Its always the final details that take the most time and, with our project, that is very true. A series of working party days have taken place recently and real progress continues to be made. the final few elements that need painting are now either completed or in progress.
The most significant item is the operators control consul on the nearside rear of the appliance and at which the operator sits to control all aspects of the ladders when in use. This on first appearance was in overall good exterior condition, however, once the sandpaper came out, it was clear that nothing less than a full respray would be required. We hadn't really anticipated this so it has somewhat slowed our progress but it would be foolish to ignore it after getting this far. It hasn't helped that it is made of 2 different metals whcih each require a different paint appraoch so a real time taker has popped up.
Most of the consul internal workings had been refurbished or replaced over the last 5 years including the communications system between the consul and head of ladder, the rotating tapes on the instruments that display all the vital information such as extension and angle of pitch have been replaced and the whole mechanism serviced. the final part is the replacement of the 2 small bulbs at the top which illuminate the panel at nightime, these are now being replaced with modern LED of the correct colour temperature to replicate the original bicycle lamp style bulbs and screw holders that are utterly rotten!
The dozens of aluminium and steel trims and extrusions are still being hand cleaned and reattached all around the appliance and real dedication for this has been required as its an onerous task. Final hand painting of all the door "shuts" and door leading and trailing edges is in progress so that the whole vehicle is finally, after 30 years , all the same and correct colour.
The hose ramp frame on the top of the pump housing has now been repainted to the correct colour and reinstated which just leaves the retaining straps and brackets to paint and refit.
All of the above has resulted in an unexpexted delay in putting the appliance " on the run" again but we feel that by the end of next week we should be able to resume some duties.
Finally, when the 6 appliances in the ordered batch were initially supplied to the Brigade in April 1964, they were given sequential fleet numbers from 237FLM getting 37TL through to 242FLM getting 42TL, later on, this was altered to TLP ( 40TLP as an example) to indicate the appliance carried an onboard pump and finally, much later in its service, the LFB applied a new set of fleet numbers throughout and 240FLM finally became TL23P. Our decisions have always been based on first issue so it was fitting that we finally reinstated its 40TL fleet number and a repainted Merryweather rear badge.
We would courteously remind you that the images here are all copyright protected to Pete Weight and Dave Porter and we appreciate your support in not using them for reproduction,hire, rental or gain without our express permission. many thanks as ever.