RTN144S is a Dennis F123 Magirus 100' Turntable Ladder appliance. It served with Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade from new until it was withdrawn from service in 1993. Stationed at Brigade Headquarters with call sign D3 (Pilgrim Street) it has been to many 20+ pump fires.
This type of Dennis is more commonly known as a Dennis Delta which refers to the special low line chassis which enables the ladder to be located as low as possible. The Perkins V8 engine is located well behind the front axle so that the area around the driver's and officer's seats is very open.
The ladder is a Magirus DL30 which was the first introduction of a ladder with 2 man cage into the United Kingdom. The ladder is fully controlled by electrically operated solenoid hydraulic valves. This enables the man in the cage to control all ladder movements by a small control panel. In addition a further remote control panel on the end of a 50 metre cable can be plugged into the base of the ladder so that operations can be controlled from the ground at a safe working distance or from a better view point if the appliance is operating as a water tower.
Turntable ladders are very capable machines with a wide variety of uses. In the picture above we see RTN144S launching 'Tinea' one of the Tyne and Wear FB fire boats at Spillers Quay which is down from the Tyne Bridge. The boat was taken from station Foxtrot to the quay side by trailer and then lifted into the water by using the TL as a crane. Such exercises seem to be a favourite occupation of this station during the summer months.......