After almost 50 years on display in a glass cabinet at Colchester Road Fire Station, Needham Market's vintage steam fire engine made its final journey to the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, Monday 25 July.
County Councillor Colin Spence, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, Chief Fire Officer, Andy Fry, and Mayors of Ipswich and Needham Market, John Le Grys and Martin Spurling respectively, were invited to mark the last chapter in the history of Needham Market's vintage steam fire engine, as it was officially handed back to Needham Market Town Council.
The 1911 'Shand Mason' steam pump engine was installed as a display in Colchester Road Fire Station when the station opened in 1962. It was originally purchased by Needham Market Town Council and served the town until 1940. A few years later it was presented on indefinite loan to Suffolk's Fire and Rescue Service.
Before the engine reached its final resting place in the museum today, it enjoyed a hero's welcome at its old home at Needham Market Fire Station.
A very special guest came in the form of Glory Chenery, whose father, William Chenery, was instrumental in the running of engine in its prime. Glory Chenery: "It has been a very exciting and emotional day for me. I have terrific memories of working with my father - he was the first person to supply the horses that pulled the steam pump engine.
"The steam pump engine is a big part of my childhood, so this was a special day for me on many levels."
Chief Fire Officer, Andy Fry, said: "Today's event marked the handing over of an important part of our history. The steam pump really is a wonderful piece of engineering that must have made a huge difference to firefighters, who would have used hand-powered pumps prior to its introduction at Needham Market. We are very proud to have had it displayed in Ipswich for almost 50 years and are delighted that people will be able to continue to enjoy it, in a display with three other vintage fire engines at the Museum of East Anglian Life."
Posted: 10.02, 26.07.11, email@example.com