Fire and Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Fire and Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet

Item details

Name of item: Fire and Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Utilities - Fire Control
Category: Fire Control Objects (movable)
Location: Lat: -33.74765833 Long: 150.6935873
Primary address: Museum Drive, Penrith, NSW 2750
Local govt. area: Penrith
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin

Boundary:

The SHR curtilage boundary is limited to the item itself and does not include the land it is located on or the structure it is housed within.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Museum DrivePenrithPenrith  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Fire and Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet demonstrates the progressive development of fire brigade technology for the purpose of meeting new demands and challenges, contingent upon a growing and developing City of Sydney. The development of firefighting technology is an ongoing process that continues today, and these vehicles comprise an important aspect of that historical process
The Heritage Fleet spans an era that ranges from 1841 to the late 1990s. Some of the vehicles provide evidence of great innovation; others constitute a new direction such as the 'Scout Car' (the brigade's first attempt to design a fire engine in which the firemen could travel inside the vehicle). Many are aesthetically pleasing by virtue of their size and fabric.
This collection is held in high esteem by both fire engine enthusiasts, and retired firefighters. This is evidenced by the care and maintenance carried out by volunteer workers at the Museum of Fire, as well as the numerous articles that have appeared in various publications, concerning these vehicles. Further evidence of their social significance lies in the requests that are received for the involvement of some of these vehicles in parades, processions and exhibitions.
Providing evidence of both defunct and more recent technologies, the Heritage Fleet is a rich source for research into the development of fire fighting appliances over some one hundred and fifty years.
As a collection, the Fire & Rescue Heritage Fleet is rare in terms of its high representativeness, and its comprehensiveness. Some of the vehicles that comprise the collection are rare items in their own right.
Date significance updated: 14 Mar 13
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Various
Builder/Maker: Various
Construction years: 1841-1998
Physical description: The Fire and Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet consists of hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorised fire engines, spanning almost every decade from the early 1840s till the late 1990s. It includes hose carts, pumpers, and ladders, as well as highly specialised vehicles such as a Carbon Dioxide tender, a mobile canteen, a bushfire tanker, a salvage engine and various hydraulic aerial appliances.
Of the pumpers included in the Fleet, there are examples of:
- Manual pumpers (which were operated by up to twenty firemen, who manually pumped water utilising long shafts located on each side of the vehicle);
- Steam-powered pumpers; and
- Motorised pumpers.
The ladders include:
- Horse Drawn Curricle ladders (manufacture date 1898); and
- Motorised turntable ladders of various eras.
A complete list of the appliances that comprise the fleet is below:

Date unknown: 2X hand drawn hose carts
Circa 1902: hose cart (hand-drawn)
1841: Tilley - 5" manual pumper (Horse-drawn)
1893: Robertson hose reel
1916: Garford type 64 - chain drive pumper
1926: Garford type 15 - Hale pumper
1929: Morris Magirus turntable ladders ( 1929 Dennis chassis
1931: Dennis 250/400 pumper
1933: Dennis 300/400 pumper
1938: Dennis Ace 350 pumper
1939: Dennis Big 6 pumper
1942: Morris Magirus turntable ladders (closed cab)
1942: Morris Magirus turntable ladders (open cab)
1942: GMC CCKW 6x6 bushfire tanker
1947: Dennis F1 pumper (scout car)
1952: Merryweather turntable ladders (AEC chassis)
1955: Dennis F2 Rolls Royce pumper
1957: Morris 5FPM composite pumper
1958: Commer R741 - forward control pumper
1961: Ford Thames tamini pumper
1965: Ford Thames CO2 tender
1965: Ford Thames salvage
1966: Bedford J1 Hearse
1966: Bedford J1 tamini pumper
1968: Ford D200 pumper
1969: Dennis Jaguar D600 pumper
1971: Dennis F44 pumper
1971: Dennis Jaguar D600 pumper
1972: International C1600 pumper
1973: International 1610A pumper
1973: Simon Snorkel (ERF chassis)
1975: Magirus turntable ladders (International chassis)
1979: International rescue monitor
1983: Telesquirt (Mack chassis)
1984: Mercedes911 water tanker
1984 Magirus low profile turntable ladders (Iveco chassis)
1984: Bomnardier Futura, 'over-snow' vehicle
1985: International 1819C pumper
1998: Mercedes Bronto
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition ranges from fair to excellent.
Archaeological potential low.
Current use: In storage for preservation purposes
Former use: Firefighting operational support vehicles

History

Historical notes: Historic Fire Engine Association of Australia / The Museum of Fire.

On Thursday 13 March 1969, a meeting was held at Turramurra, which resulted in the formation of the Historic Fire Engine Association of Australia (HFEA). Collectively, the association's eleven members possessed some fifteen vehicles.

Following the association's first meeting, contact was made with the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW and a longstanding relationship was formed between the two bodies, with the Board's president, L. Verrills, being appointed as patron. At this time, the New South Wales Fire Brigades was still using a wide array of fire engines of different vintages. 'Standby' vehicles, which were fitted with pre-war, open-cab (Braidwood) bodies, were stored strategically around the suburbs to cover 'breakdowns'.

In 1971, the HFEA first sought to preserve a fire engine for its historic value, successfully acquiring a Leyland FT3 pumper. Five years later, the Board of Fire Commissioners announced that a section of the new training college at Alexandria would be set aside for a Museum: the association was invited to establish and administer the new museum. The museum was completed in 1979. The following year, the museum was the proud recipient of four significant fire engines, formerly under the custodianship of the Museum of Applied Arts and Science (now the Powerhouse Museum). These were a fine addition to the museum's collection; however, the Board soon found itself constrained to expand the training college facilities - by utilising the space then occupied by the museum.

Following consultation between the Board and the Museum during May 1980, a solution was found. The Board agreed to fund the costs involved in securing a lease with the Maritime Services Board and establishing the museum in a section of wharves four and five, at Walsh Bay. Two more bays of the building were later sub-leased for the purpose of providing a vehicle workshop area and, on 10 January 1981, the new museum opened for business.

At this stage, the entire staff were volunteers, mostly evenly divided between Board and private owners. As a result of a Government decision on a changed use of the wharf, the Museum was obliged to move in 1984 to No. 7 Wharf, Circular Quay, on a lease renewable yearly, but with no guarantee of permanency because of proposals re Circular Quay Bicentennial Redevelopment. The Board's Transport Department moved the collection, and the Board met the rental costs for a smaller space. (Fire News, October 1986. p. 18).
A task force recommended the appointment of a full-time Director, the museum began to generate an income, and in 1985, almost broke even financially; however, later that year, the museum was once again forced to relocate

In September 1985 the museum was re-established in the old Power House at Penrith, and on 16 November 1986, the Museum of Fire was officially opened.

Fire & Rescue NSW - Heritage Fleet.
The involvement of Fire & Rescue NSW (formerly NSW Fire Brigades) in the preservation of old equipment can be traced back to 1916. During that year, No 4 Shand Mason Steamer was approved for retention as a 'museum exhibit'. It is not known to which museum the engine was destined, however, and unfortunately nothing appears to have eventuated - the engine disappears from the records in 1918.

With the withdrawal of the last of the manual engines in 1930, two (along with the Shand Mason Curricle Ladders) were retained, and were subsequently used in parades and demonstrations. Over the ensuing years, these vehicles were stored at various fire stations.

During the early 1960s, the Board of Fire Commissioners handed over five fire engines to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) for custodianship. These included:
- A 1916 chain-drive Garford, which had survived since the late 1930's by being utilised as a hose-winder for 'Volunteer Fireman State Championships'.
- An 1891 Shand Mason Steam Fire Engine - one of the most significant, engines to be preserved. Having been replaced by the Ahrens Fox PS2 motorised pumper, the steamer was kept at various stations as a 'standby' pumper, until after the post war years. In 1962, it was restored by the Board's workshops and was presented to the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, (Powerhouse Museum), for display purposes.
- The Ahrens Fox PS2 - a super-pumper, and once the 'pride of the fleet'.

In April 1969, the Board retained a Garford Hale pumper, the last of its type to be withdrawn from service.
In 1974, the Board of Fire Commissioners consented to preserve the Dennis Big 6 (used as a funeral engine)', the Ford Mobile Canteen, and the 'Scout Car'. These were preserved by leasing them to the Historic Fire Engine Association of Australia, in response to their offer to store and care for them.
Since that time, the "Heritage Fleet" collection has progressively grown and now comprises forty-six fire engines. This number will continue to increase under the terms of the Museum of Fire's Acquisition & Collection Policy.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The NSW Fire Brigades Heritage Fleet demonstrates the progressive development of Fire Brigade pumping appliances and vehicles in order to cope with new demands and challenges brought about by a growing and developing city of Sydney. The development of firefighting technology is an ongoing process, which continues today, and these engines comprise an important aspect in that historical process. They are surviving examples of the Fire Brigade's endeavours to deliver adequate fire protection in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
A number of the appliances, which comprise the Heritage Fleet, have associations with important events and groups during the history of the State of NSW. These associations include: the George Hudson timber yard fire of 1928; and the Goldsbrough Mort wool store fire of 1935.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Heritage Fleet demonstrates the development of state of the art firefighting technology over a long period, spanning from 1841 to the late 1990s. It provides evidence of great innovation and some of the appliances demonstrate a great leap forward from anything the Brigade had previously utilised. An example of this is the 1949 Dennis F1 'Scout Car' was the first attempt, by the NSW Fire Brigades, to establish a new standard of body design, incorporating the 'safer', internal seating for the crew.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This collection is held in high esteem by Fire Engine enthusiasts and retired firefighters. This is evidenced by the care and maintenance carried out by volunteer workers at the Museum of Fire where it is now located. The social significance of many of these vehicles was recognised by the Board Of Fire Commissioners of NSW, when they gave approval for their retention for 'museum purposes'. The high regard in which these vehicles are held, is also evidenced by the numerous articles, which have appeared in various publications, both within and outside Fire & Rescue NSW. Further evidence of their social significance lies in the occasional participation of some of these vehicles for parades, processions and exhibitions.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Heritage Fleet is a rich source for research into the development and technology of firefighting equipment and vehicles generally from the 1840's until the late 1990s. It also provides fine examples of the work and ingenuity of the Board's workshop tradesmen.
The collection provides opportunities for research into the many, now defunct, designs of firefighting equipment. Examples of this are:
- Horse drawn fire appliances
- Manually pumped appliances
- Steam powered appliances
- Curricle Ladders
There are also opportunities for research into:
- Motorised appliances from 1916 till 1998.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
As a collection, the Fire & Rescue NSW Heritage Fleet is rare in terms of its representativeness and comprehensiveness covering a large period of time, as well as its size. It comprises approximately two thirds of the collection at the Museum of Fire, Penrith.
Individual items within the collection are rare items in their own right. For example, the horse drawn, manual pumpers are two of only five extant in Australia. The 1939 carbon dioxide tender is one of only five designed and used by the NSW Fire Brigades, who were the only brigade in Australia to use such appliances.

