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From Mansfield to Croatia

Posted onPosted on 3rd Jun

Mansfield Fire Museum has donated one of its exhibits for active use in Croatia.

The Dennis Sabre fire engine, which was previously in service with Nottinghamshire Fire Service, was used by the museum to take to shows, opens days, and for visits.

However, the trustees of Mansfield Fire Museum Preservation Society Trust, the registered charity responsible for running the museum, thought the vehicle would be better used for its original purpose.

Other former Dennis Sabre appliances in the county have been sent to Ukraine or Croatia following their removal from service in the UK.

Much of Croatia’s fire cover in all but the larger cities and towns is provided by volunteer firefighters — there are 99 professional fire brigades, but more than 1,800 voluntary fire brigades.

Because of the war in Ukraine, it was decided the appliance would be target for bombing, so retired firefighter Grant Smith drove it to a small village in Croatia, where it is now in use. It has replaced the village’s old 1970s Magnus Deutz engine.

Paul Horton, communications officer for the museum, said: “We were sorry to see FN03 GYY go, but it was decided by the trustees that this would be a good gesture to provide much-needed fire cover in Croatia.”

The appliance had gone into storage last August, pending work to make it a fully-operational fire engine — its pump and ladders were tested, and it was kitted out thanks to donations. The trust paid for the supply and fitting of new batteries.

Funds received for the Sabre will be shared between charities and organisations supporting civilians and military personnel in Ukraine, including Village Ventures UK and mines rescue work in the country.

The Ukraine arm of Village Ventures UK was started in 2022 to get donations of food and clothing to civilians facing hardship due to the war.

Over time it found that not all donations could be used, so now it acts directly to meet requests from Ukraine.

Pam Young, of the charity, said it recently supplied T-shirts, socks, materials to make camouflage nets, and 10 field tourniquets for military use.

She has also supplied vehicles, such as a 4×4 and a minibus, which is used to distribute food and aid.

TOP: Mansfield Fire Museum trustees on the right — Tracy McCarthy, Marlene Spalding, and chairperson Richard McCarthy — with Pam Young and a colleague, of Village Ventures Ukraine. The flag in the photos is from a Ukrainian mines rescue group, which was recently supplied with equipment such as boots, fire kit, helmets, and gloves by the charity.