Some very poignant photos from the Blitz

Many thanks to Helen Crowfoot for drawing our attention to these:

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If you organise a 1940s event, you may like to have a look at our new page, at the bottom of the ‘About Us’ menu, or here:

I wouldn’t look at the casualty folder of photos just before a meal!

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Foam testing

John and David went down to the farm to try out the foam branches. Armed with a few bottles of Aldi’s finest washing up liquid (about 30p a bottle), we got out the Beresford, connected suction to the test tank, put in some petrol and water, and then noticed a lot of condensation on the spark plugs. Hmm, going to be difficult to start. First turn of the handle – nothing. Second turn, cough. Third turn, and it started! The warmth from the engine will soon dry it all out.

So we decided to try the modern (well, 1960’s) foam branch from the Green Goddess, with 25% detergent 75% water in the bucket, being drawn in from the pickup tube. Took a few moments to pick up – possibly air getting in the foam valve. Anyway, after a couple of minutes, we had used most of our mixture, and the foam looked rather good.

The next attempt was using the wartime No 2 Foam Branch, and a mixture of 33% detergent. That got going very quickly and produced very satisfactory demo foam. Two bottles of detergent produced a good load of foam using about 50-60 gallons of water.

Note that this foam differs significantly from the foam used by the Fire Brigades for real. Firstly, it is not thick, firm foam like whipped cream or shaving foam, it is more bubbly. And it does not stick to a vertical wall like real foam – it slides down. But for a re-enactment, this is a positive advantage, making it easier to clear up, and most unlikely to do any damage to any plane fuselage we sprayed, and unlikely to do any environmental damage, as the detergent is bio-degradable.

So this means that we can do a very presentable scenario at an airfield-based 1940s event, such as at East Kirkby, Newark Air Museum, or Elvington. Or even the new air show at Scampton in September? All we need now is a soundtrack of either an airfield being bombed, or an aircraft crash landing, and a bit of flame and lots of smoke. That is for the next training event!


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Austin K2 for sale

Occasionally we get asked if we know of any WW2 appliances for sale. Today we do. Here is a K2 for sale, with an asking price of £7,000, which we feel is a bit steep. In fact, very steep for one that hasn’t run for 5 years, and looks like it has been stored outdoors. I would guess it will need a lot doing to it. Perhaps a third of the asking price would be reasonable.

And 1965 is nowhere near it’s actual build date. 1942-43 would be a better guess.


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Photos from Papplewick Pumping Station

A small group took the K2 and Dennis pump, together with a Beresford Stork pump, and the Mobile Canteen. We informed the public about the dangers of the incendiary bomb, and then demonstrated the power of the pumps, running a fairly substantial hand-held branch with two ground monitors, both with 1  1/8″ nozzles.

With thanks to Andrew Harrison, amhjp photography Military, for these excellent photos.

See more of his work here:

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Maintenance and Training weekend 30-31 July

We would like to invite our regular NFS firemen, and anyone who would like to see the collection and try their hand at hose, ladder and pump drill to come and join us at the farm on Saturday and Sunday 30-31 July.

We have hoses, branches and pumps to test, so there will be opportunities to have a go, and to learn and practice on these.

We have a backlog of sorting out and cataloging equipment, spares and other general ‘stuff’, including re-organising some of the longer-term parts to the more out-of-the-way spaces so that everything is more accessible.

The Mobile Canteen needs the roof painting, as well as a full paint inside.

The extending ladder on the Turntable is long overdue for sanding down and repainting. And there’s an engine to put back together, a gearbox and clutch to dismantle, and some interesting historical fittings to mount for display, as well as a load of leaky hose to be cut down, and refurbished as short lengths.

It would be great if a good number of people could come, as we would get so much more done than we can achieve on our own in evenings. Saturday night accomodation is available for anyone coming from further afield.

Please contact us if you are able to come, by email on, or message on our facebook page or telephone on 0115 9664215 (John) 0r 9664938 (David). We will then let you know times and directions.

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1940s Festival at Woodhall Spa

Back home from another successful, safe and enjoyable scenario at Woodhall Spa. We took part in the display ‘The Eagle has Landed’ in which German airmen dressed as Polish paratroopers attempted to capture Churchill.

A number of our regular ‘Bloody Casualties’ were made up and carried out on stretchers.

The whole town was packed, and this made the road run very interesting.

