It’s been a bit quiet on the weekly update front again so we thought it was best to bring people back up to date on the activities we’ve been undertaking around the sites in the past few weeks. Strap yourselves in – there’s alot to get through.
Following the acquisition of the British Forces (Germany) Command Fire Service Bulletin No.6, our volunteer went back to the seller and asked if they had any more. As luck would have it, they dug out No.5! Even better, they also included the previous owner’s service records and personal items from the period that he served in BFG with the purchase. History buffs among you – or those who have spent 2 seconds with Steve – will completely understand why he got even more excited when he found the other items the seller had sent on with the bulletin.
These items, often just considered detritus, rubbish or are just generally discarded is absolutely vital to museums or collections as it gives a face to a service number; an idea of who the individual was or what they got up to off the Crashline as well as their service life. This may be why museum curators or collectors are often considered hoarders but every item tells a tale. We also made further progress on the storage ISOand the RB44 by repairing a rear light trim and also fitting a new headlight bulb to the van which had failed in spectacular fashion at some point during the January – we’ve never seen a headlight quite that shape before!
The week after this, we took some time out as a group of volunteers and conducted an offsite meeting in a well known coffee shop in Lincoln. Whilst these meetings may not be at Scunthorpe or at the storage site, it was definitely worth the few hours of concentrated discussion to work out a future plan of action for the impending move that is hopefully round the corner this year. Definitely a welcome break from the cold and being surrounded by artifacts and boxes in Scunthorpe – tidy environment, tidy mind as they say.
Inbetween meetings two of the volunteers moved to another site to undertake some anti degradation work on some of our largest vehicles in the fleet. The two Mk10s, Green Mk9 and Mk 11 were started and run, moved back and forth and sheets were retied to ensure they weren’t about to take off into the distance. Mercifully, the sheets seem to have done the job as these trucks are actually doing remarkably well considering they are stored out in the elements.
As the volunteer force were back up to strength, this week it was decided to all form up at Scunthorpe and resume usual business. One team remained at Scunthorpe and a small team were deployed out to the storage location to fit the four new batteries to the RIV and get it started and also remove a failed air cylinder from the civilian Thornycroft Nubian Major which had finally succumbed to the rust. The team departed in blue skies and sunny climes only to arrive to hail, rain and sleet. The supervisor of the group decided at this point that a switch inspection inside the cab must take place and left the ‘young-uns’ to struggle with frozen digits and the cabling around the battery tray which was 5ft off the ground. Good job they were tall.
Once the batteries were back in and fitted, we tried the RIV with everything crossed. As expected, it took a while, was reluctant to start and was running very rough on initially. This was not unexpected as the amount of fuel that was likely sitting in the pots after our repeated attempts over the weeks probably wasn’t helping matters. However, once the new fuel had reached it and the engine had warmed up, it was right as rain and back to it’s grumbly self. Pleased with the achievement, we dutifully undertook some driver training and some limited runs to get the wheels turning and oil circulating around the vehicle. It’s apparent that the vehicle needs some further attention as there is an alternator fault and the brakes also need some attention but thankfully the engine and gearbox is more than willing to roar up and down the gear box which is fantastic to see.
Once the RIV was settled back in the parking place and turned off, the noise of traditional two-tones filled the air from down the row of firetrucks; much to the two driver’s bemusement. Turns out the Red Goddess dutifully fired up on the second touch of the button with no assistance and the other team member could resist the urge for some phantom tones! Finally, the Dennis D-Type, the ACRT and TACR which are stored inside were turned over and run to ensure that the engines stay lubricated and to check the batteries were still alive. Again, they all dutifully fired up and were happily running in a short time which is great news.
With the old F12 battery now in the boot, attention turned to the old air tank on the Thornycroft Nubian Major. It was clearly evident that it was the cause of the auxiliary air supply not gaining pressure and we hope we will be able to replace it with a relatively standard part to at least get the vehicle moving again. Of course, that meant getting the now defunct, holey one off. The junior member dutifully volunteered to dive underneath the vehicle and started liberally applying lubricant to every joint or bolt we could see before making a start on all the fixtures. Once the supervisor ensured the holey tank was confirmed empty (the death stares and sarcasm were clearly received from under the vehicle), it was at this point that the tank decided to shed its outer casing paint and the existing rust, coupled with the worst pungent smell of the stalest air and foam compound all over the volunteer working on it. Just as well he had a strong stomach. Thankfully it didn’t put up much of a fight and was eventually recovered back to Scunthorpe. Hopefully an easy fix for the future once we source a replacement.
When the team returned to Scunthorpe, it turns out that the rest of the volunteers also had an incredibly successful Saturday. The RB44 was run up and moved under its own power but the throttle cable will need replaced – a minor fix. The Flying Brick had its window replaced and moved under its own steam around to the front of the building without much of a complaint. Both vehicles were cleaned out and also de-kitted and the equipment moved inside. The inside of the headquarters area was also spruced up and reorganised and round the back benefitted from the arrival of the lighter afternoon; so much so, the team were promptly reminded by their respective OC Home Affairs that it was indeed half five and they had better get back home sharpish before their dinner wound up in the cat or dog!
All of this activity and repairs is only possible with the support of our Standing Order Supporter Scheme where our followers contribute whatever they can through a regular donation. For more information please get in contact with us through firstname.lastname@example.org.