NEARLY fifty emergency vehicles including fire engines, police cars, a coastguard vehicle and a medical response vehicle gathered at the Bournemouth Electric Sports and Family Club to take part in this year’s 999 Emergency Vehicle Day on Bank Holiday Monday.

The event, specifically held to raise funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, was strictly monitored to comply with Covid-19 rules and regulations, with music was provided by the Swing Unlimited Big Band.

Mick Callaghan, who runs the Bournemouth Electric Club, said that he was delighted with such an excellent response from the preserved vehicle owners.

"They have made this a day to remember and I certainly intend to repeat it the future," he said.

Furthest travelled to the event was Brian King from the Yorkshire and Lancashire Fire and Emergency Vehicle Group who showed 19th century corridor fire pumps and helmets whilst Simon Maynard came from Brighton with a 1941 Leyland Cub that served in Aberdeen.

Keith Allgood of the Wessex Fire and Rescue Heritage Collection, who helped organise the event, displayed the oldest fire engine, a 160-year-old Merryweather manual that came from Lymington.

He said: "It was very pleasing that everyone joined in a very friendly event and they all recognised the need to follow the current rules but certainly the preservationists were very happy to be able to show off their vehicles."

There were several fire engines and police motorcycles on show from the collection including four from Dorset and two from Hampshire.

One former Dorset fire engine, a Dennis Sabre that served at Poole and Wareham, was lettered in Macedonian script as it is being sent by Fire-Aid International to North Macedonia when restrictions have been eased.

The famous Auxiliary Fire Service Bedford Green Goddess was represented by a restored example entered by Paul Ashley-Miller from Kinson, whilst Simon Hilliam from Wimborne showed his collection of international fire helmets and Bill Lynch of Poole displayed his fire engine paintings and models.

The police cars in show were an Austin Westminster, a Morris Minor panda car and a pair of Rover SD1 patrol cars.

The centre of the field near Muscliff was taken up by numerous cars owned by members of the Dorset Branch of the Morris Minor Owners Club whilst two pre-war Austins and two 1950s big American cars, a Chevrolet and a Buick, were on show.

Although arena displays were not allowed, there was a parade of fire uniforms through the ages with Dave Boulter giving the commentary.