Packet push helps fix Falmouth eyesore engine
The local MP first heard about it eight months ago, and it's had a flat tyre for at least a year, but now - after a little push from the Packet - the old fire engine on North Parade in Falmouth is looking serviceable again.
A mechanic from Redruth (pictured above) was spotted replacing the front nearside wheel of the old engine last Thursday, the week after it first appeared in the pages of this paper.
(BELOW) The fire engine on North Parade as it looked earlier this month
Readers took to thepacket.co.uk in their droves to question why the vehicle seemingly didn't need an MOT and therefore presumably wasn't taxed or insured.
Police inspector for the area Steve Lenney got in touch to say: “we need to hopefully address the issue” while MP Sarah Newton had been informed by Cornwall Council's Environmental Protection Team that “the vehicle was legally parked, had an up-to-date tax disc” and that “there was no action they could take.”
(ABOVE) The mechanic removes a busted wheel from the engine
The owner, local builder Adam Levey, said the “nice, wide” bit of road was “an ideal place to put it” until he could move it to a piece of land “at the other end of town.”
But an irate neighbour scuppered his plans, he claims, after they let down the engine's tyre.
“When you have actually got people worried about who parks near them because it might devalue their properties then you have got a problem in society,” he said.
“If I was looking at a place to buy I certainly wouldn't be put off by the fact that someone owns a boat or a fire engine.”
Mr Levey thinks that there is “an apartheid on working people” in the town, adding: “this is Falmouth in Cornwall, not Surrey in the Home Counties.”
He argues that because the vehicle is “100 per cent a fire engine” it is MOT-exempt and he has even considered selling it on as a fire engine “to another country.”
He said: “Possibly in the future I might have other plans but it just seemed like a very good vehicle for its price. It was quite cheap and I have not actually thought about the use of it yet.”
(This despite the fact that a council spokesperson seems to think that “he has plans for the vehicle.”)
(ABOVE) Inspecting the new tyre for the fire engine on North Parade
Danny Murphy, from Merseyside Fire Service Museum, was the owner of the engine about five years ago.
He said: “It served in the museum fleet as a support vehicle and did sterling service.”
Bought “brand new” as one of six from the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service the engine “was ideal for rural roads,” Danny said and according to the number plate at least, it was registered between 1987 and 1988.
After its time in Merseyside it was sold “surplus to requirements” to someone in Gloucester and that was the last Danny heard of it until now.
And he's not happy because the vehicle “still carries our brand service name,” he said - without the museum's permission to use it.
(BELOW) "Merseyside Fire Service Museum" branding can still be clearly seen on the side of the engine:
Read how it was the Packet 'wot won it':