Like to try re-enacting? Interested in NFS history? Like vintage vehicles? Interested in WW2 events? Like to have a go? Then why not join us? Have a look at ‘About Us’, and get in touch. Email: info@nfs-afs.org.uk

Recent videos of us in action: Rufford Air Raid (2013) and by Ian Beck,  Lowdham Floods 2012, Crich Tramway Museum 2012.  newsreel of the air raid at Rufford by Ian Beck. James Walker made this video at Rufford 2012 using a tiny camera attached to his person whilst he went up the ladder! Our current leaflet is here: NFS Vehicles Group 2017 events, and has the events list on the back.

You can contact us at info@nfs-afs.org.uk or call David on 0115 9664938.

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Winter Maintenance – Replacing the cable on the TL

A few weeks ago, we had the Turntable Ladder inspected according to LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations). These regulations cover any equipment used to lift a person into the air at work. Although we are not strictly ‘at work’ we still need our equipment to be safe.

An inspector came, and gave the TL a clean bill of health except for one thing – the cables that extend the ladder were more than 5 years old and should be replaced, even though they were not in any way unsafe.

So we removed the cables, and took them to Wire Rope Assemblies in Retford who made a replacement pair for under £70! As we removed the cable, we had to remove each of the pulleys, and found a couple of worn pins and bushes, which we replaced.  some were just oiled, rather than greased, so we fitted grease nipple. It was actually quite easy – the most difficult bit was getting the split pins out!

We have just got it all back together, we just need to put the split pins back, and grease all round and adjust the secondary cable so that both ladders click over the ratchet pawls at the same time.

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Training day, 24th February

We plan to do a broad range of training, from basic hose and branch work for those who need it, through to pump drill, Turntable Ladder drill, and 6-inch hose laying from the RL truck, and pumping with the Green Goddess.

Given that we are planning to do Green Goddess relay pumping in the summer to commemorate the stand-down of the AFS, this will be really useful, and should be a lot of fun as well.

Bring warm clothing, boots, gloves. We will provide soup and bread, and unlimited tea.

Please let us know if you would like to come, and we will send directions and further details nearer the time.

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Commemorating the Auxiliary Fire Service – 50 years on

The AFS was formed in 1949 and served until disbanded, along with the rest of the Civil Defence movement, on 1st April 1968. The NFS and AFS Vehicles Group are planning to commemorate this with two significant events this summer.

We will be at both Wicksteed At War, a big annual show run by the Military Vehicles Trust on 8th-10th June, and at The 50th Anniversary Show of the Fire Services Preservation Group at the Motor Museum at Gaydon on 21st-22nd July.

Secondly, we will do what we can to recreate the Mobile Column, and drive the vehicles round the area. OK, so we don’t have 100 vehicles, but we hope to have representatives of motorbikes, a Land Rover, Control Unit, Hose Layer, Pipe Carrier, Petrol Carrier, General Purpose RLs, and of course, Green Goddesses. We plan then to lay some 6-inch hose at speed from the Hose Layer, and show how the Goddess is connected into the hose line.

So how can you get involved? I would love to have one or two people at each event who remember the AFS, and could help me with the commentary. Although I can say what the vehicles we used for, and what a Mobile Column could achieve, it would be lovely to have personal experiences and reminiscences about the training and exercises.

We would also like people to ride in all the vehicles, especially if you have a period helmet and melton tunic! If you would like to be involved in the action, we will be having training sessions in Nottinghamshire in the next few months. If you own an AFS vehicle, and would like to bring it to either event, please let me know.

For more information, please see our website www.nfs-afs.org.uk

Wicksteed Park is near Kettering. See www.wicksteedatwar.co.uk

Gaydon is about 10 miles South of Royal Leamington Spa. www.fireservicepreservationgroup.org

David Moore, NFS and AFS Vehicles Group. info@nfs-afs.org.uk or 07718077584

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Major Fire Display at Gaydon, 21-22 July 2018

How do we commemorate the end of the AFS, which was disbanded in 1968, 50 years ago?


I have recently had a long conversation with Dean Bloxham, who is on the organising committee for the Gaydon show this summer. It is being run by the Fire Services Preservation Group (FSPG) to commemorate the Group’s 50th birthday, and to remember the 50th anniversary of the disbanding of the AFS.

