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ERF Water Ladder

Posted on May 6, 2009 at 6:34 AM

I've just noticed the small photo of the ERF pump (RHS of the main page). This was a very interesting appliance that I came across whilst at Pudsey in 1982. Powered by a Cummins V8 diesel through an Allison Autobox, it was a good appliance.....while it was on the run.

And there's the main point...'while it was on the run'. I've never known a pump have so much downtime in all my life! The main cause was the sophisticated Waterous pump. This was a midships mounted 1200gpm pump with 8 deliveries (4 each side). Each delivery could be set to supply water at different pressures to the others, plus it had a fixed monitor on the roof which was the best I've ever seen.

The main pump suffered badly from leaking gaskets, causing a lot of down time. It would run fine until you tried to do a suction test, at which point it usually surrendered, spraying water all over. However, at the only major incident I used it, Jumbo Mills, Kirkstall, Leeds, (just a make up to 12 and TL's 2....we didn't like to fuss in those days....)  it was set into the river as base pump, and happily supplied 8 deliveries all night at 100psi. It was a relief when it primed, I can tell you! I think Don Kirk was ADO i/c , and I wouldn't have liked to tell him it had failed again!

Great fish and chips from across the road though!

Does anyone remember the name of the DO at Leeds East at that time? Leeds West was Tony Upton.

I think the appliance finally went to Moreton, though I could be mistaken.

Categories: General Fire News, Appliance News

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Reply Mark Elliott
9:23 PM on May 8, 2009 
Hi John, Yes I think I remember reading that the ERF (Old buggerlugs!) had moved on to Moreton?

I don't think ERF could compete with AEC & Dennis, Hence the number of appliances that were sold and went on the run.

Leeds had the ERF HP for a while, You will remember that.

Apart from those 2 I don't think WY had many more on the run?

Reply John Stead
2:00 PM on May 9, 2009 
Hi Mark,
Wakefield had an ERF/Jennings HP, which if I remember was J reg. It had a fibreglass cab which vibrated so much at any reasonable speed that hearing the radio was impossible. I had photos of it at Rawsons Mill, Wakefield, in 1979(?).
I'd set it to work in the smoke, attacking the advancing fire.
Then the smoke cleared.......revealing a classic bulging wall!
We only just moved it before the wall collapsed!
A police photographer took some pics of it, and printed them, but can I for the life of me find 'em! When I do, I'll submit them.
Personally, I think that if ERF had built cars that could be used as staff cars, etc, we wouldn't be buying appliances from foreign firms!
And this is the country that once supplied the world....!
Best regards,
Reply Mark Elliott
9:45 PM on August 24, 2009 
There's a picture of this at a 'Job' in 1982? Sharp St? in Wakefield.

As a Fire Brigade/Service historian I don't find much on Wakefield's past incident history.

I only know of a few incidents, Like the college fire back in the 60's?

Compared to Bradford - I could fill a book with the incidents in Bradford over the past 30 years.

Many weekends in the 70's & 80's were guaranteed to have 2/3 Big shouts - Mill Jobs the usual (Dare I Say) insurance jobs!!

One Ex Batley Sub who I know, Said that one weekend it was so busy in Batley/Dewsbury, That they had to ask Leeds to send up their TL & HP for the weekend, Batley had a Dennis & a Dodge HP & TL based then.

He said that Leeds Cen Stn Off 'Joey Lowes'? was overworked and his crews were worked to the limit!!

When the job at the Birstall Aircraft parts storage mill (Goncral?) had eventually finished, He said they were like 'Zombies' on the monday morning after attending 3/4 large jobs in a weekend.

A different state of play now.
Reply J M DANE
11:39 AM on April 27, 2011 
The job at the aircraft parts firm was, I believe, the day after the Bradford City football ground fire at approx 11 in the morning on Sunday.
I was on nights Sat and Sun.

John Ff 1886

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