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Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade

Land Rover 88 inch Forward Control Fire Appliance.

Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade is a registered charity, started in 1884. It is a unique organisation under contract to provide fire cover for Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service. We operate as an on-call station but the Members provide their time free of charge.

The 88-inch Forward Control Fire Appliance and the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade

A unique vehicle preserved

 and exhibited by an equally unique organisation

Retaining its original registration number of REG 999, this is one of only four 88-inch Forward Control Fire Appliances built on a Land Rover Series II chassis that were manufactured by Land Rover and converted by Alfred Miles Ltd/Dennis Brothers Ltd. This model is unique in that it is the only one that has been fully maintained to retain its original condition.

Its construction and conversion enabled it to transport fire-fighting equipment across rugged terrain and was intended to be particularly useful in country districts to negotiate fields, ditches and undulating land to reach forest, brush and grass fires.

Manufactured in 1960 by Land Rover, the vehicle was intended for conversion by Alfred Miles Ltd in Brockworth, Cheltenham. Difficult times forced them to sell their fire appliance division, so the conversion was completed by Dennis Brothers Ltd, Guildford, and designated to their ‘M’ series.

The standard Land Rover selections were modified by Alfred Miles to provide eight forward and two reverse speeds in high and low range, with the cab mounted over the engine.

Its main gearbox was remote controlled to Miles’s special design, giving positive selection into any gear and retaining the quality of drive achieved by the Rover Company.

It was fitted with equipment lockers usually found only in the larger type models. A 150 gallon water tank was housed below these compartments, as close as possible to the chassis to ensure a low centre of gravity.

In 1963, the vehicle was purchased and registered by Baker Perkins and spent her life until 1992 as part of the works’ fire brigade at the Baker Perkins factory in Westfield Road, Peterborough.

In 1992, she was presented to the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade when Baker Perkins moved to a new factory.

Vehicle has clocked up only 9,000 miles in her entire life. She is now in full working condition, having been painstakingly restored by the PVFB.

The other three vehicles include a prototype fire appliance, a drop-sided truck and a fire appliance similar to the one in the ownership of the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade. Each has now been located and the PVFB are in touch with their owners. All three are undergoing restoration. The ultimate goal is to get all four vehicles back together again for a public reunion.

Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade is also unique as it is the only volunteer fire brigade under contract in the UK. Formed in 1884 by Peterborough city businessmen, the brigade is a registered charity and operates as a private fire brigade under a special contract with the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, responding to calls as directed from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service to serve the people of Peterborough and the surrounding villages. The brigade effectively operates as an On Call (retained) fire station, except that its members provide their services unpaid.