GLW419GLW 419 - 1942 Leyland Merryweather 100ft Turntable Escape

National Fire Service / City of Lincoln Fire Brigade

This is one of a batch of 30 fire engines (GLW 410 to 439) ordered by the National Fire Service in London and distributed around the country to meet wartime needs.

It is built on a Leyland TD7 double-deck bus chassis (very similar to Lincoln Corporation 64 - BFE 419) - this batch of chassis having been 'frozen' by the Ministry of Supply early in the war, and released in 1942.

These vehicles were fitted with a 5 litre (33hp) petrol engine, 4-speed crash gearbox and vacuum operated and assisted brakes. It weighs 9.5 tons, has a top speed of 55 mph and a petrol consumption of 6 mpg. The body was built by Merryweather & Sons Ltd, of Greenwich, London - a company established in 1690 and a specialist in fire-fighting pumps and equipment.

GLW 419 was delivered to the National Fire Service in Lincoln, probably in wartime grey livery, later being transferred to the City of Lincoln Fire Brigade when the control of fire brigades passed back to local control in 1948. GLW 419 was based mainly at the Monks Road fire station, and transferred to the (then) new fire station on South Park Avenue in 1964.

GLW 419 was presented to the LVVS by the Lincoln Fire Brigade in 1968, although for some years, it was a reserve vehicle for the Lincoln Fire Brigade, and was required to be kept at the front of the Museum in case of an emergency call (the Fire Brigade held a key to the Museum - our members were not expected to act as firefighters!)

Some of the other fire engines from this batch survive in preservation - a picture of GLW 410 in war-time livery can be seen here.

(photo above courtesy C Schofield)

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above - GLW 419 'on parade' at Longdales Road brigade HQ for a Home Office inspection, 1950s

below - GLW 419 in active service, fire at Hovis Mill, Brayford Wharf, Lincoln.

We are most grateful to former Lincoln fireman John Colam for these photographs
above - GLW 419 in convoy of fire engines moving to the new Fire Station and HQ building at South Park in 1964.

below - view from the bottom of the ladder.
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This vehicle has been 'off the road' for a few years, following overheating and fuel supply problems. So far, the radiator has been overhauled, the fuel tank removed and cleaned thoroughly, and the gearbox and clutch overhauled. An engine rebuild is currently underway.

July 2016 - The fire engine ventured on to the roads in June for the first time in many years for a test drive following an engine rebuild.

January 2018 - The fire engine has been to Lincolnshire Co-op for a brake check and service - it ran a few short drive-past journeys at our November Transport Festival event.


Fire Engine Photos
Leyland Society
Merryweather & Sons - History
Fire Services National Museum Trust

page updated 3.2.18