Kew Bridge Steam Museum’s Grand New Year Steam Up is over for another year. I popped down there this afternoon. The treat this time is a London fire engine from the 1860s which the museum’s volunteers have just restored. Today they had it inside the front gate and it was chugging away to the manner born, a riot of scarlet and gleaming brass. It is a ‘London Vertical Brigade Steamer’, built for the Metropolitan Fire Brigate by Shand Mason & Company of Blackfriars Road. The appliance was sold on to the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Works Co in 1876, from which time its role was simply to work as a pump when water mains were being laid or repaired. The Fire Brigade Museum acquired it from the Metropolitan Water Board in 1936. Today, KBSM have this magnificent machine on long-term loan from the Fire Brigade Museum.
Later on, there was a chap in a top hat playing his “fire tuba” in front of the engine. Most entertaining. I have put a few clips on You Tube, as follows: