UD8790 is a 1936 Leyland Cub Fire Engine which was purchased by Witney Fire Brigade in 1937.
She served Witney until 1967 when she was retired. During the 1970's, the towns firemen worked to restore her, reconditioning the engine and repainting the body with the addition of gold leaf detailing.
As she grew older, the Leyland was blighted by mechanical issues and decreasing numbers of drivers able to negotiate the 'Crash' gearbox. The water pump leaked profusely which meant stopping to top up the radiator every 10-15 miles.
The Leyland was eventually moved to the Oxfordshire Bus Museum where it was on static display for all to see and only 3 designated drivers were permitted to take her out on the road.
At some point an invidiual succeeded in 'Borrowing' the Leyland from the museum without the permission or knowlege of the designated drivers. The coolant was not topped up and the radiator ran dry, the engine seized completley on the A34. She was recovered to Didcot fire station, then moved around the County, eventually finding refuge in a Barn at Hook Norton.
We were unaware of the Leylands location or condition until April 2015.
We have formed this charity to bring the Leyland back home, fully assess her needs and restore her to her former glory.
The 'Witney Fire Brigade Heritage Trust CIO' has submitted an application to the Charities Commision and is pending approval and charity number
We need an initial fund in order to provide secure shelter, strip the engine and start work on the body. Once we reach this stage, we will be able to plan exactly how much we need to spend on the restoration and what activities we can do to raise these funds.