Birmingham Fire Brigade's New Fire Engine
The Wolseley Hose cart of 1906 or 1907.
At around 1900, Fire Brigades, such as they were at the time, relied on horse drawn fire engines and fire fighting equipment. Around 1905 the first motorised vehicles were appearing in Birmingham, bringing with them new benefits to their owners and new problems too. The Fire Brigade was quick to realise the benefits of the new motor vehicles for fighting fires in the city.
This was the first motor tender ordered by the Fire Brigade of Birmingham, one of two vehicles ordered in 1906/7. The first vehicle was known as a 'Visiting Car', presumeably for transport of brigade officers to the the scene of a fire, this was purchased at a cost of £341 in 1906. Later the same year, a motor tender was ordered from the Wolseley company at a cost of £810 and was delivered in 1907. The Hose cart was used to ferry firemen and not surprisingly, hoses, to the scene of a fire. The ropes that can be seen on the back of the vehicle in the image above were for the brigade officers to hold on to, in order to prevent themselves falling off the engine as it charged around the city at 15mph on a wet day or 20mph on a fine day. This speed was stipulated in fire call regulations of the day.
Image Ref : WK/B11/3173