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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Standard - Gwynne Firepump

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, the Standard Motor Company won a contract to build Light Trailer Firepumps, in anticipation of the war and the likelihood that bombing would take place on the major urban centres.

Essentially, the company bought in single stage centrifugal pumps made by the Gwynne company of West London, who built all sorts of pumps for industrial uses.  These they attached to the output shaft of a modified Standard Flying 8 engine.

The pump was usually carried in a towed two wheeled trailer, which also carried the hoses, nozzles and tools required to turn this into a fire-fighting machine. The engine and pump was built into a panelled tubular frame with handlebars front and rear, and a small set of wheels which in theory allowed the unit to be dismounted and manhandled nearer to the seat of the fire.,

During the first 22 nights of the London blitz in 1940, some 10,000 fires had to be extinguished and this provided a great deal of work for Firepumps like this and their volunteer crews. The unit carried no water tank of its own so was reliant of being in reach of a hydrant, river, stream or pond. In London, where the majority of pumps were employed, lots of hydrants were broken, so the Thames became the preferred source. The trailer Firepumps were mostly towed by taxis.

The Standard 8 engine was modified with a magneto instead of a distributor and coil, as there was no battery and no lights. The pump was not self-priming and required a vacuum to be generated by an ejector in the exhaust manifold, to provide the initial lift that the pump needed. As there was no radiator and no fan, the unit relied upon water in a small tank and thermos-syphoning to keep it cool. This was supplemented when pumping by drawing water from the high pressure side of the pump, through a head exchanger in the radiator header tank, the excess heated water then being discharged onto the ground. Later pumps had a closed loop system with a heat exchanger coil in the sump.

Though 5000 of these pumps were built, they are exceptionally rare today, many having been melted down for their brass content after the war. A couple belonging to club members Brian Murrish and Paul Newsome. The photographed example belongs to David Jones in Hitchin, Herts and is in full working order.