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Wessex Fire & Rescue Service are proud of the rich heritage of the fire service and have our own fleet of historic vehicles that are available for events and hire.

Below you can see a few of our historic vehicles along with brief info on their history.

16 man horse-drawn manual fire pump 1859.

This 16 man horse-drawn manual fire pump was made by merryweather and sons of London in 1859 and was new to Lymington Fire Brigade Hampshire .

Manually operated fire engines like this would have been pulled by two horses or pulled by men to the fire. Streets around the country would have been paved with cobble stones to help the horses hooves grip the floor.

Fire pumps just like this one would have also been purchased by large houses as their own on site fire safety.

Unlike present day vehicles with blue lights and sirens this would have been simply lit by candle and hand rung bell.

16 people would have never been able to sit on this horse-drawn pump so on arrival to the incident would have to seek support from willing locals. If needed the fire men would have shouted “beer o ” meaning we will give you beer if you help or “bring us beer and we will keep pumping”.

Unlike today’s fire service who will assist anyone suffering from fire, every household would have had to pay for insurance and would have displayed a plaque on the exterior wall of their property.

Bedford MSZ, 1939, APR 679


Ordered by the Wareham Urban District Council in Dorset in late 1939, this Bedford MSZ was one of the first vehicles to use this chassis that was only launched in the autumn of 1939.

Built on a 10ft wheelbase, it is powered by a 27hp Bedford straight-six petrol engine with a 4-speed gearbox and single dry-plate clutch to a fully floating rear axle with spiral bevel final drive. The servo-assisted Lockheed hydraulic brakes operate on all four wheels.

The 'Braidwood style' bodywork was built by Superline Bodies of Sugar Lane, Bermondsey, London SE and it was originally fitted with a Pulsometer 1,000gpm pump but this was subsequently changed after World War II to a Dennis Number 2 pump.

The Bedford remained with the Wareham Fire Brigade and although no records of its wartime service exist, it is highly likely that it saw action in one of the towns or cities badly affected during the Blitz of 1940.

In April 1941, the Wareham brigade became part of the National Fire Service and was then amalgamated in 1948 into the Dorset Fire Brigade with the Bedford becoming part of the county's fire appliance fleet.

From 1964 until 1967 it was loaned to the National Trust to provide fire cover for Brownsea Island. On retirement from active service, it passed to enthusiasts from Burlesdon who owned it until 1988 when it was purchased by Colin Mockett of West End.

Ten years later it became part of the heritage fire engine collection owned by renowned preservationist Mick Paull of Odiham who fully restored the appliance.

Following Mick's tragic passing, it became part of the Wessex Fire and Rescue Heritage Collection in 2020.

Leyland cub, 1939, FLJ 356


Leyland cub Fk9 FLJ, 356, Supplied in December 1939 to Bournemouth Fire Brigade on chassis number 100385. It was built by Leyland in Kingston Surrey with a limousine type body.

It has a leyland 29.4 hp straight 6 petrol Z type engine with dual ignition, it is equipped with a Gwynne pump and fitted with a 50 foot Merryweather wooden trussed wheeled escape ladder. During its life it has Served at Bournemouth central in Holdernhurst road, West hill road and Pokesdown. Served in Bournemouth from 1939 till 1964, It was Under the NFS from 1941 till 1948 and in 1948 went back to Bournemouth fire brigade.

It has been in preservation with Jack hill of botley, Mike Hebard of shirell Heath, Ray maslen of Enfield London, Mick Paull and family of Odiham from 1995 to 2019 who fully restored it to its present condition.

Austin K2, 1941, GLE 820.

1941 GLE 820 Austin k2, heavy unit 1941 to 1947 LCC London County Council home office 1948 to Fife Scotland.

Dennis F8, 1950S, PBP 137.

This classic fire engine spent its working life with Bognor Regis in West Sussex Fire Brigade.

Bedford TKG 1983, A939 KJT

Bedford TKG / HCB-Angus WrL/T A939 KJT, HCB-Angus build number 6267.3 (third of 4), Order date: April 1983 - Bedford 500 diesel engine, Chassis released: June 28th 1983. Delivery date: December 1983. Chassis number: SKFSLR ICCD T108852. Fitted with Godiva UMPX 500gpm pump, supplied with 35ft Bayley wooden extension ladder & Hathaway LPP. Appliance operated for ten years as a WrL with 13.5m Angus Sacol ladder and for five years as a WrT. It was the last Dorset appliance to carry a 35ft Bayley wooden extension ladder.

Brigade History:

1984 - B22 Redhill Park - WrL

1985 - B25 Pokesdown - WrL

1989 - A03 Bridport - WrL

1991 - A04 Beaminster - WrL

1994 - A13 Blandford - WrT

1999 - Disposal

Purchased at South West Vehicle Auctions February 16th 1999

1st Rally: Brooklands May 3rd 1999

Was used for water supply during the filming of The Bill in London and on return extinguished a fire caused by overheated brakes on an HGV on the A40 Western Avenue near Uxbridge.

Landrover 110, 1989, F31 NTP

Ex Hampshire Fire Brigade

Volvo FL6, 1995, M145 LLJ

Volvo FL6.14, the last of a batch of three built in 1995 for the Dorset Fire Brigade by Saxon Sanbec as a water tender ladder rescue appliance. These were the only Saxon-built fire appliances in the brigade and this was their last Volvo.  

Stationed at A13 Blandford until 2004, it was transferred to A12 Shaftesbury as their second pump, a water tender ladder. It served at Shaftesbury until 2007 when it went to the West Moors Training Centre latterly as a base pump.

This was the final Volvo pumping appliance to be in service with Dorset - in the last few months under the newly formed Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Purchased from South West Vehicle Auctions by Fire-Aid International in November 2016, it was transferred to Wessex Fire and Rescue in January 2020.

Wessex have totally rebuilt and refurbished the appliance back to the condition that it was in 1997 at Dorset Fire and Rescue's A13 Blandford where it served alongside the Wessex preserved 1984 Bedford TKG / HCB-Angus water tender A939 KJT.

Dennis Sabre, 1998, S488 JJT


New to Redhill Park Fire station Dorset and later transferred to Wimborne fire station.  Built by John Dennis of Guilford.

Volvo BM10 coach, 1998, R131 KGH.


Volvo B10M-46 / Spectra, New to London Fire & Civil Defence Authority, March 1998 as BCU1, Ex London Fire Brigade then on to Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Honda Pan European ST1100, 1997, R196 SHL

BMW K100, 1985, C254 VRU.

Dorset Police, first fuel injection BMW into the fleet and was based at Gravel Hill Police Station in Poole and was ridden by PC Angle who is pictured on the bike above.