chips, and the afternoon judging commenced. visitors and supporters flocked to see the vast array of vehicles of all types, sizes and ages and even the Mayor of Brighton took a shine to our old girl.
As the afternoon closed, the final judging result was announced and to everyone's surprise, we were awarded 2nd place in the Fire Engine class, this is a wonderful vindication and regard for all the hard work put in by the restoration team over the last 3 years. Even though the appliance still has much to be done to it, this award has served to inspire us to push even harder so that by this time next year, we may well be in a position to take first place!
As the sun began to set, it was time to head off back up the A23 to North East London, to Romford, and base for 240FLM.
The journey back was uneventful, but long, and our sole driver did a fantastic job under very tiring conditions, especially as once the appliance was safely home, the crew still had the long drive back to their own homes, some of these journeys were over a hundred miles so a huge but rewarding effort and the whole 240 FLM Preservation Group are proud of their achievements.
The day finally arrived when all our efforts over the last 3 1/2 years were put on display to the public.
240FLM was being used to transport the late Station Officer William " darkie" Knight (C24 Whitechapel Red Watch. London Fire Brigade.) from the funeral directors on the Bromley Road SE6 to Hither Green Crematorium.
The assembled crew of Paul Wood, Steve Houston, Colin Farrington and Pete Weight had met at Romford Fire Station, The home of 240FLM, and headed off down the A12 via the Blackwall Tunnel to Bromley. The journey down was straightforward, once we had decided that Sat Navs were not always right, and we arrived in plenty of time for local residents and passers by to come and have a look, take pictures, and generally show a great deal of interest.
Equally interested were the staff from the funeral directors, Francis Chappell & Sons, who welcomed us with cups of tea which was a nice gesture much appreciated.
Transfer of the coffin was to take place outside the Funeral Directors and this was a tense moment being our first experience of doing this, however, all went smoothly. A last minute decision was made to have two of the crew riding (as is traditional) on the side plates and this added an additional safety level to ensure all was well on the journey as well as looking exactly correct for the family and assembled congregation waiting at the crematorium.
Much discussion had taken place before the final journey about whether or not we could get the appliance close enough to the actual chapel due the regular problem of insufficient parking on site, therefore,a plan was devised in case this was the situation. However, on arrival, Colin skilfully manoeuvred the ladders down the very narrow road and positioned the appliance exactly where it was meant to be.
The family, friends and ex colleagues were very grateful for our efforts and professionalism and I think we as a small team were also proud of what we had achieved as " First Timers".
Thanks to Paul Wood for getting some sensitive images which of course remain copyright protected to him,no reproduction is permitted without express authority being granted.
On Tuesday 1st May, at 13.30, 240FLM will undertake its first "Out duty" and Public engagement. The appliance has been requested to participate in the funeral of the late, Station Officer, William " Darkie" Knight at Hither Green crematorium, London SE6.
We are honoured to have been approached to conduct the last ride for this highly respected fireman who served much of his career at C24 Whitechapel during the 1960's.
The appliance will be travelling from Romford to Hither Green during the morning via the A12, Blackwall Tunnel and South Circular and returning the same day so if you see us out and about please give us a wave, or if you are attending the funeral, please come and say hello after the ceremony.
The group are delighted to be able to announce that following an invitation, the Chief Officer & Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Dany Cotton, has agreed to become our new President. She will assume position at the 2018 AGM. She takes over the vacancy left by the sad passing of Bill Butler, former ACO in the London Fire Brigade in 2016.
At last the day had arrived! On Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at exactly 12.00, TL 240FLM returned to the London Fire Brigade at Romford Fire Station in North East London. The three years of endeavour by the small but very dedicated team of restorers ensured that she looked in tip top condition for the event and although suffering a tyre failure on the drive down from Cambridgeshire (a heart stopping moment for Colin Farrington the driver and the accompanying support vehicles driven by Trevor Barnwell and Peter Russell), she continued at a reduced pace but still met her deadline.
Arriving at the newly built Harold Hill Fire Station about 10 minutes from journeys end, the appliance was met by other group members where she was partially “dressed” and crewed by Mike West and Pete Weight wearing appropriate gear for her service period.
