Winter home found for 1950s fire engine

1950s Dennis Turntable ladder has found a new home in Alford
1950s Dennis Turntable ladder has found a new home in Alford

A desperate search for a new home in which a 1950s heritage fire appliance could be stored over the winter has met with success.

The turntable ladder started life with the North Eastern Fire Brigade, then Grampian Fire Brigade, before finally being decommissioned in the 1980s as more efficient styles of appliances were needed to meet modern fire fighting standards.

Over the years it’s been shuttled around from home to home, but urgently needed a new base to ensure it could withstand the rigours of an Aberdeenshire winter.

Luckily for The North East Scottish Fire Heritage Trust a suitable spare bay at Alford Fire Station has now been offered by the Scottish Fire and Rescue service following an appeal on BBC Scotland’s news website last week.

The 15-tonne Dennis appliance is about 30ft (9m) long, including the ladder protruding at the front, about 11ft (3.3m) high, and the width of the space also needed to be about 10ft (3m) wide to allow the doors to be opened.

The engine - which has a ladder capable of extending to 100ft (30m) - takes part in many fundraising events around the country.

The North East Scottish Fire Heritage Trust’s Maurice Dodd said: “We had a very positive response to the article.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has a spare bay in Alford Fire Station over winter.

“Aberdeenshire Council is also offering space in Inverurie as we have other large appliances.”

Mr Dodd, who served as a fireman for 44 years, added: “We had offers from as far afield as Paddington Fire Station in London, as well as Fort Augustus in the Highlands, but we are pleased that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are willing to help us out.”

After serving in Aberdeen, the appliance had initially found a home at the transport museum in Alford.

It has latterly been at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s North Anderson Drive site in Aberdeen, but space at that location is now at a premium and only the heritage trust’s two oldest vehicles can now be accommodated.

The team from the Trust will now be busy throughout the winter months carrying out maintenance on their collection of vintage appliances getting them ready for a busy 2019 season which will commence in April.