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Historic Commercial Vehicle Society: Fire Appliances

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A Row of Fire Engines

 

1936 Fire Engine
G136 - 1936 Dennis Ace Pump
This vehicle was actually the
Dennis Works own fire engine.

The HCVS divide fire engines - or appliances, as they prefer to call them - into two classes: open cab and enclosed cab. The open cab is the earlier class of vehicle. On the 2006 Run there were 11 appliances altogether, 6 open cab, and 5 enclosed cab. It's quite a sight to see so many lined up in their section of the Drive. Many of the fire appliances turn up with a crew of "firefighters", giving an extra bit of authenticity to the occasion.

Fire engines seem to have a pretty long working life. The winning vehicle in 2006 was G131, a 1914 Dennis, and is a good example. It worked at Coventry for the city fire service for 22 years. It then became a company fire engine for a further 22 years. It was finally bought back by Dennis in 1958 for £35! See the photo below (registration number DU 179). The machine is entirely original apart from having pneumatic tyres, a conversion done in 1936.

Another Dennis on the Run in 2006 was a 1916 machine, built for the London Fire Brigade. It finished its operational life as a company fire engine in 1955, and now belongs to the The Royal College of Science Motor Club, whose students keep it on the road around nine months a year - see photo below.

In fact, most of the machines on display are Dennis, and Dennis continues to this day to build fire appliances (John Dennis Coachbuilders).

 
A Line of Fire Engines
The Ranks of Fire Engines

 

1916 Fire Engine
1916 Dennis built for the London Fire Brigade

 

1914 Fire Engine
G131 DU179 1914 Dennis N type pump/escape
2006 winner in the Open Cab Class
of Fire Appliances

 

In uniform, and taking it easy

 

For more on the HCVS Run, click below
K148, the overall winner
J144, a 1915 bus
L163, a 1911 double deck bus
Fire Appliances
The Outspan Orange Car
Taxis
J134, 1909 Commer car
Southdown bus, reg UF1517
Steam wagons

 

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