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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 61 - Autumn / Winter 1986 / 87

Fifty Years of Firefighting

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Aerial view of the Rally. Picture taken by the intrepid Rebecca Bradbury from the escape ladder.

On 21st September, Buckinghamshire Railway Centre was host to more than 25 fire engines, their ages spanning fifty years of fire fighting. It was the first time we had hosted such a collection and the event was a great success, one on which we will be building next year.

Nearly all the vehicles taking part were privately owned, the oldest being a 1938 Leyland pump built for Caerphilly Urban District Council. Others dated from the war years (including some National Fire Service machines in grey livery), the 1950s and 1960s, having served with brigades in Wales, the Midlands, Scotland, East Anglia and Cornwall.

A special and very popular feature of the Rally was the practical demonstrations involving engines from the 'thirties, 'fifties and war-time era. Crews dressed in authentic period uniforms tackled a variety of blazes and even a mock air-raid, creating a noisy, colourful and rivetting spectacle.

Another attraction was a display of over 100 fire engine models covering a period from 1740 to 1986, while parked on the station forecourt was a vintage 80-foot escape ladder, from where Rebecca Bradbury took the photograph above! She was actually taking a break(!) from firing Pannier 9466 in the up yard, but we will refrain from repeating any of the various terrible puns she had to put up with afterwards. And, yes, we did have firemen of both sorts on our steam engines that day!

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1987 and so does not reflect events in the 27+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Fifty Years of Firefighting - Quainton News No. 61 - Autumn / Winter 1986 / 87

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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