Many appliances were the only example of their type to be used by the NSW Fire Brigades, and in some cases, Australia

The high degree of integrity of many of these appliances also enhances their rarity.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The representativeness of the Heritage Fleet as a collection is outstanding due to the high integrity of the majority of the items of which it is comprised.
It provides excellent examples of different types of firefighting technology from various eras, and various manufacturers. They represent almost every decade from the 1840s till the late 1990s. Some of these technologies are now defunct.
It's outstanding representativeness adds to the collection's rarity.
Integrity/Intactness: The integrity of the majority of the items, which comprise the Heritage Fleet, is of a high level.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions
HERITAGE ACT 1977

ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2)
TO GRANT SITE SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS FROM APPROVAL

Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet

SHR No. 1902

I, the Minister for Heritage, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, in pursuance of section 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, do, by this my order, grant an exemption from section 57(1) of that Act in respect of the engaging in or carrying out of any activities described in Schedule "C" by the Fire and Rescue NSW or the Museum of Fire described in Schedule "B" on the item described in Schedule "A".




The Hon Robyn Parker, MP.
Minister for Heritage


Sydney, 24th Day of October 2012


SCHEDULE A

The item known as the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet, situated on the land described in Schedule "B".


SCHEDULE B

Moveable heritage item currently stored at 1 Museum Drive, Penrith, Parish of Castlereagh, County of Cumberland.

SCHEDULE C

EXEMPTIONS UNDER SECTION 57(2)
Exemptions
1. All Standard Exemptions
Reason/ comments:These cover a full range of activities that do not require Heritage Council approval, including Standard Exemption 7 which allows consideration of additional unspecified types of minor works for exemption.

2. Replacement of parts as required to keep the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet in good repair and order where the existing parts cannot be repaired and retained. Parts are to be a replica of the original parts except where this can no longer be achieved and will not impact on the significance of the item.

Reason/ comments:To ensure the maintenance, repair and conservation of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet.
3. The disassembly and reassembly of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet for the purposes of maintenance and repair to keep the item in good repair and order.
Reason/ commentsTo ensure the maintenance, repair and conservation of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet
.
4. The removal of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet for storage outside the Museum of Fire Penrith for the purposes of maintenance and/or repair/ where an agreement is made to return the locomotive to the Museum within a specified time period.
Reason/ comments: To ensure the maintenance, repair and conservation of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet.

5.The removal (on loan) of the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet from the Museum of Fire, Penrith for the purposes of exhibition in other exhibition institutions or as part of a travelling exhibition where an agreement is made to return the items to the Museum of Fire, Penrith within a specified time period and where moving will not damage items.
Reason/ comments:To enable the public exhibition of the item.

6. The deaccessioning of items from the Fire and Rescue Heritage Fleet where these items will be disposed of in NSW.
Reason/ comments:To ensure that the SHR item remains located in NSW (notwithstanding temporary periods on exhibition outside NSW)
Feb 25 2013

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0190225 Feb 13 30491 & 496

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAdrian, Colin1994Fighting Fire - a Century of Service 1884 - 1894
WrittenBrian Blunt2004History of Fire Service Preservation in NSW
WrittenGraeme Vatcher1999Fire Appliances in Australia
WrittenVarious Fire News Articles
WrittenVarious Brigade Reports and Corrospondence

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5061691
File number: 12/06396


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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