Page 5. SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Summer 2020.
I have been contacted by Ian Read who was Transport Manager for Lee Valley Water of Hatfield, Hertfordshire (subsequently Veolia Water UK) from 1986 onwards, and 'inherited' 812 UUR as part of the fleet. Ian has kindly has provided a lot of information about the vehicle, Reg. No. 812 UUR a 1964 TZ with chassis No. 6363 was first registered on 6th January 1964. It was an emergency water tender supplied new to the Lee Valley Water Company, and as such covered very few miles. It is equipped with a petrol engine. Ian learned from the ‘old boys’ on the water company's treatment works who were responsible for the lorry that it was a bit of a challenge to drive so didn't get used much. Probably the petrol engine and the slow and cumbersome gear change, coupled with a very noisy in the cab, made the vehicle unappealing. It had a water tank mounted on the chassis with the cosmetic sheeting around it. From Ian’s memory, the tank was nowhere as big as the bodywork might suggest. Eventually Ian sold it on to someone intending to restore it at that time the company was known as Three Valleys Water PLC.
The vehicle is seen here when in service.
It is shown below having been repainted in 1989 ready for display at Hertfordshire County Hall when they had a display of vehicles commemorating 100 years of vehicle manufacture in Hertfordshire. 812 UUR not only was built in Herts (at Letchworth) but was delivered new to the local water company so had a double claim to fame.
In having a sort through of his archives (under lockdown, “what else is there to do?” he asked) Ian discovered the original buff log book which he had rescued when he left the company. My thanks to Ian Read for this information and for the photos shown here plus some more. Also for a scan of the log book.
Roger Morrisroe noticed a reference to the Museum of RAF Fire Fighting at Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire ( Go to https://firemuseum.uk/ )in the Daily Express. He googled it and found that they have RAB 498 P in the museum. Originally in the service of Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade, the vehicle spent its last years at Yorkshire's Eggborough Power Station before Spencer Townsend of Bradford acquired it for preservation in December 2007. It had only just over 19,000 miles on the clock! I had a trip out in it early in January 2008. It the passed to the Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire in 2010. Gary Canham purchased it in 2018 and last year it went to the Museum. Roger commented:- “This must have been one of the first SD WX fire chassis built, and had a Carmichael cab. Later SD built the fire crew cab that was used for the London Fire Brigade and others.”