Gateway set for New Year

The 1938 Leyland TL fire engine will be a 'Made in Leyland' gateway feature
The 1938 Leyland TL fire engine will be a 'Made in Leyland' gateway feature
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A stunning reminder of Leyland’s vehicle heritage is set to be unveiled as the town’s newest gateway feature early next year.

The Guardian reported back in March that a one-of-a-kind 1938 Leyland TL fire engine has been chosen to act as a the next ‘Made in Leyland’ landmark.

Now, plans are being drawn up for it to be placed in a special glass case, which will be on top of a platform or suspended from wires.

It will also tilt downwards so that passers-by can see the front of it properly.

The scheme is on track for the feature to be unveiled near the M6 early in the New Year.

South Ribble Council’s cabinet 
member for Regeneration, Leisure and Healthy Communities, Coun Phil Smith, said: “We’ve asked an architect to design a display case for the fire engine, which we hope to have completed in the coming weeks.

“Once this has been done we’ll be in a position to submit a planning application to turn this prized piece of Leyland manufacturing into the latest stunning gateway to the town.

“Our first ‘Made in Leyland’ gateway feature, the Centurion Tank, has become a landmark and a tourist feature.

“I drive past it at least once a day, and there’s always someone taking pictures or having a look around, so I’d be surprised if it hasn’t been Lancashire’s most photographed landmark this year!

“I’m sure people will love Norma - as we’ve affectionately nicknamed the fire engine - just as much when she takes pride of place early in the New Year.”

‘Norma’, who was used in World War Two, was locked in a collector’s garage for around 30 years before being bought by Leyland businessman Martin Ainscough, who donated it to the council earlier this year.

A council employee found the engine for sale on the internet, and although the seller had been offered more money, he liked the idea of it returning to its hometown.