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Merryweather Fire King - a novice build

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a41capt

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During 1953 we had 'Green Goddesses' as extra vehicles in the even of a nuclear war.
During the WW2 Blitz in London, we had concrete fire floats. In 1941 when I had just joined the Boy Scouts, I got my 'Fireman's Badge'. What colour the Auxiliary Fire Service had- I simply cannot remember.
What I have, however is a 'tin hat with Fire stencilled on it and a service respirator in a pleasing shade of khaki(☺) and my late wife's 'Mickey Mouse' respirator. All I have really is my little fireman' axe which I dug out unexploded incendiary bombs. As a Goldstar in RAF 31 Squadron, I had my battle dress tunic which came from the Royal Observer Corps. What colour our 'blood wagons' were- I would guess RAF Airforce Blue.
Meantime W/Bro John-
S&F

Norman at 90!
Glad to hear from you Norman, and keep those annual rotations around the sun going please! 90 and still kickin’:D
 

Bill Lawson

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I have seen white (not the manufacture) fire trucks. Also, I recall seeing chartreuse emergency vehicles.
 

Bob Wild

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Thanks chaps for your comments, and especially Norman for your memories. I’m a spring chicken in my seventies but remember the tales from my mum and dad; he was at Chatham barracks at the start of the war and then was posted to South Africa but left my mum to survive the blitz in Gillingham. Not surprisingly I was born exactly nine months after the end of the war!!!!
 

goldstar31

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Thanks Chaps! Maybe an old British 1943 film might lighten wht is a very serious profession.
I recalled as a 13 year old 'The Bells Go Down' and now after all these years since, there is a couple of videos. One isof London's Embankment on the River Thames- still pockmarked from the Blitz whilst the other is an extract from the old film which will show what was used then but all with the British sense of humour.

Do enjoy, please


Norman
 

Aussie

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G’day Goldstar31

I may have missed something, but the links to the video’s aren’t showing.

Interested in which ones they are, for historic research purposes.

Respectfully

Ian Munro
Fire Services Museum of Victoria.
 

goldstar31

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As my son will testify, I have little skills in knowing how to find my way around the internet and trust that interested parties will realise that I have recalled a gem but at 90 years of age, I'm a bit slow, ignorant or otherwise hopeless. I'm worse than that but modesty prevails.

So Ian, I appreciate why you want to add to the contents of your museum and to both seriously inform of the courage of firefighters all over the world but amuse those interested with a bit of humour that say the Brits through 6 years of bitter war. I have the greatest respect as my own father was in Civil Defence but he was prepared for poison gas attacks which never happened but being a sapper in an earlier war went out to fight both unexploded bombs and also incendiaries.
So you are looking for a film or two. Google WILL if examined meticulously reveal that there is , there was a 1943 film = The Bells Go Down produced for general release of the amateur firemen of the Auxiliary Fire Service. Laughs put to one side, the film depicts the trailer pumps many of them made by the Dennis company who, incidentally are still making fire engines-- but in red not olive green.
You will find that the film not only includes what were the best of British actors but actual off duty firefighters that took there place in the London blitz.
Looking at the cast, there was Tommy Trinder and James Mason and if you can't get at the films go and search out Trinder in one of the many sources of his films.

Again, and far more popular is the film 'The Battle of Britain'. Of course its base is true but obviously contains true extracts of what really happened and a bit of it takes the viewer into the heart of London during an air raid- with an unexploded bomb and well, I'll not stop the drama. As a boy of perhaps ten but then I'll stop and recall my little granddaughter whose great grandfather's tin hat and respirator lie in my loft. So far little Elizabeth's précis of WW2 was that 'Grandad was beside an unexploded bomb- which killed a cow'
So please let me know - because my uncle drove an ambulance in an earlier war and my Australian cousin drove a field ambulance both in the Western Desert and then New Guinea.

Somewhat bitterly, I wrote a few days ago about a new 'jet pack' which was suitable for rescue workers.

It was a dead duck' and yesterday, a light aircraft crashed near to where the tests in the English Lake District were conducted. Yes, the pilot was killed!
So I hope that you find what is there and somebody else may find you the information.

Norman
 

Aussie

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Thank you Norman;

My get out computer trouble, is No. 1 son, who is Support Team Manager / Team Leader, with IBM. If he can’t fix it, it’s xxx??d.

I am aware of both films you mention, and have copies of them. I was thinking that you had uncovered others, as I believe that they exist.

Also, downunder, in the Antipodes, we had our own version of AFS, in each State, (although the name varied, from state to state, but the function was the same.) However, we were lucky, mostly, in that we didn’t have the air raids you had, most of the AFS trained but rarely went into action. One case in Melbourne during a major exercise, an Air Force plane crashed in the paddock nearby. That is probably the closest any came to action.

One of my ongoing projects, is to eventually write this all up, so any reference material I can gather helps. Looking at your AFS helps fill in the gaps in lack of information, as most of surviving training manual were produced by H.M.S.O., and sent to the colonies.

Take car, and keep well.

Respectfully

Ian
 

goldstar31

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thanks Ian for your comments. As I've said, I haven't a "fire Brigade" connection -- apart from my late father i law doing a driving test on an engine and doing an emergency stop with the examiner sitting on a box. Of course, he slid across the bonnet! After that he was conscripted and loke me- joined The 'Goldstars' He ended up with his name on a garden seat at the National Arboretum!


However, there are at least two 'Fire Brigade' Museums in London-- and lat year or, I found a Chinese Dragon as part of the equipment in a Soho Fire Station! Sort outside the United Grand Lodge of England.

