At Brass Tacks, we pride ourselves on being flexible and able to adapt to any brief given to us from our clients. With this in mind, we were absolutely delighted to be approached by a Fire Engine Restoration enthusiast to provide bespoke brass kick rails for a 1940’s Leyland Fire Engine.
Here’s the incredible story behind our involvement in the supply of the brass kick rails.
The Leyland was originally ordered by Windermere council in 1939 and was finally delivered in October 1940 replacing an existing 1918 Dennis Pump. It is believed that the Chief Fire Officer and his engineer caught the train from Windermere to Leyland, had lunch and then drove it back to the lakes! Shortly after the Leyland’s arrival in Windermere, the wartime Auxiliary Fire Service was formed and the Leyland, being a state-of-the-art (at the time) pump, was transferred to Liverpool to bravely help in the war effort. Back in Windermere, it was replaced by a Dodge lorry towing a trailer pump.
Having completed its service in Liverpool, the Leyland was returned to Windermere to serve alongside the Dodge lorry, which had now been converted into a proper fire engine. It successfully served the local population as part of Westmorland Fire Brigade until 1963. At this point, it was sold for scrap, but actually ended up at a Butlins holiday camp in North Wales to be used as a “toy”! It remained there until the late 1970’s when once again it was sold for scrap. The Leyland was acquired by an enthusiast in Cornwall who carried out a complete restoration. It was during this time that contact was made with a gentleman in Windermere, who was a retained fireman who rode the machine in active service. A strong friendship was built between the new owner and the fireman, so much so that in 2000, the Leyland was sold back to him in Windermere.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Leyland was purchased by its current owners, who embarked on a major 2 year restoration project. The Leyland was to be returned to its former glory including its original Windermere Livery.
We all hope that she will now be seen in all her glory on show fields around the country proving once again the old Leyland Motors advertising slogan “The Leyland - She’s a Lady“ is just as true now as it was 75 years ago!!
This was one of the most unusual projects we have been involved in, however it’s a true showcase of how unique and bespoke brass fittings are delivered by our professional craftsmen. If you have a requirement for truly individual brass fittings, we’d be delighted to hear from you and help you realise your dream.