Madeleine - 1912 Fire Engine

One of our prized possessions is ‘Madeleine’, the 1912 John Morris-Belsize fire engine. Built in Manchester and Salford for the City of Southampton, she is named after the Mayoress of the city.  In service there until 1926 she was part exchanged against a new fire engine from Dennis Brothers of Guildford who then sold her onto Billings Printers of Guildford to be used as their works fire engine. In 1932 Dennis’s converted her from solid tyres and wooden wheels to pneumatic tyres in order to comply with newly introduced Government regulations.

In 1961 she was purchased from Billings, for £50, by Tom Redburn one of the founders of the EDVVS who later went on to sell her for the same sum to the Society. 

She has a 6 cylinder 14.7 litre petrol engine, with ignition by trembler coil and magneto, which returns 2 - 4 mpg on average and is the ONLY 6 cylinder model to remain in the world. Final drive is by side chains. A 600 gpm pump is driven from the gearbox.

She’s fully operational and is regularly taken to events or onto the HCVS London to Brighton Run.

Madeleine is housed in our purpose-built Fire Station which is located behind the Museum.