A RARE vintage fire engine which has been stored at Ledbury for decades has been donated to a national fire-fighting museum.

This historic horse-drawn manually-pumped fire engine was built by Hadley, Simpkin and Lott about 1835 and is thought to be one of the very few examples of such design still in existence in the country.

It has now officially been given to the FireWorld museum, which is due to open next year in Northamptonshire with the largest collection of historic firefighting vehicles and equipment in the UK.

The fire engine’s condition has been getting worse and worse in recent years, leading to the decision to move it.

It is expected to be spruced up before a decision is made over where to store it in the museum.

Station Commander Martin Lown from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “The wooden manual pump has been in store at the fire station for many years and its condition has been slowly but steadily deteriorating.”

On Thursday, October 25, Ledbury Mayor Councillor Phill Bettington formally handed over the fire pump to Neil Wallington, chairman of the Fire Services National Museum Trust.

The pump will then be restored to working condition by volunteers and displayed at the museum with other vehicles and equipment used by firefighters throughout the ages.

Fireworld is expected to be one of the a landmark tourist attraction for firefighters all over the country when it opens up, as well as the general public.