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Brigade’s old beauty takes the stage at rally

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WARRACKNABEAL’s Fire Brigade vintage Gardiner Aussie Fire Engine made the trip to the Lake Goldsmith Steam and Vintage Rally on the weekend of May 5 and 6.
The beautifully restored fire engine took part in the rally as part of the celebrations honouring vintage fire appliances and saluting the CFA.
In 1925, the then captain, Mr T.E. Gardiner invented a motorised pump which was built on a model ‘T’ Ford.
When he had completed the pump, Mr Gardiner asked Chief Officer Marshall and the Country Fire Brigades Board to inspect the pump at Warracknabeal.
The Chief Officer and the Board were thrilled with what they saw and adopted the unit as their fire engine. 55 of these units were built in Warracknabeal in Lyle Street.
They were built on ford Dodge and Chaham Chasis trucks and were called the Gardiner Aussie Fire Engine.
The modern pumps used today are still built on the basis of the pump that Mr Gardiner invented.
Three members of the Warracknabeal Fire Brigade, Robert Sharp, Damian Maher and Ron Zanker escorted the engine to the rally.
“It was a marvellous weekend and they have a wonderful set up,” Ron Zanker said.
The appliances that could be driven took part in a parade on both days of rally.
The Warracknabeal fire engine was the second oldest of the 15 fire appliances on show over the weekend with only Donald Fire Brigade’s Model-T Ford, a water carrier, older.
In addition to the various engines on display, Smythesdale and Buninyong Brigades sent wonderfully restored hand pumps to the rally.
“There were a lot of privately owned engines in various stages of restoration also on display,” Mr Zanker said.