Today, a small crew travelled the short distance to F41 Dagenham Fire Station to introduce 240FLM to the latest addition to the London Fire Brigades fleet of arial appliances. The latest incarnation of high reach Turntable Ladders. produced for the Brigade by Scania/Magirus with final prep by Emergency 1 in the UK, the 32 metre reach TL is currently on the run until the station receives the extra height, 64 metre reach version.
This appliance has come about as a direct result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2016. Whilst 240FLM is now an antique in terms of the technology, she carried herself with distinction on the day with a half height extension of about 18 metres at 65 degrees alongside the new variant which barely touched its full capability.
This event was only made possible with the wonderful co-operation of the officers and crews at Dagenham and followed strict social distancing guidelines and temperature checks before arrival by our team.
Please note the photographs are strictly copyright of 240FLM/Paul Wood and must not be copied or reproduced with direct permission from the group.
Once again, the group were delighted to be invited back to Southend Airport in support of a similarly minded group of individuals who are putting their efforts into saving and restoring the last surviving running Vulcan Bomber, XL426. Each year the Vulcan Bomber Trust have open days where members of the public can come along and get up very close to the huge aircraft and be entertained and educated about its history and many stories of its operational service. Our appliance is of course dwarfed by the huge body of the aircraft, but along with a small selection of other emergency vehicles and WW2 re-enactors, the event is gaining momentum and were were pleased to be able to lend our support.
After 5 years, our Chairman Peter Russell has decided its time to stow his firegear away and take a well earned rest from his " Chairman's" role in our group. Peter, and his lovely wife, Julia, were instrumental in getting our group off the ground right from the very first suggestion of 240FLM being purchased and restored.
Between them, they established contact with the seller of the appliance, organised the coming together of the early founder members, provided a venue for our first meeting, formulated the committee and its early steps to being the organisation that it is today, and ,notwithstanding that effort, they then generously provided the appliance with its first home in their back garden in Cambridgeshire!.
Without this home, we would not have been able to even contemplate purchasing the vehicle let alone undertaking any form of restoration. From late 2014 right up to the day the vehicle let Cambridgeshire and made its way " Home" to the LFB at Romford on November 22nd 2017, Peter & Julia always had their door open to us to undertake the work needed to get the appliance restored and whoever visited was always handed a fine sandwich or hot soup and always plenty of tea.
Peter continued with his duties by making invaluable contacts within the current hierarchy of the LFB, and in doing so enabled our President, Dany Cotton to become aware of who we were and what we were trying to achieve.
It is not unreasonable to state that without Peter & Julia, our group would not exist. Thankyou from all your friends and fellow members.
Our group were absolutely delighted to have been invited to support the celebration of 100 year old former F22 Poplar fireman, Ernie Cock as he celebrated his centenary. The crews at F57 Harold Hill Fire Station laid on a special surprise for him at his home, which is on their ground, and even presented him with his own LFB shirt. Ernie had served from 1946 to 1976. A fine innings we think.
The group were proud to have been asked to accompany the late Doug Hayward, aged 74, on his last journey today. Doug had served his last duty at C24 Whitechapel following his career in the LFB both as an operational fireman and officer then at Southwark Training School as an Instructor.
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.