Straight off the back of a very successful day at the Sandtoft Blues and Twos Event, the Museum volunteers assembled once again at the crack of dawn in their finest regalia at the Lincolnshire Showground for LincsFest! One volunteer was so excited about the prospect he pitched his caravan and awning right next to the display and stayed there the night before!

Although we were limited to having 3 vehicles at the show, one obviously took centre stage for the whole day – the newly acquired Fordson 45 Monitor which the Museum volunteers secured for the collection with their own money and with the help of a few generous donors. It was picked from its previous home, the 493rd Debach Airfield Museum, and was kindly delivered to the showground for us by James Selby Transport for today’s event and the big unveiling.

Having the vehicle on site and in our possession is a big step for the Museum and it was now possible to start having an in-depth look at it to understand what work it may need in the future to preserve this sole surviving example for future generations. After months of waiting our volunteers are all eager to get going with the project – as you can imagine – and it required some drastic action from one of our more junior members (see pics) to stop the restoration happening immediately!

Once the gates to the showground were open the crowds came flooding in to see the wide range of activities, crafts and stalls which were on display. Above all, a lot of the public were just happy, like we all are, to see some sort of normality return after such a turbulent time with the pandemic.

We were really pleased to discover from one of our visitors that our Crashline Calls – a free monthly get together for MOD Emergency Service Veterans which we host on Zoom – are really making a big difference for isolated emergency service veterans to keep in touch with each other. The next Crashline Call will be scheduled for Wednesday the 1st of September at 7PM. If you know of any MOD emergency service veterans who would fancy an online get together for an hour or two then please send an email to enquiries@firemuseum.uk to receive details of the next call.

Our vehicles, display and suited and booted veterans generated a steady amount of interest and interaction from the public; which kept our volunteers going all day until about four o’clock – we can safely assume that many of us will sleep soundly tonight. Our shop sales and donations also generated some much-needed income for the museum funds to be used on future projects and work.

Although the vehicle unveiling was special, the Museum was also ecstatic to publicly announce an exciting new partnership with Scampton Holdings Ltd and show some concept drawings of a potential new premises to secure the future of the museum – see more about this here! A representative of the consortium also came and visited us today and the boss was more than happy to show them around the display and vehicles.

The Boss was also particularly pleased to host Councillor Steve England, Chairman of West Lyndsey District Council, and his wife, Kathryn, who paid us a visit and chatted at length about the Museum’s work and future. They even stopped for a photo with the team with the new vehicle which was greatly appreciated by all the volunteers. We hope to see them again soon.

With the event coming to a close, and light disappearing fast, the displays were taken down and the 45 Monitor was transported back to the storage location for safe keeping by James Selby Transport. However, the team receiving the vehicle just couldn’t resist a quick photo opportunity of 2 Fordson WOT-1 chassis Fire Engines together for the first time in years. We think you’ll agree, these pair of Octogenarians look pretty impressive together.

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