Copyright Fire Service Preservation Group 2020

Site designed and maintained on behalf of the Executive Committee by Dave Gormley

Fire Service Preservation Group

Preserving Fire Service History for over 50 years

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What do you do for a Living?

I am the Managing Director of a fire protection company based in Horsham, West Sussex that carries out fire cover for events, airshows and film and television along with the hire, sales and maintenance of fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment. Pursuing my career came about through my interest in fire engines and membership of the Group.

Do you have a Fire Service Background?

I started my fire service career by joining the fire party in the factory where I completed my engineering apprenticeship. I got together with a good friend of mine who was a London fireman and formed a company pumping out flooded premises etc. Moving on we were offered work in the film and TV industry. Having already carried out industrial fire training and learnt a lot from my London Fireman friend. I then trained as a Low Category airport firefighter and became certified by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. I then went to the International Fire Training Centre at Tees-Side Airport and qualified as a CAA Low Category Supervisor and instructor. With revalidation courses I have now held this qualification for over 30 years.

How long have you been a member of FSPG?

I joined the Auxiliary and National Fire Service Preservation Group as it was then, in 1969. I am member number 0010.

How long have you been on the EC?

I am afraid I cannot remember; I first became a member of the EC when Denis Barclay was our President and have been an active member for many years becoming Vice President then President for over an 18 consecutive year period. I am now an ordinary member of the EC.


Are there any positions/special roles/jobs that you do for the FSPG?

I seem to have inadvertently become the EC member that knows what happened in the past and where to look for Group things. I also assist and advise where needed to help members. I helped with the organisation of the FSPG 50th year rally at Gaydon including writing all of the risk assessments that were required by the owners of the site. I also became newsletter editor for a year or so running a Gestetner printer in my mum and dads house.

Why did you become a member of the EC?

I became a member of the EC to help keep the Group running in the right direction as I have seen other similar preservation organisations lose their way and to assist with guiding the Group calling on my years of experience as a Group member.

What vehicles /collections do you own?

I have the last complete and operational 1970 Land Rover/Sun Engineering Light Water RIV built for the Mod Procurement Executive and served at RaE Farnborough.

What’s on your shopping list?

I don’t actually have anything left on my shopping list as I think I have achieved the purchase of all I ever wanted. That is with the exception of one of the two Range Rover fire appliances built by Pyrene/Sun engineering that are to the same design as my Land Rover. One of these Range Rovers served alongside my Land Rover/Sun RiV at RaE Farnborough and it would have been nice to own it. Their registration numbers are ELA 831 and 832J

What is your favourite era for re-enacting/ to portray in arena events?
1970s aircraft crash rescue with my Land Rover.

What is your favourite thing to do at a rally?

I enjoy viewing other people’s restorations and chatting with members and visitors about all aspects of fire preservation. I also enjoy chewing the fat over a couple of decent pints of ale at weekend shows.

What you get out of being a member of FSPG?

I get comradery from my many friends in the Group and help with any projects we may be involved in. The FSPG insurance policy is second to none in covering us to demonstrate our vehicles, equipment and collections to the general public.

What would you say to someone looking to join the FSPG?

The FSPG is the leading group for fire service preservation and has a wealth of knowledge and use/demonstration of preserved fire appliances of all types and ages, you would be welcome to chat and explore our members knowledge to assist you with your restoration. Our members are very helpful and friendly.

Have you got a random piece of fact/trivia/skill you would like to share?

I am also on the British Standards Institute, FSH/2 committee for design, manufacture and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers.

Is there anything else you want to say about yourself?

I was brought up in a small village called Ponders End, a suburb of Enfield in the county of Middlesex. My introduction into vintage vehicles and then fire engines and equipment came about through my father who was one of the founder members of the Enfield and District Veteran Vehicle Society. The society had two fire engines a 1911 John Morris Belsize pump escape and a 1936 Leyland Metz turntable ladder. Dad used to take me with him to work on the Belsize which was at one point kept in the garage at the bottom of our garden and to various shows including the HCVC London to Brighton run on the machine. I eventually bought and restored (in grey) a Godiva FSM 3 light trailer pump when I was about 14. During these times I met Ray Maslen another early Group member who towed my trailer to shows behind a 1932 Leyland Tigress pump named ‘Vivien’. I joined the Group in 1969 at the same time as Graham Hart. I have attended vintage vehicle shows since I was five years old and continue to enjoy them.