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Vehicles  Manston  Scampton  Video


Message from Dave Grant 21 November 2016

It is with much regret that the Museum of RAF Firefighting located at RAF Scampton has been closed down today (21/1/16) until further notice. This is due to the MOD's requirement at RAF Scampton to use the former offices within the Annex of Hangar 2 for the Scampton Airshow 2017 project. The dedicated team of Volunteers won't give up on the prospect of creating another location for this popular visitor attraction for all its visitors and veterans.




The owner and founder of the Museum is WO Steve Shirley MBE, who during the 1990's was an instructor on the staff of the CTE and the roots of the present museum go back some thirty years when he obtained his first model fire engine. He started collecting fire related items as a hobby and the collection now runs into many thousands of individual items. For instance, on a visit to Holland some years ago, he acquired several helmets from a Dutch Firefighter and things being as they are, it eventually led to the superb display of over 150 helmets from all over the world which form a large part of the Museum display of today. The collection continued to grow and on his posting to the CTE, it became obvious to everyone that a permanent home for the collection was a priority and it was agreed that it should be displayed in the current building as a tribute to the firefighting Services from around the world. It was officially opened as the Ministry of Defence Fire Museum in June 1995 and it was renamed the Manston Fire Museum in November 1998.

The collection consists of many photographs and posters on display alongside models, badges, patches, uniforms, helmets, prints, extinguishers and, of course, really serious fire fighting equipment, both military and civilian ranging from 1868 to the present day.

More recently, Steve has managed to acquire a hangar at RAF Scampton where he now houses a large part of his collection which has grown at a tremendous rate over the last few years.  The galleries below show just some of the displays and many vehicles he now has at the two locations.  During 2014 the remaining exhibits at Manston will be moved to Scampton which is now the largest collection of its kind in the world. The display area is shared with a Station Museum which also has some great memorabilia including some excellent artefacts from the Dam Busters, all in the  hangar used by 617 Squadron prior to the famous raids.

Click on the icon below to download a leaflet about the museum:




As well as this page the museum now has its own dedicated website which can be viewed at:






Vehicles  Manston  Scampton  Video






During the mid '90s Steves collection really gathered momentum and was displayed in the old Fire School building at Central Training Establishment Manston.  Below are just some of the items that were on display there. 




Open days

Impressive line-up

WOT1 & Mk10E

Mk 6


Mk 7




Mk 9 & MFV

Trailer Pump

Waddo 2013

From Adam Whiteside


Static Displays




Assorted Headgear

Bristol PPE 2011

Silver suit worn in tropical climate


Siebe Gorman Proto Set

Oxygen BA used at Rudloe Manor

Hydrant dispaly

Standpipe with hydrant pressure and flow test equipment

Halon Extinguishers

Hose Cart

Vintage Pump

Brass Display

From Carl Bell






YouTube Clips














SKK105H  -  TACR Mk1

This was the very first TACR 1 built. It was rescued from a race course near Dover.



10AY11  -  TACR Mk2

A later version of the widely used 6 x 4 Range Rover Rescue Truck



RSJ758  -  WOT1

Click below for vehicle information






23AG56  -  Mk6

Probably the most iconic truck ever, this early example is being lovingly restored by Steve Harrison and Dave Jenner. By a quirky coincidence, Steve actually drove this machine whilst Stationed at Wyton and has provided us with the following information:

MK6 23 AG 56,  was built in 1956 and was the first production Mk6 to come into service, having the chassis No FCT01. It didn't come into 'active duty' until 1958. It saw service in Coastal, Transport, Training, Fighter and Maintenance Commands though records only mention Catterick, Aldergrove and Wyton as Units where it was stationed. There was a request in 1971 for it to be kept at Catterick Museum, but the records show it was at RAF Wyton until 1976, after which it was downgraded to 'Instructional Assembly'.





25AG94 Mk 7



November 2015





27AG81 Mk 8

A fine example of the last air-blown foam vehicle to be used on RAF Stations


Mk 9  -  27 AJ 03

This vehicle was the first Mk9 to be delivered to the RAF (Serial No 1) and is currently wearing the livery of Falklands Islands to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the campaign. It recently took pride at a WAR AND PEACE show in Kent, and was at Manston during its Service with the RAF.


Q167RFE  -  Mk10E




22AY22 Mk11





RXP884  -  Green Goddess

This is a unique prototype of a Green Goddess.  The refurbishment program was never authorised for the rest of the fleet so this remains the only example.



E805BMJ  -  Dennis Carmichael Mountain 4 x 2




A153OVG Bedford Mountain 4 x 4

A Bedford Mountain 4x4 vehicle. We believe this is one of 11 built to provide protection for Bloodhound Missile Sites. After being disposed of by the RAF it served with the Irish Civil Defence Service, where it gained a yellow coat of paint. Refurbished again it went into service at Seething Airfield. The Guys at Seething were very hospitable and sad to see it go, but grateful that it was going to be preserved for years to come.




L596YVL  -  Volvo Excalibur

Ex Lincolnshire Fire Brigade Appliance from Holbeach


15AY54  -  Volvo Carmichael

Originally procured and modified for use with Nuclear Weapon Convoys, this vehicle spent most of its service at the Armament Support Unit at RAF Wittering.  It was then deployed to RAF Saxa Vord where it was used for fire cover at the RAF's most northerly Station.




EMP85K  -  Dennis Jaguar D Type

This was Steve's second fire engine and remains the love of his life (after family of course).  Formally a Sussex Fire Brigade Appliance it was re-sprayed in the Red Arrows paint shop at Scampton in 1993.



RFO694 - Dennis Pump Escape

This is an ex Royal Navy appliance which has been rescued from Manston.  For display purposes it has been equipped with an ex London Fire Brigade 50 foot Bailey Escape.


GYW275N - Dennis Rolls Royce

London Fire Brigade Appliance


329BRF - Thorneycroft Rolls Royce

Ex-Staffordshire Fire Brigade Appliance


17AY19 - Queens Flight Appliance

A recently acquired Carmichael helicopter support vehicle.




GXN219  -  1943 Austin K4 Turntable Ladder

One of only 50 produced, and painted grey to confuse enemy aircraft, this vehicle was built by Merryweather for use by the National Fire Service during World War II. It is powered by a 4Ltr petrol engine which does approximately 8 mpg and has a top speed of 30mph.  The ladder extends to 60 feet and would originally have had to be put up by hand.  They were later converted to work off the vehicle gearbox.  The pump on the front is driven by the engine and was made by Barton (USA).  It is fully equipped as it would have been at the time for a crew of 4 including the driver.  This particular vehicle spent most of its service in London but finished in Wales.   It was fully restored in 1986 and joined the Manston Museum in 2002.  It has been to many shows and schools and also had a part in the film Mrs Henderson which was about the Windmill Theatre during the war.