Fire engine belonging to Hazell, Watson and Viney on display at Aylesbury vehicle rally

A fire engine that belonged to former Aylesbury based printers and publishers Hazell, Watson and Viney is going on display at this year's Chiltern Hills rally.

The Land Rover fire engine is owned by Adrian Fell, whose parents met while working at the company in the 1960s.

Lees, Austin and Adrian Fell with the former HWV fire engine

Lees, Austin and Adrian Fell with the former HWV fire engine

The petrol vehicle was registered in Aylesbury in 1964 and was converted to a fire engine by Sun Engineering Ltd.

In 1991, the firm was dissolved and the vehicle was kept in an open garage.

Adrian took up the story of how he came to own the vehicle, which has clocked up 3,384 miles.

He said: "The vehicle went up for auction at Shepton Mallet in Somerset.

The fire engine belonging to Hazell, Watson and Viney's

The fire engine belonging to Hazell, Watson and Viney's

"I was outbid by a telephone bidder but I was happy to see the vehicle surviving and going to a good home.

"I remained in touch with its owner and went to see him a couple of weeks ago.

"He had a massive collection of vehicles and explained that he needed to raise some money quickly so he agreed to sell it to me."

Adrian's parents Brenda and Lees Fell both worked at Hazell, Watson and Viney in the 1960s and they both have these memories of the fire engine.

Adrian said: "My parents told me that the fire engine was kept in its own fire station garage which was situated off of the side entrance of Victoria Street in Aylesbury, where Tesco’s is now situated off the Tring Road and there were 16 part-time firemen, employees of Hazell, Watson and Viney Ltd.

"They had a fire drill practice on the first Sunday of the month.

"There was one incident that my father can remember sometime in the 1970s where the 'goss machine' caught fire.

"This machine printed the Reader's Digest magazine and worked 24 hours a day for three weeks solid.

"The firemen from Hazell’s were called to attend and when the machine had finished printing after its prolonged use, a part-time fireman was called to stand by the machine as the ovens took three hours to cool down until it was at a safe temperature."

The Land Rover will be on display at the 25th edition of the Chiltern Hills vintage vehicle rally which takes place at Weedon Park on Sunday May 19.

Adrian is organising the rally and said: "I hope having the vehicle on display will bring back lots of happy memories for everyone and maybe act as an opportunity for former employees and friends to get together with it.

"I would also like to invite people to bring photos and other old memorabilia, for example, uniform along to the rally."

In its heyday, Hazell’s, as it was affectionately known, printed and bound mainstream publications such as A-Z, Penguin Books, Hamlyn and Readers Digest.

Tickets for this year's rally, which takes place at Weedon Park between 10am and 5pm on May 19 - are on sale now by visiting www.chilternhillsrally.org.uk/tickets