Land Rover Spenklin-Branbridge
This Land Rover 109 has recently returned to the UK after a spell in Ireland. In fact I was trying to help the new owner with details of its history through intermediary Roger Mardon and then I discovered that it was only half-a-mile from my front door! This was the best pic that I could get for now as the batteries were flat.
It was new to the CEGB at Ratcliffe-on-Soar in Nottinghamshire and then went into preservation at Hamble in Hampshire. It then gained an age-related registration PDL 791R.
Subsequently it went to Ireland, possibly to a gun club in the Portlaoise area but I have no information. It was sold in Dublin to a dealer in the north of England.
I have been carrying out some research into Branbridge that originated as Arnolds (Branbridges) Ltd. of East Peckham near Tonbridge. The company's origins go way back to 1844 and they seem to have started selling fire brigade cutting equipment in the last 1950s.
It seems that their first foray into fire appliance building was in 1969 when they sold a Land Rover to the Wolverhampton Fire Brigade for use in a large shopping precinct.
Next, around 1974, they were formed into a new company, Branbridge Fire and Security Equipment Limited of Frant, south of Tunbridge Wells and then, in 1977, Branbridge became part of the Spencer Franklin Group, hence the name Spenklin, and relocated north of Tunbridge Wells.
This company was short-lived as by the early 1980s, the Branbridge name had been obtained by Pilcher-Greene of Burgess Hill who sold Land Rover 110 Defenders as the Branbridge Mark VI.
I have found information about 25 Branbridge fire appliances, including two Austin Minis, a forward-control Land Rover, three Volkswagens and a Stonefield, a number of which still exist. If anyone has any info on any of these interesting appliances please respond to this message.
Picture added on 01 September 2017 at 14:55