1940 Fordson7v Fire Tender to be restored

Heritage Malta and the Civil Protection Department (CPD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the two institutions’ respective specializations, among other, the restoration of a Fordson7v Fire Tender and of the old air traffic control tower at Ħal Far. The vehicle, which was used during war-time in Malta, forms part of the national collection managed by Heritage Malta.

The Fordson7v Fire Tender was built in c. 1940. This is a pumping appliance and was standard issue from the Home Office in Britain for the Auxiliary Fire Service in the UK from 1939 until 1943.  Many hundreds were built for the fire brigade but some were then diverted to the Armed Forces. 

The vehicle now held by Heritage Malta was at the time diverted to the Royal Air Force.  It was powered by a Ford V8 ‘Flathead’ engine, as was the Sulzer Pump carried on the rear of the vehicle, thereby having two Ford V8 engines. The fire engine was also equipped with an Ajax 20ft ladder on the roof. It was painted in Royal Air Force (RAF) colours and was used in one of the three local RAF aerodromes and airstrips of World War II.

CPD members will be assisting in the restoration of the vehicle under the direction of Heritage Malta officials, while Heritage Malta will assist in the restoration of the old air traffic control tower.  Eventually, the restored fire engine will be exhibited at Fort St Elmo which hosts the National War Museum. Heritage Malta will also provide professional technical advice to the CPD, while the latter will provide fire-fighting courses to Heritage Malta staff.

Emanuel Psaila, Director General of the Civil Protection, said that this collaboration is one of a series of agreements which are taking place with a number of different entities in order to enhance co-ordination. Even in this case, the two entities are coming together so that they could collaborate more with each other.

Heritage Malta Acting CEO, Noel Zammit, welcomed this agreement. He said that such collaborations with experts outside the Agency are more than welcome.


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