London Fire Brigade

Merryweather Hatfield motor pump

Made by Merryweather's, the Hatfield motor pump was the first widely used motor appliance in service with the Brigade.

It featured a reciprocating piston pump, which required a large air vessel similar to that used on steamers.

Although a very effective fire engine, in use from 1912 through into the 1920s, the Brigade moved forward on to Dennis and Leyland models that used the more efficient centrifugal or turbine pumps.

The crew sat along the sides of the vehicle, just as they had on the horse-drawn models. This style of bodywork was known as the Braidwood body. 

With the increasing traffic in London it was necessary for fire engines to have bells to warn other traffic of their approach when answering emergency calls.

This had previously been avoided due to fears the noise would frighten the horses. Hand rung bells were introduced from 1908 and were made from brass.

Technical information

  • Crew: five firefighters
  • Equipment: hose, lines branches, a double reciprocating pump, two scaling ladders
  • Pumping capacity: 250-400 gallons per minute
  • Speed: 20mph
  • Engine: Astor
  • Fuel: petrol
  • Manufacturers: Merryweather


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