On the streets of Belfast
During the 1970's frequent terrorist activity lead to the injury and death of many firemen. Bill Broadhurst a former Belfast firemen sent me the following moving pictures of the funeral of one of his colleagues. OZ9607 is used to carry the coffin to the cemetery. You can see that both the bell and the beacon is shrouded in black. These pictures were taken quite early in the history of the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland as the covered in section to protect the third crew member has yet to be constructed. However the top section of the ladder has been removed by this time, reducing the extension length from 125' to 100'.
Bill also recalls a conversation with his friend Harry - "Harry remembers the top extension of the Metz being removed while he was stationed in Chichester Street fire station. He was a cadet officer with the Northern Ireland Fire Authority in Lisburn, until its amalgamation with the Belfast Fire Brigade in 1973. He says that he remembered the ladder engineer coming across to Belfast and with the ladder at full extension in the yard starting to shake the bottom as hard as he could. He decided there and then that the top extension was unsound and it was removed and stored in the corner of the fire station yard for some time after that. (So it was around the mid 1970's)"