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Oakham and Uppingham

John Clark kindly sent this photograph of his Father, Harold Clark, standing in front of the 1938 Oakham and Uppingham Dennis Fire Appliance. He was Captain of that unit at the time. John remembers as a child sitting in that fire engine too. He made contact with us by shear chance and became aware that the appliance in question is in good hands with one of our members, Dr Barry Hutchinson.

Harold Clark
Harold Clark

Barry Hutchinson takes up the story of this wonderful Dennis Fire Engine

Dennis Light Four - FP 3564
FP 3564 is a Dennis Light Four Pump Escape manufactured in 1938 to an order from the Oakham and Uppingham Districts Joint Fire Brigade in the County of Rutland. It is fitted with a 50' Merryweather Escape Ladder and a Dennis No.2 main pump. There is a first aid tank of 50 gallons for the hose reel. The engine is a 4 cylinder Dennis 'C' type sidevalve unit with a capacity of just over 4 litres. This engine was used extensively in all Dennis's of the 21/2 ton to 5 ton chassis range of this period. It was also fitted to the Dennis trailer pump of which several thousand were made for war time use. In the fire engine application a twin plug head was fitted with the plugs being supplied either by a coil ignition circuit or by a magneto. This gave extra reliability.

FP 3564 has the feel of a 'modern' appliance. It has a top speed of 55-60mph and has good brakes. It has been on trips from Northumberland to London/Brighton, Guildford and Wroughton covering many thousands of miles without any problems.

Dennis Light Four - FP3564

Dennis Light Four - FP3564
Here we see FP 3564 still on the run after 28(!) years inside Uppingham Fire station in July 1966. The second electrically operated bell has not yet been fitted, although the aerial for the VHF communication radio can clearly be seen. These pictures came from a retired Sub-Officer from Uppingham, who wrote;

"I have recently celebrated my 75th. Birthday and as a present from my son, I received a copy of the 'Gatefold Book of Fire Engines'. I was very surprised to find that a Rutland appliance was included, and delighted that it was "NELLIE", the Uppingham machine, which I drove on many occasions to incidents in this area. I was a retained Fireman at Uppingham for almost 30 years between 1955 and 1984."

FP 3564 in 1996
In the picture above taken in 1996 FP 3564 is shown outside Oakham Fire Station with the current Dennis pumping appliance which is at least 50 years younger.
The Old Uppingham fire station
When the new Uppingham fire station was opened in the early 60's the feature shown above appeared in the 'Fire' magazine. FP 3564 is seen parked in the appliance bay on the right hand side.
FP 3564 engine fire
When in preservation FP 3564 did not have a trouble free life. This photograph shows the aftermath of an engine fire.
Detailed model of FP 3564
FP 3564 is now available as a wonderfully detailed model produced by Yatming of China.

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