story starts back in 1977, when as a youthful, newly qualified driver, I
got the news that the current Firemen's dispute was escalating and I would
be going to Kendal in Cumbria to drive a 'Green Goddess' !!
of all we had to go to Catterick for a crash course in firefighting
(Probably looked more like an early Chaplin movie), after being kitted out
with the latest trendy DP's, welly boots & sea boot socks it was back
to Linton On Ouse to wait for the call, this didn't take long and we were
off to sunny Kendal.
stories of the following 9 weeks are too numerous to mention, and anyway
this is about the Goddess not me !!
to the Myth, I thought the vehicle behaved well despite it's age, though
as I recall we were still driving around in RL's back at Linton anyway so
it was hardly an unfamiliar vehicle.
after Christmas 1977 the dispute was called off and we returned to Linton,
at the time I didn't think I'd ever see the vehicle again.
time passed I often looked at the pictures (Slides) I took and wondered
what had become of it, when the Internet raised it's head I would stick
the reg number in a search engine every now and then to see if anyone else
had any recollections of her, but nothing was ever recorded. Then, almost
thirty years later, I was sitting having breakfast one Saturday morning
and typed in SYH 292, not really expecting there to be any result but to my surprise
the number appeared !! It
turned out that a number plate dealer was selling some of his stock on 'EBay',
Jacqui said I should buy it for old times sake and put it on our
Motorhome, I couldn't help thinking the reason for it's availability was
that it had met with a scrap yard somewhere and the plate was salvaged, anyhow,
after some discussion it was decided to get it, this we did and after a
few weeks it took pride of place on our Motorhome.
then started to wonder if there was some other reason the plate was
available and started to make enquiries, one of which led to the
Lincolnshire Fire Service, after a few calls I was given the number of the 'Operation
Florian' coordinator (Sarah) who I contacted and made initial
enquiries, they had 45 units at Scampton which were to be exported to
Montenegro as part of the Op Florian scheme. It could not be ascertained
if SYH 292 was amongst this consignment and I waited for some news.
the Eve of moving out of our house I got an email from Sarah to say that
SYH 292 was at Scampton, BUT, was going to be driven to Hull the following
day, along with the others, for onward shipment to Montenegro. At this
point I had only been looking for any information about the vehicle and
had not considered buying it, after all we were 'downsizing' and we wouldn't
have anywhere to put it. So whilst the removals company were busy I
Yorkshire Air Museum to see what the possibility of 'showing' it
there, the response was a resounding positive and by teatime I was booking
into RAF Scampton, Sarah's husband Mike met us with the vehicle and I took
it for a short drive round camp, it drove as smooth as a nut and it didn't
take me long to part with some of the profit we'd just made that morning.
The following weekend Jacqui and I drove down to
Lincoln (Armed with some serious petrol money) and drove it up to The
Yorkshire Air Museum.
she appears mechanically sound and has an extensive compliment of
equipment I intend to perform some cosmetic surgery and revert the
external markings to those of 1977. I would also like to put the original
number plate back on for display purposes only whilst at the Museum, it is
currently registered as 340 UXT.
of you reading this may think my money could have been put to a better
use, but I'm happy to have been able to secure a part of our heritage that
would otherwise have been lost.