This weekend will see many nations pause and remember the men, woman and various animals who have paid a price to ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. Although many of our thoughts will rightly honour the dead from thet various conflicts before and after World War 1, we must also remember those who also paid and are still paying a price to fight for our freedom. Be it physical or mental health problems, living with the loss of a parent or child, missing a friend or relative, all of these sacrifices must be remembered when the bells toll on the eleventh hour tomorrow. The volunteers at the Museum of RAF Firefighting will be joining the country in silence to remember our fallen Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines but also to spare a thought to those they left behind. We will remember and honor them all.
This Saturday expected a small turnout from the volunteers as many had already booked ‘leave’ to attend a memorial dance and knees up for Ray Fearnley who sadly passed away this time last year. Ray was a big character within the Trade Group 8 and will be sorely missed by all that knew him. The dance tonight will undoubtedly be full of rekindled friendships, comradery, sandbagging and laughter so we hope the bar is well stocked and the event goes on to the early hours!
For those who were left to man the fort the work still carried on this morning. Thankfully we have been blessed with a spell of dryish weather last week so the admin building had some sort of break from the constant leaks from the roof. This meant the team didn’t have to clean the carpets or empty the buckets which we’ve been using to catch the dirty water as it enters the building. After a brief catch up the team split down into two groups as usual and went off to our duties.
The team that remained at the HQ was able to carry on with the inventory work for a short while but this slowly ground to a halt when we could work out if the artifacts were owned by the boss or by the museum itself. This highlighted how important it is for the work to continue as we need to know how each of the artifacts came into the Museum’s hands for insurance and historical purposes. The ESA Hosecart also started to receive its top-coat today so the office was filled with the smell of paint as the Pillar Red was applied to the metal and wood. This certainly assisted the administration team fill create some new policies and update the vehicle catalogue which will eventually be used as a source of information for those who are working on the vehicles.
For those than braved the cold over at the storage area, work progressed at pace. The amigos and their assistants were off to a flying start as the WOT1 work continued and the fuel system was finished shortly after they arrived. The coolant and oil levels were also checked and topped up before a heat cycle was performed to ensure the repairs from the previous weeks were still holding. The other 45 Monitor Door Straps were also fitted which is another small job complete which will help keep the doors from damaging the body work if they were to swing open. The site generator and lighting provisions was also reviewed and tested to ensure that they were still working after the move. Trying to locate this equipment in the hundreds of pallets was no easy feat but once located it didn’t take long for the team to get it working.
The team also continued their work of emptying all of the vehicles of any kit that was stashed in the lockers when we moved from Alford. This will free up the lockers for actual fire equipment which is currently stored on pallets and will reduce the footprint of all the museum equipment. Finally the two Amigos made short work of getting the scavenged ignition points system on to the troublesome Army Red Goddess which had been misfiring badly since a modern equivalent was fitted. This fix required the volunteers to get into the depths of the engine, but it was soon rectified. It definitely sounds like the fix worked in the video but the vehicle will need the exhaust replaced as one of the backfires blew a hole through the side of the pipe which is why the engine sounds a tad more aggressive than usual under load.