Fire engine rally in Renfrewshire went down a storm at the weekend

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This annual event started with a parade of vintage fire appliances.

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Hundreds of smiling families turned out to see a fantastic procession of vintage fire engines at the weekend.

The vehicles – some dating back 60 years – took centre stage at this year’s Fire Engine Rally at Johnstone, Renfrewshire on Saturday afternoon.

And they went down a storm with children and members of the public of all ages.

This annual event is hosted by Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) personnel.

The day kicked off in spectacular style with the parade of vintage machines – including a Dennis F12 and Ex Edinburgh Airport Fire Service appliance and Austin Gipsy – leaving from Johnstone community station.

The parade, led by a Local Boys Brigade pipe band, Renfrewshire Council provost, Anne Hall alongside Local Senior officer for East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde David Proctor took centre stage in the lead appliance - a Dennis Merryweather.

And at Houston square, delighted children were able to take a close up look at the appliances and learn more of the history of the Fire Service in the SFRS mobile museum.

Throughout the day the public also got a chance to see a crew from Easterhouse stage a rescue from a road traffic collision simulation where the provost was the ‘injured casualty’.

And a dramatic chip pan fire demonstration brought home the importance of safety in the home.

In fact, the East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde community action team were on hand to explain the importance of road safety and cooking safety. Watch Manager John Paul, Community firefighter Steven Smith, Firefighter Jim Fallon and Community Safety advocates Marina MacLeod, Alan Teasdale and REA Volunteer Graeme Kirkwwod encouraged members of the public to have a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit.

SFRS Group Manager Mark Gallacher is the Head of Prevention and Protection for East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

He said: “We were absolutely delighted to meet with the local community and show them just how far we have progressed from these early fire service days. It is clear we have moved on a great deal as we continue to stand on the front line to protect the public. The best part of the event, without doubt, was seeing the smiles on the children’s faces – fire engines are always a big hit with our young people and it is a good opportunity to speak with them and tell them all about our work. 

“I was also a great opportunity to speak with all members of the community and highlight to them the need for safety on our roads and in homes. We look forward to carrying out even more Home Fire Safety Visits, which are the very cornerstone of our prevention efforts. I encourage everyone to take up this offer to ensure the safety of both them and their families.

“We are also particularly interested in supporting our more vulnerable members of our community to stay safe at home. SFRS staff will visit homes to check or install smoke detectors and offer advice on guidance on what to do in the event of a fire emergency.” 

To register for a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit call the SFRS Freephone number: 0800 0731 999, or visit the website at

Picture (L-R) - Group Manager Mark Gallacher, Conor Watson, Watch Manager John Paul and Firefighter Steven Smith.

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