‘Invisible’ Leyland landmark fire engine gets folk steamed up

Steamed up:  The fire engine is obscured by condensation and, below, at the opening
Steamed up: The fire engine is obscured by condensation and, below, at the opening
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Community leaders are getting steamed up over an ‘invisible’ landmark.

Norma the fire engine is enclosed in a glass box at the site of the Leyland Hotel on Leyland Way, where she acts as one of the town’s ‘Welcome to Leyland’ gateway features.

Norma the Fire Engine at Leyland Hotel

Norma the Fire Engine at Leyland Hotel

But weeks questions have been asked about when the 1938 fire engine will be displayed in all her glory once again – as she is currently hidden behind thick condensation.

Coun Keith Martin, who represents the Kingsfold area of Penwortham said: “Considering that all of South Ribble contributed to the glass case, I would expect then that the council would look after this investment.

“Norma is the property of the borough, and it seems a waste that this beautifully restored machine, manufactured by Leyland Motors, is subject to a humid and corrosive atmosphere.

“I think the moisture comes from the tonnes of concrete used to shore up the ramp; concrete is made ‘over wet’ to facilitate pouring and curing.

“The concrete is still setting, and I think there will be a substantial amount of moisture in there for a while, causing the condensation.”

He suggested the vehicle be removed while the issue is resolved.

Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Vouncil’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, responded: “Norma is not going anywhere; if you saw what it took to get her in there.

“With the weather as it is, the windows will steam up – that’s a fact of nature.

“There’s not much we can do about that.

“There is an agreement with the hotel.

“They will look after the cleaning of the outside of the glass case, and that the British Commercial Vehicle Museum volunteers will look after the vehicle itself.”