But to Fire Brigades etc in War and there seems to be a fire pump which ended up as a race or rally car engine. I suspect that it went into uprated stuff ex Rootes Group Hillmam Imps.
Worth a bit of a research project perhaps.
Of course, I had the local Pompiers to thank after my wife and I had a car crash- Italian Job style in the french Alps. I was Mountain Rescue rather than your equally important function.

Going back a bit- there is a College in Moreton inthe Marsh in Gloucestershire. Yes, I 've got a couple, perhaps more firefighters in my assorted lodges and chapters-- but all of us are sort of old-- and in lockdown .
If I think of anything relevant, I'll ccontact you.

Meantime

My Thanks and Best Wishes

Norman

Errata


It was Coventry Climax and Formula1
 
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Steamchick

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Thank you Norman;

My get out computer trouble, is No. 1 son, who is Support Team Manager / Team Leader, with IBM. If he can’t fix it, it’s xxx??d.

I am aware of both films you mention, and have copies of them. I was thinking that you had uncovered others, as I believe that they exist.

Also, downunder, in the Antipodes, we had our own version of AFS, in each State, (although the name varied, from state to state, but the function was the same.) However, we were lucky, mostly, in that we didn’t have the air raids you had, most of the AFS trained but rarely went into action. One case in Melbourne during a major exercise, an Air Force plane crashed in the paddock nearby. That is probably the closest any came to action.

One of my ongoing projects, is to eventually write this all up, so any reference material I can gather helps. Looking at your AFS helps fill in the gaps in lack of information, as most of surviving training manual were produced by H.M.S.O., and sent to the colonies.

Take car, and keep well.

Respectfully

Ian
Can I buy a No.1 Son on ebay? Just had a 20 minute nightmare trying to reset passwords because AOL have changed something!
Enjoying the thread!
K
 

Steamchick

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Can I buy a No.1 Son on ebay? Just had a 20 minute nightmare trying to reset passwords because AOL have changed something!
Enjoying the thread!
I owned a couple of Triumph engines - 500cc OHV twins. Called GP500 (Grand Prix) - based on the WW2 fire-pump engine produced by Triumph. They made thousands during WW2. Used by motorcycle racers until new racing engines - T100C - came out in 1955, with their first splayed intake and exhaust pipes, instead of the GP's straight inlet and straight (parallel) exhaust configuration. The Fire-pump barrels has drilling/tapping for fixing the forced air cooling cowls. The true GP barrels didn't have them drilled and tapped, and used lumpier cams. Probably higher compression pistons as well. I think my GP had 9:1 pistons, but the fire-pump engines had 7:1 for the low octane WW2 fuel.
Not sure about the Coventry Climax SO engine, but the Hillman Imp engine was a derivation. I remember taking 1/4 inch off Imp cylinder heads for car rallying engine builders in the 1960s. Just a Saturday morning job "for the Lad" - me - as it was easy when the head was mounted on a fixture in the lathe (20 ft long, 18 inch swing radius). We also skimmed a lot of warped heads back to flat on the surface grinder. I remember the smell of the aluminium Imp heads being much harsher than the smell of cast iron cylinder heads when being ground... but much easier, as the head was traversed over the horizontal grinder by hand (mine), and light alloy or mini-heads were much easier than 6 cylinder large diesel heads!
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be...
K
 

goldstar31

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Ken

I do recall Both engines- and I also recall from my RAF Squadron days Villiers air compressors used by the Aircraft Finishers mob because we had lots of fabric coverings.
Again, I recall a David Hassauser- the spelling maybe wrong- building Clan Crusaderscars at
Washington Tyne and Wear which used tuned Imp Engines . I was into tuned Mini Coopers and my wife had a Mk3 Triumph Spitfire. But WE were moving into property both here and abroad

of course the Coopers weighed over 4 hundred weight whilst the 'imps' could be carried.
Of course, I can't get insurance and whatever now. There is, however, a Mercedes 230 SLK in the garage- ex my late wife and a Lotus Elise SE in my sons. We've got some nice number plates!!!!
Actually property was much more challenging and lasted until 5 years ago when my wife died..]

Now the kids are getting the bug too

So there we are

Take care

Norman
 

Bob Wild

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These little brackets appear simple, but their making has been a nightmare
BAB4B49E-6EEF-443C-A5E9-DA169CF61949.jpeg

The drawing suggests making them by bending 3mm strip. I didn’t feel confident in putting the bends in the right place, so I decided to make them from solid blocks. They were glued together and machined as one. As much material as possible was removed by chain drilling
CC7D13B9-53B4-4988-819D-5E714774E69A.jpeg

and this is the result
26FB06FB-270D-418C-8276-B8057EA1E37F.jpeg

The eagle eyed will have spotted that one of faces is twice as thick as the others. Because I am using Stuart cylinders I had to adjust the width of the bracket to fit. Somewhere along the line while allowing for the thickness of the material I miscalculated and ended up with brackets 3mm too wide! I couldn’t face scrapping them and starting again so I cut a bit off and screwed and glued another pice of angle. In the process I learnt how useful JB Weld is.
While painting I thought I might as well paint the chassis.
 

Bob Wild

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Doh. Another bloomer. The assembly pic should have been at the end of the post. Here’s the picture of the brackets machined from solid
E3AA1526-FD93-4355-BC34-CDF20D88E0C8.jpeg
 

a41capt

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I’m really enjoying this build and I can’t wait to see it under steam and pumping! Having been a fire engineer/driver tasked with fireground hydraulics calculations and operations, steam powered apparatus always piqued my interest!
 

Bob Wild

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Thanks chaps for your comments. Haven’t got any welding equipment so that was not an option. Interesting about the delivery calculations Capt - I’ll have to try and calculate what the twin cylinder double acting should pump out !
 

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