The duty watch at Harold Hill generously provided tea and coffee to the guests meeting there as well as the members making up the transport convoy which included Trevor Barnwell and Peter Russell. After a short pit stop, 240FLM resumed her journey to F38 Romford Fire Station which fortunately was only a short distance away.
Arriving at her final destination bang on time, she was met by an enthusiastic collection of group members and representatives of the LFB including Station Manager Colin Digby, Group Commander Paul Hobbs and station personnel from F36 Romford.
The assembled crowd quickly gathered and got “hands on” with 240FLM, questions asked and answered, incidents re-lived, stories told, and tales of fires fought were exchanged and compared.
Before moving her into her new home in the centre bay at Romford, the team got her to work with a brief but memory evoking demonstration and the “click click” of the pawls dropping over the rounds brought smiles to many, because that sound is synonymous with mechanical turntable ladders.
Amongst the visitors on the day were two of the original builders of 240FLM from 1963 at the Merryweather factory in Greenwich, South East London.
Vaughan Turney and Bill Chandler, Vaughan had been involved with the fitting of the wings and other bodywork as well as manufacturing some of the footplates for the jacks and Bill was one of the original fabricators of the actual ladders.
An absolute privileged to have them both there for this historic occasion.
Bill (Left) and Vaughan share a tale or two.
Once the photos had been taken in the rear yard the appliance was relocated to the front of the station for a curtain call and further photos. Finally she was moved inside where a short presentation was given by group Chairman, Peter Russell, including presenting certificates to some of the restoration team.
The group extends heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Dany Cotton all those involved both during the planning phase and on the day at both Harold Hill and Romford Fire stations. We are indeed fortunate to be given this rare privilege and greatly appreciate what it means both to retirees and serving members of the LFB. A piece of history has been saved and we look forward to being able to share this iconic vehicle with Firefighters both young and old.
Whilst to most sane people, sourcing a " Box Lamp" for our project would be considered quite an innocuous task, however, for those of you who are involved with any form of historic vehicle or equipment restoration, you will appreciate that trying to locate an intact and fair condition item from 50 years ago, and of which not to many hundreds were ever produced, will appreciate just how frustrating, and potentially expensive, it can be.
The group therefore were very excited to learn that one of our keenest supporters, Chris Fooks at JACCS Metal fabrications in Kings Langley, Herts, agreed to let his senior engineer Eddie Pye,make us an identical replica. And so it came to pass that group member, Jez Lambley from Milton Keynes, supplied an original item to use as a template to ensure authenticity and this in turn was delivered to JACCS.
A few weeks passed and eventually, group member Mike West, who had skillfully acted as the intermediary, arrived at JACCS and was met by Eddie Pye waiting with a superb replica lamp. This small and insignificant item has now all but completed the search for equipment to fully re stow the appliance, and to that end, we are incredibly grateful to Chris & Eddie for ensuring the empty space in the new foot locker is duly filled.
Whilst we still need to complete the lamp with a switch, bulb holder and glass dome, the hard work has been done by a wonderfully skilled team of traditional metalworkers.
Thankyou Chris for allowing your team to do this for us.
The group are pleased to announce that following an approach to Dany Cotton, the Commissioner (Chief Officer) of the London Fire Brigade, approval, has been given for 240FLM to resume her proud position in an LFB station appliance room. After some discussion, it was agreed that she could reside in the centre bay at F38 (L24) Romford fire station located in Pettits lane North, Havering.
The date of the move is not yet set as certain minimum requirements have to be met, however, these are in hand and the relocation from Cambridgeshire should take place fairly soon.
Site meetings have taken place at Romford with the Station Commander and the “on duty” watches and with introductions made the majority of any potential issues have been resolved. Working parties are now being established throughout September to try to get the re-cabling of the ladders completed and the cab interior further along to completion.
It is without doubt a great weight of the minds of the committee, and indeed the whole group, as the current storage facilities are likely to be lost at any time and this would potentially have undone almost 3 years of hard dedicated work, to that end, we are sincerely grateful to Dany Cotton for responding so positively to our request and the crews at Romford for welcoming us.
As soon as the move date is established, it will be announced on this website and the 2 Facebook group pages. In the meantime, those of you requiring more information, please get in touch via the “Contact” page on the group website.
5th September 2017.