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New Fire Engines for Rushden
1922 & 1927
Rushden Echo & Argus, 21st July 1922, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden’s New Motor Fire Tender
An Asset to the Town – Satisfactory Trials

Public attention has been specially drawn this week to the existence of the fire extinguishing appliances and escape at the Fire Station, Newton-road, Rushden, happily not because there has been a necessity to use them at a fire, but because the town has bought a new motor tender which will be able to carry the hose and drag the engine to the fire outbreak in “next to no time.” We called the other day at the Fire Station, and were received by Mrs Whiting, the courteous wife of one of the members of the teams. She showed us how, when an alarm reaches the station, if it happens to be in the day-time, she ’phones to several of the men who, of course, are at their daily work. If the alarm comes at night-time she turns a handle which rings alarm-bells at the houses of ten members of the Brigade. Not a second is lost in turning out the engine, as everything is kept perfectly ready for immediate departure to any spot where there is a fire outbreak. The writer remembers seeing years ago (before the motor as a means of propulsion became so general) the harness for the horses hanging from the ceiling ready to be dropped at a touch on to the animals’ backs. That was in a big town where fires were of frequent occurrence.

Happily at Rushden, the necessity for the extinguishing of outbreaks is not very often, but here, just as much as in a big place everything has to be always “ready, aye ready,” as fire is no respecter of persons or places.

The new tender is a 25 to 30 horse-power Schneider, with steel disc wheels, and twin pneumatic tyres on driving wheels. It is built to carry two tons, and has a double reduction gear in the back axle, together ............
It carries [1870] feet of hose, together with jumping sheets and rescue ropes, etc., in the main part of the body.

In the ... it carries hydrant keys, saws, keys and all sundry articles required. The standposts are fixed at the back of the tender, so that by just releasing a string lug they can be taken off ready for use. Further it carries two chemical fire extinguishers, two petrol extinguishers (in case there should be a motor car on fire), and three ladders.

Fitted throughout with electric light, the tender has three very powerful searchlights, two fitted high above the dash, which can be swivelled round in any direction, and one at the rear of the tender which can be used for entering dark and buildings. The cables carrying the current to this lamp is contained on a roller, and, when the lamp is carried, the cable unwinds. The tender is complete in every detail, and we think we can safely say that ut is the finest of its kind in the country. It will carry 14 firemen and can attain a speed of 30 to 35 miles per hour. The chassis was supplied by Mr D Nicholson, High-street North, Rushden, and the body work done by Messrs Barnet Brothers, Thrapston.

The Test

Anyone passing up Station-road last evening might have thought that all the boys and girls of the town were assembled there. It reminded one of the days before the War when a menagerie was expected to arrive in a town. The boys, bright and overflowing with quaint remarks, were sitting on the fences, waiting and on the look-out for any unusual sight. People lined both sides of Station-road, and Messrs Jaques and Clark’s factory was the rendezvous for many spectators. Soon after 6.30 the boys shouted “Here they come!” and away in the distance we had a splendid view of the scarlet paint and shining metalwork of the new motor tender, which had been announced to give a demonstration of its working power. As it was wished to have all the firemen on the job the full Brigade left the Fire Station at 6.30 promptly with a full complement of firemen on the tender and were playing on Messrs Jaques and Clark’s factory in three minutes time. The tender returned to the station and fetched the steamer. This return to the scene of the supposed fire took another six minutes and the men were playing on the building with the steamer in exactly ten minutes from the first call. The water pressure was excellent—jets being thrown a considerable distance above the dome on the front of the building.

The Rushden Echo, 20th May, 1927, transcribed by Gill Hollis

New Fire Engine for Rushden
Power Adapted for Driving and Pumping
Equipped for Fires in High Buildings

A Dennis 250 gallon turbine fire engine

The illustration on this page is of the Dennis 250-gallon turbine fire-engine (latest model) which the Rushden Urban Council decided last week to purchase.  The turbine pump will be a very valuable acquisition to the Rushden Fire Brigade equipment and a further encouragement to the already enthusiastic and efficient members.  This fire-engine is self-propelled, and the power used for driving the engine to the scene of the fire can instantly be transferred to the pumping.  The turbine is a distinct advance on models designed a few years ago, particularly in its compactness, light weight, and remarkable efficiency. A very great advantage of the turbine is that it is very simple to operate. All the members of the Brigade will undoubtedly quickly acquire a good working knowledge of the motor, so as to be able to use it in the shortest possible time at fire calls without having to wait for any particular member.

  Rushden people who watched the demonstration in Home Close recently were enthusiastic at the effect. Although several lengths of hose were laid some hundreds of yards or more uphill in the field, water from an inch jet was easily thrown from the nozzle some 80 or more feet higher than that. The force of the water from the jet was seen, too, in the way in which it


of the tree in Home Close. Tests with varying numbers and sizes of jets were made, and all were regarded by the Brigade officers and ex-Brigade members present as highly satisfactory.  It was seen that six jets could be used at once, all with sufficient “throw” for a four-storeyed building.  Rushden has some tall factories, one of which is in the highest part of the town, where the pressure of town water is rather poor.  The Dennis motor fire-engine was regarded by the Rushden officials who watched the test as being well capable of meeting all the needs of the town and district.  It is not to be wondered at that the firm have supplied the London Fire Brigade with more than 130 fire-engines.  In addition, the firm have supplied brigades all over the country, many towns in the Dominions, Spain, Hong-King, Poland, etc.

  The engine develops 33 to 36 horse-power, the petrol tank holding ten gallons.  The water circulation is assured by gear-driven pump and by-pass from the main pump, the overflow being fitted under the radiator.  As the motor is driven along the road it is capable of a speed of 33 miles per hour along the level and will climb a one-in-six hill with full load.  The pump is provided with two delivery outlet fittings and adapters to suit standard hose couplings as used by the Brigade.  The output is 225 gallons per minute at 120lb. pressure per square inch, and up to 350 gallons per minute at lower pressures.

  It will be remembered that the Higham Ferrers Town Council at their last meeting had before them the suggestion of Captain A. Sudborough of subsidising the Rushden Fire Brigade in order to be prepared to deal with the worst type of fire, Captain Sudborough having seen the Dennis demonstration.

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