In this picture we see the Firemaster in the yard of Darlington Fire Station with the clock tower of Bank Top railway station in the background.
( I am afraid that I have forgotten my source for this photograph , which I would like to acknowledge).
999MHN is a Leyland Firemaster Magirus 100' Turntable ladder. The Firemaster marked the return of Leyland Motors to fire engine production at the end of the 1950's. It was based upon the Leyland 'Worldmaster' coach chassis with an underfloor mid-mounted 0.600 Leyland 6 cylinder diesel engine. Only ten were ever built, 7 being pump escapes, 1 emergency tender, and 2 turntable ladders. This Firemaster is the only surviving Firemaster TL and was delivered to Darlington Fire Brigade in July 1960. It was withdrawn from service with Durham County Fire Brigade in September 1983.
The Magirus ladder is all hydraulically operated and was fitted to the Leyland chassis by David Haydon Ltd. who were the U.K. Magirus Concessionaires. The gearbox is a four speed semi-automatic without a clutch pedal which was very advanced for a fire appliance in 1960. A two speed axle is fitted, which is electrically controlled by a small switch on the lighting panel (So when you put the beacons on you have to be careful that you don't change gear....). The picture shows the Firemaster after it has come back from a day acting as a water tower, which explains the suction hose on the rear decking. The Firemaster TL's did not feature a PTO driven pump unlike the 7 pump escapes. These appliances carried a front mounted pump behind hinged doors where you would normally expect to find the radiator.
The local newspaper the 'NORTHERN ECHO' reported on November 2nd. 1983
Runging out the old
The Hero of some of the biggest blazes to hit a County Durham town is being retired with full honours. The 100-foot turntable ladder once saved a whole row of shops from a fiery end and plucked a teenager from the top of a town centre store. Now it's to take pride of place in the new National Fire Services Museum at Moreton in the Marsh Gloucestershire. For the engine, with the appropriate registration plate 999MHN, is the only one of its kind left. "Only two were made, and the other was scrapped some time ago" said Darlington fireman Chris Binney. "It is a beautiful machine and has been thoroughly reliable. I will be very sad to see her go". The turntable is being replaced by a new £150,000 one featuring many electronic extras and capable of covering a much wider range of angles.
The Firemaster appeared in advertisements from David Haydon the Magirus sole concessionaires in the UK.