Thanks to everyone involved, Firemen, Casualties, Civil Defence, and behind-the-scenes crew:

  • Keith and Shelley from Poole
  • Lewis
  • Peter, Angus and Frazer
  • Steve E
  • Michael
  • Richard
  • Steve and Mick with the red fire engines
  • Elaine and Terry, Wendy and Norman, Ann and Kev, our ‘Bloody Casualties’
  • Fei Ran and Rebecca
  • Paul with his K2 ambulance
  • Mervyn, Dan and Ian, the policemen
  • Will and Di, Graham and Victoria, Elaine and Alan in various Home Front services
  • And a special thanks to Jan, Hannah, Ange and Fran

It was great to work with you in a low-stress environment, where we all had fun, and still produces a successful, and extremely popular, display. A real delight was seeing a few low-level passes of the Lancaster, before getting all the vehicles safely home.

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Air Raid at Quorn Station, GCR 4th-5th June 2016 – instructions for reenactors

The display will be at 1:10pm on Saturday and Sunday in Quorn Yard in the space between the Goods Shed and Marquee. Quorn and Woodhouse Station, Woodhouse Road, LE12 8AG.

The detail of the scenario is here.

Please look at the GCR Wartime Weekend website here.

We are planning to take the Dodge Mobile Dam as the main vehicle in the scenario. The K2 and a pump be present, with the K2 acting as an anbulance, and we may take the TL, as that makes for very interesting public displays of a training session putting up the ladder.

Robert Blincow writes:

During the GCR weekend we will have a TV crew following us. Primarily the programme which is for Channel 5 is about caravanning and what people use them for. The crew will be doing a fly on the wall type filming which involves them following us from home and then everything we do over the weekend. They have asked for involvement in the various scenarios taking place over the weekend.

We are expecting our visitors Neil and Julie to play the roles of casualties.

Sadly, due to ill health and an impending house move, Wendy and Norman Brown will be unable to join us for the weekend.

We are expecting the following to take part:

NFS: David M, Richard B, Michael S, Dan W, Tony F,  Duncan W, Rob L (one day), Chris B, Marcus, Steve E, Adam C, Lewis S, Steve M (Sun only)
Organisation: Jan S
Blood and guts: Hannah S, Angie C
Police: John C (if available), Neill L (one day), Dan H
ARP/CD: Helen C (if available), Graham H, Victoria (one day), Lynn H (CD/medic)
Others: Colin P (lorry), Neil and Julie (civilian casualties), Kevin S, David M (American serviceman with motorcyle)
WVS: Fran M, Rhia B, Ann U
UK Home Front: WVS Rest Centre
Royal Army Service Corps: David B-H and around 5 members of MECO

The following are intending to camp: Chris B, Tony F, Lewis S.

Safety Briefing and signing-in: 9:30 Saturday and Sunday at the NFS Canteen, which will be outside the Butler Henderson cafe. (Briefing in cafe if wet). Tea will be available for participants.

During the morning, the NFS crew will parade on for inspection at 10:15 (TBC), followed by kit checking. A TL drill session at 10:45, followed by an early lunch. At 12:15 there will be a final briefing for anyone who missed the earlier one, followed by final preparations for the scenario, which will involve:

  • Checking the wagons are damp.
  • Getting the lorry into place.
  • Erecting the crowd barriers.
  • Putting out the incendiary pyros.
  • Liaising with GCR about ‘bang’ pyros (Carl Bourke).
  • Sound check.
  • Siren check.
  • Buckets of emergency water behind and in the open wagon.
  • Final safety check with Noel Bedder – Fire & Safety officer

The NFS crew will ensure that the open wagon is well doused with water before the public arrive, to make sure that there is no possibility of a real fire. If the weather is hot, it will be doused again an hour before the display.

The mobile dam will be filled with water from the Petrol Tank Wagon before the public arrive.

As we don’t expect an ambulance to be present, we will use our NFS K2 as an ambulance to take the casualties from the air raid scene to the UK Home Front rest centre for treatment.

Posted in 1940s Events, Air Raid, Dodge Mobile Dam, K2 ATV GLT676, K4 TL GXN215, Mobile Canteen, Re-enactor info | Tagged | 1 Comment

Photos from the Newark 75th Anniversary Commemoration

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Some photos from Timothy Rogers.

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Newark Advertiser photos

In preparation for the Commemorative re-enactment of the Newark Air Raid, the Newark Advertiser came down to our storage facility to take some publicity photos. As it happens, a building had just been demolished, so we had the perfect backdrop. Lewis, Richard and I got the Beresford Stork to work.

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