Search for en­gine stretches to Waikato

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

A South Is­land fire bri­gade has cast its net over the North Is­land in search of a trea­sured en­gine it be­lieves could be lan­guish­ing in the back of a Waikato prop­erty.

Ash­bur­ton Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade hopes to find its ‘‘elu­sive’’ 1965 Com­mer Fire En­gine which was orig­i­nally owned from brand new by the bri­gade in the 1960s.

Spokesper­son Peter McQuar­ters, said once dis­posed of by the Fire Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the en­gine went through a num­ber of pri­vate own­ers be­fore it was sold from Auck­land about seven-to-10 years ago.

He said it was sold to a per­son in the Waikato, pos­si­bly in Cam­bridge, but the bri­gade was not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity it could be else­where in the Waikato.

It was un­reg­is­tered when sold and car­ried no li­cense plates.

‘‘We be­lieve it could still be tucked away in a shed or on a farm some­where, but also may pos­si­bly have been scrapped.

‘‘Ei­ther way, we are very keen to learn its sta­tus.’’

The bri­gade has one photo of the en­gine but McQuar­ters said it was more than likely re­painted af­ter the pic­ture was taken.

‘‘So it could look quite dif­fer­ent now. It had car­ried ad­ver­tis­ing on the rear for LJ Hooker, which is another clue.’’

He said some dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures of the en­gine in­cluded a con­ven­tional rear crew door as shown in photo.

‘‘This was a mod­i­fi­ca­tion as most Com­mers of the era had a fold­ing two-part con­certina door.’’

It also had a slid­ing com­part­ment be­hind the rear seat with B A set plac­ard.

No mat­ter its cur­rent con­di­tion, the Ash­bur­ton Fire Museum was keen to learn of its where­abouts.

‘‘We’ve had ex­cel­lent help and buy-in from lo­cal en­thu­si­asts and fire bri­gade per­son­nel, but so far no pos­i­tive leads.’’

The Ash­bur­ton Fire Bri­gade owned and op­er­ated the Ash­bur­ton Fire Museum and had an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of his­tor­i­cal fire­fight­ing gear dat­ing back to its in­cep­tion in 1874.

It in­cluded a prized one-owner, 1889 horse-drawn Shand Ma­son steam fire en­gine in full op­er­at­ing con­di­tion.

-If you have any clues to pass on to the Ash­bur­ton Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade, con­tact Peter McQuar­ters on 021 1291 333 or email Peter, aeroview@xtra.co.nz

Can you help find this 1965 Com­mer Fire en­gine, which was orig­i­nally owned by the Ash­bur­ton Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade? Peter McQau­rters

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