Green Goddess and Airfield Crane at York 6/7/2008
The famous 'Green Goddesses' were a 1000 vehicle fleet of fire engines based on a Bedford 4-wheel-drive lorry chassis which were best known for provided emergency cover during strikes by regular fire fighters, most notably in 1977 when they were manned by 20,750 servicemen. They are now considered surplus to requirements and are being disposed of by the Ministry of Defence.
The Bedford Self Propelled Pump, manned by a crew of six, weighs around 8 tonnes and is propelled by a Bedford six-cylinder 4927cc petrol engine at speeds of up to 50mph. It is equipped with a Sigmund FN4 low pressure centrifugal pump capable of feeding four hose lines at 900 gallons per minute and has a 300 gallon water tank as an alternative to supply from a hydrant. A Coventry Climax 300 gallons per minute portable pump, 1600 feet of rubber lined canvas hose and a 35 feet extending aluminium ladder are carried. No radio was fitted and the pumps were escorted by a police car when in service.
The “Green Goddess” at the Yorkshire Air Museum, SYH 292, was one of a batch of 45 units being held temporarily at RAF Scampton and destined to be exported to the Republic of Montenegro by Operation Florian, the UK Fire Service Humanitarian Charity, when it was located and bought by Ian Scales, who drove the very same vehicle during the 1977 Firemen's dispute.
Behind the “Goddess” is the airfield crane made by AEC Amazon.
During the 1930s, a militarised version of the Thorneycroft Amazon 6 ton 6 x 4 lorry was supplied to the RAF with the 5 ton Coles Mk VII petrol-electric crane for aircraft salvage and maintenance duties. About 2000 were produced during World War II, of which the RAF had 1800 (400 with diesel engines). This 1942 example was donated to the Museum in 2000 and has been restored to original condition.
Picture added on 07 September 2009 at 07:27