New statue celebrates fire engine heritage

Simon-EngineeringFans of vintage fire engines are in for a treat this weekend as a statue is unveiled to honour Black Country manufacturing prowess as part of an on-going celebration of the region and its achievements.

This Saturday, Simon Engineering, famous for their ‘Simon Snorkel’ fire and rescue vehicle in the 1950s, will reveal a monument to commemorate their achievements and to celebrate the company’s significance in the region. It’s all a part of the Black Country Echoes Project. 

Ex-workers from Simon Engineering have been invited to attend the unveiling, which will take place at the roundabout on Angel Street at 11am. Walsall Fire & Rescue Service has provided a fire engine, made by Simon Engineering and still in service, to unveil the statue.

After the unveiling the fire engine will join the vehicles display in Stone Street Square opposite Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, to celebrate Black Country Vehicle Day. There will be a wide range of classic cars and other traditional vehicles on display from 11am to 5pm, with a reception also taking place at the museum.

Simon Engineering was made famous for its innovative hydraulic operations, and the factory in Dudley produced around 13,000 rescue machines in the 1950s. Being able to work at height was an important invention of the 50s, even though it is now part of a massive global industry. The ‘Simon Snorkel’ vehicle was its most famous export and revolutionised fire fighting, designed in conjunction with fire departments around the world. The factory closed in the 1990s.

The Black Country Echoes Project celebrates creativity and innovation of the local area, and a series of events, activities and exhibitions are happening across the borough.

Find out more on the Black Country Echoes website.