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Newbury Bedfords 1965
Fire Engine Photos
No: 30227   Contributor: Royce Treacher   Year: 1965   Manufacturer: Bedford   Country: United Kingdom
Newbury Bedfords 1965

In reply to Alan Jones request for more of Berks and Reading here are shots I took at Newbury in 1965.Here are two Bedford S/Hampshire Car Bodies appliances. The nearest, PWrT/L HRX 305 carries a Merryweather 45'alloy ladder and PWrT GRX 36 carries a 35' Ajax ladder.
Picture added on 10 December 2011 at 13:24
add commentComments:
Royce, Many thanks for putting these on site, my favourite machines, closely followed by the Commers. Incidentally GRX 36 was a Commer Wrt, the Bedford was GRX39. GRX 40 being the Commer Wrt that was burnt out at Five Oaken Hill, Mortimer.

Added by Alan Jones on 11 December 2011.
GRX39 was not a Bedford, It was a Commer Wrt Stationed at Faringdon from 1954.

Added by William Law on 27 April 2012.
Sorry chaps! On closer scrutiny (enlarging the photo) the Bedford WrT in my picture is GRX 38, not 36 as I stated.

Added by Royce Treacher on 28 April 2012.
Thanks for the correction, was this the Commer Wrt/A with a portable pump mounted at the rear linked into the water tank, if so I can remember this one but I thouht it was HRX 409, or was this second pump!?
Were you connected with Stn 19 Faringdon or info on Bershire&Reading Fire Brigade, if so I would welcome any information or Photos you have.
Commer GRX 36 was a reserve at Stn 1 Reading which I crewed and drove but cannot remember its original Stn.
Alan Jones Ex Berkshire 1960-1993

Added by Alan Jones on 28 April 2012.
Regarding Berks & Reading Commer/HCB WrTs with portable pump at rear, linked into tank (described as Type A), I refer you to picture #30229 of mine, taken in the yard at Newbury in 1965, presumably on decommissioning.

Added by Royce Treacher on 29 April 2012.
Thanks for the correct reg no on the WRT, that has answered that query at long last!

The Wrt/ A as described in 30229 went to reserve.

The appliance I refer to in my comment to William was give the nickname "The Faringdon Flyer" by drivers at Stn 1 Reading, for obvious reasons.
Thankyou for your interest and input of Berkshire appliances, an era which means a great deal to me! Please keep them coming?

Alan Jones

Added by Alan Jones on 29 April 2012.
How were the hose reels fed on these Wrt/A ?
The photo of FRX323 appears to have side pump controls was this an escape carrying appliance ?
I have a photo of Frx322 which has NO side controls.
FRX321 was P/C 2nd Machine at Faringdon in 1970 And I am pretty sure it had a rear mounted main pump as well as a LPP. Didn't the main pump have heat exchanger filters which the pump operator had to switch over to take apart and clean ?
As for GRX39 I have a photo which shows a rear mounted pump and I remember this to be a DENNIS 500 Gpm pump.

Added by William Law. on 30 April 2012.
I Did my H.G.V. at Dee Road in 1973, Johny Thursdon my instructor, the Appliance used was a Commer Escape carrier based at C18 Abingdon when on the run , Any Idea of the Reg of this Vehicle?

Added by William Law. on 30 April 2012.
Some machines had a gear type hose reel pump with a five way valve.....many appliances from the 1950/60s had older pumps transplanted onto the new appliances so a Dennis pump could end up in just about anything.

Added by Barrie Green on 01 May 2012.

Your memory of the different appliance types and stations is invaluable.

In answer FRX323 was a Wrt/A with a 5 way valve and plumbed in LPP as described by Barry, I believe some Dennis pumps had been transplanted as he also states, these often came from trailer pumps, quite often ex-wartime.

FRX321 was a Wrt/B as you suggest with the pump filters. As you rightly state GRX39 was again Wrt/B, you should know I bow to your knowledge.

The Commer pump escape you mention was GJB809 originally stationed at A13 Windsor, it carried a 60ft all steel escape ladder which I believe came from Eton College and was purchased by the brigade.

I served with John Thurston who is still alive, I see him at Old Commrades and other functions.

I will reply to your email shortly.



P.S Can you put the photos of the Commers on this site for all to see please?

Added by Alan Jones on 05 May 2012.
I have recently Watched the 1955 Hammer film the Quatermass Experiment, Near the beginning of the film there is an Ambulance it has Bracknel on it and there is an open cab Fire Appliance with what looks like Windsor on it, then along comes a Commer Water tender with the Registration GRX35. It looks like Berkshire and Reading Fire Brigade Maidenhead on the side. has anybody else watched this film and picked this up.

Added by William Law. on 21 August 2015.
In the 1950s and early 60s Darlington had two converted Commer type A water tenders, NHN 999, with Whitson bodywork and RHN 999, with a Carmichael body.

The Whitson had a rotary gear hosereel pump mounted behind the cab, with the side mounted five way valve and control panel behind the left back door, and it had inherited a Gwynne 700 GPM main pump - which was transferred from a prewar Leyland.

The Carmichael had a former AFS Dennis No2 trailer pump PTO driven installation, and in this case it fed the hosereel system too.

The crews preferred this newer setup on the Carmichael, as it made simultaneous and even sequential operation of a hose reel and a hand line easier.

Referring more directly to the photo of these Bedfords, it is interesting to note that they were almost identical in configuration to the original green goddesses, with the big portable pump locker just behind the cab. Fortunately HCB made the effort to make then look less angular, but I am not a fan of the unpainted bodywork - they do beg for a nice coat of shiny red paint!

Added by Rob Johnson on 24 March 2018.
Going back to William Laws comment if you google 'IMCDB Quatermass Xperiment' all the vehicles in film come up.

Added by CraigW on 28 March 2018.
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