AN HISTORIC steam-powered fire engine has returned to its palace home – thanks to a little help from Warwickshire firefighters.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service assisted partners in Oxfordshire with the return of a vintage horse-drawn machine, built by Merryweather & Sons in 1890,
to its Blenheim Palace home, where it served for more than a century.
The engine was making a homecoming to Blenheim, having been an emergency vehicle at the Woodstock residence in the late 1800s. It was delivered to the palace by fire officers from Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, some wearing historic period uniforms.
The engine, a part of firefighting history, had been restored early in the 1980s in Warwickshire at Shipston Fire Station.
It has been infrequently used at events and open days to demonstrate the ways that fire fighting technology had changed over the last century. After a request from the palace it was tracked by Oxforshire firefighters to Nuneaton Fire Station.
Warwickshire County Council’s fire and rescue spokesman Andy Crump said: “When one of our fire officers heard that Blenheim Palace were searching for a historic steam-powered fire engine that they had lost touch with, it immediately reminded him that the vehicle was being kept in safe storage at Nuneaton Fire Station and was quick to make contact with partners in Oxfordshire to arrange it’s safe return to the palace.
“We are very happy that this engine is now back home at Blenheim Palace and can now be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come.”
It is expected that the steam-powered fire engine will go on display at Blenheim next month.