They have chosen ‘Firefighting Through the Ages‘ as the theme for the show, and plan to have arena displays of:

  • Manual pumping
  • Steam pumps – not just one, but several, preferably horse-drawn, and crewed by firemen in appropriate brass helmets
  • Inter-War – early red motorised appliances
  • Wartime – AFS and NFS in grey
  • Postwar AFS – a mobile column with Green Goddesses and RLs
  • Red post-war, Appliances with those lovely curved roofs
  • Turntable Ladders – can we get ten, yes ten TLs raised at the same time?
  • And I suppose there will be a few modern things as well.

Essentially, Dean said that he wants the show to be as interesting and fun as possible, whilst being safe, and as historically authentic as possible.

So where do we fit in?

A spectacular Green AFS display

Welland Steam Rally 2011

This event has the potential to be a really good ‘Green’ event. Let’s get together as many AFS motorbikes, Land Rovers, Gypsies, Control Units, Wreckers, GP RLs, Petrol Carriers, Pipe Carriers, Hose Layers and of course Green Goddesses as we can. Let’s see if we can run a permanent 6-inch hose from one lake to the other, and run a short pumping demo every few hours, including the pipe bridge. Lets see if we can run a representation of a Mobile Column round the arena, and possibly take part in a road run.

A Great Wartime Display

Dean would like to see an air raid at this event, involving a good selection of other wartime reenactors, not just NFS firemen. He would like ARP, Police, WVS, Army or Home Guard, Ambulance Service, Rescue and civilian casualties. to be involved. He recognises that, not being a core 1940s event, people may not initially be attracted, but he has the idea for an area of the show to be a ‘1940s village’ with the NFS, and ARP post, and other features to keep interest going. We could do some Firemen’s Training in a small enclosed area.

And of course, there is the fantastic Motor Museum there, where you can easily spend all weekend!

If you would like to be involved either with a vehicle, or as crew, please get in touch in the usual ways.

We will need lots of crew, and as many 1940s reenactors as possible!

The Motor Museum page about the event is here. Entry forms are found by clicking on the blue panel on the right of the page or hereThey must be sent to the Motor Museum, not to me or the FSPG!

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Standard Gwynne ‘Chariot’ restoration

We have been doing a lot of work on the Standard Gwynne ‘Chariot’ trailer. (Well, actually, paying others to do a lot of it…).

It is rather a rare trailer, and so beautiful that it is worth spending some money on.

We dismantled it, had it caustic-dipped, painted the smaller parts, and had the main part welded. Still to come is to make a new side panel (with the complex rolled curved top), then paint it all. Hope it will be ready for the coming season.

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Photos from Black Country Living Museum

 

We are now all safely back home, and back into the 21st Century, after a superb weekend.

For us, it was a first time, as we are normally at Woodhall Spa this weekend, but we decided to try something new, and are glad we did.

BCLM is a fantastic venue for a 40s event, and they have been doing it long enough to be really good at it. For our part, we set up a couple of appliances, a pump, a large dam, and a (hidden) modern pump by the canal to give us an inexhaustible supply of water.

After the well-established air raid in the village, put on by our friends from the Severn Valley Railway, we then did a demonstration, starting with a short talk about the Blitz (‘Hitler didn’t try to blow up our cities – it was much more effective to burn them down’), and then a demonstration of the pump with two firemen on each of two branches, then of the four working together, one branch with a jet, and the other with a spray.

We then ran the No 2 foam branch (with modern detergent to make the foam), before ending with a chance for the children to hold a branch, and to use the stirrup pumps.

Thanks to Bob Warwick, who sent in some photos.

 

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Photos from the Severn Valley Railway

We have been sent some magnificent photos from a professional photographer, Phil Lea, who was with us on the second weekend.

In case you missed the previous post, we are very grateful to Mr Matthews for shooting this video

NFS A Kidderminster SVR

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Air Raid at Severn Valley Railway

We are back from a superb couple of weekends at the Severn Valley Railway, where we ran an air raid n each of the 4 days, each day getting slightly more spectacular than the last.

We are very grateful to Mr Matthews for shooting this video

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More photos from Lanc and Tank

I was very kindly sent some lovely photos by Keith Foster of www.Flywheelphotography.net, which he has given permission to use here. Thank you, Keith.

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

NFS at Lanc and Tank, 2017

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Lanc, Tank and Military Machines 2017

We have had a lovely weekend at the Lanc, Tank and Military Machines event at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum. On Saturday we did a firefighting display using foam (washing up liquid), and on Monday, we did a joint display with the resident firefighting team. On both days, we offered fire engine rides round the airfield, and raised £80 for the museum. Altogether, a brilliant weekend.

Terry Mason took some great shots of the foam display.

Lanc, Tank and Military Machines

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Lanc, Tank and Military Machines

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