History of our K4 Turntable Ladder, GXN215

I recently received a letter and two photos from Pete Matten, a firefighter in West Sussex. Pete writes:

Worthing Fire Station showing the 1st pump, a 1942 Austin K4/Home Office escape carrying unit (ECU) and the 1944 Austin K4/Merryweather 60ft Turntable Ladder Pump ( TLP). The TLP was used as 2nd pump on the station at Worthing because it was only a 2 bay (1902) station from the horse drawn era. (Worthing’s was actually GXN 210).

A second appliance (actual appliance) was used by the retained and this was housed at the back of the appliance bay between the 2 appliances shown….. you can just see it. The pump was an Austin ATV & trailer pump and this was used (or similar) until 1955 when Worthing got one of 6 Dennis F8’s which went as retained pumps on stations. GXN210,

Worthing’s TLP, kept its front-mounted pump and crew cab until around 1963 but once the new 5 bay station was opened in the summer of 1962 in Worthing there was no need for the TL to have a pump or crew cab because it would now only be used as a special.

 

GJJ837 and GXN215 in Worthing Old Fire Station.

GJJ837 and GXN215 in Worthing Old Fire Station.

 

For comparison, here is a view of the Fire Station in 1908, shortly after it was built.

0632 The Borough Fire Brigade, c1908 outside the fire station on the East side of High Street. The site is now the Crown Offices.

0632 The Borough Fire Brigade, c1908 outside the fire station on the East side of High Street. The site is now the Crown Offices.

Chichester, although only a 2 bay station had extra bays for appliances at the rear of the main station so the TLP (GXN215) was used mainly just as a TL, whereas Worthing didn’t have the extra space for extra appliances so the TLP was used both as second away pump (TLP) and the retained had the third pump.

The new station opened in Worthing in the summer of 1962 and as mentioned had 5 bays so this now meant the station could operate with 3 pumps and the TLP, but by 1963 it was minus its pump and crew cab.

The picture showing GXN215 was taken at the old Market Street Fire Station (known as the cattle-market station) after the pump and crew shelter had been removed and this would have been taken back in 1966, this was when the old station Market Street closed and the new (current) station was opened that same year at Northgate. At the time of the new fire station opening (1966) GXN215 still had the pump and crew cab. This photo was taken by the late John Hughes and features in the book British Fire Engines of the 1950’s and 1960’s by Simon Rowley.

GXN215 outside Market Street Fire Station in Chichester

GXN215 outside Market Street Fire Station in Chichester

Click the thumbnail below to see a higher-resolution version of the photo.
Worthing Central Fire Station

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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