A piece of Woodstock in England

Woodstock's 1991 Pierce 105 model aerial fire truck is on its way to England where it will be on display in a museum. Courtesy photo

Woodstock’s recently sold fire truck has a new home on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The 1991 Pierce 105 model aerial fire truck is on the high seas in a ferry ship called the Hoegh Maputo, on its way to a museum in England. It is due to arrive in Southampton, England, on Nov. 2, Bill Best, who is part of the family who owns and operates the Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway museum, wrote in an email. They primarily showcase steam and diesel locomotives, as well as old cars and tractors. Most of the items in the museum’s collection are more than 50 years old.

“On the face of it, this was of no interest. However, the idea that it would be scrapped seemed to me to be a shame and if it could be saved at a reasonable cost in terms of money and effort, we should try. We were rather surprised when we were told our offer was accepted!” Best wrote.

Best purchased the fire engine for $16,000.

The Woodstock Volunteer Fire department received an $857,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program to purchase a 2017 Smeal Aerial truck. Language in the grant said the money was to be used to help replace outdated apparatus that no longer meet current safety standards. The town was required to match funds of $49,000. The money from Best’s purchase went to help the town meet its matching fund requirement portion of the grant.

“Most get sold to smaller departments with limited resources who have to buy used,” said Zach Hottel, a volunteer member of the Woodstock fire department.

But, in this case, whoever purchased the 1991 Pierce would not be able to use the fire engine to actually fight a fire because of the grant language that deemed the equipment no longer able to meet safety standards.

“As soon as we got the grant we started to look at who we could sell this to,” Hottel said.

Best stated in the email that the purchase was a bit of an accident. He and his wife were passing through Woodstock when they saw the truck.

“The truck was parked outside the fire house and we got to talking to firefighter Adam Burner. During the discussion he told us it was being replaced and likely to be sold and scrapped,” Best stated in his email.

The museum closes for the season Oct. 29, so the first opportunity for the public to view it will be Easter Sunday 2018.

“We do expect it to produce a wow factor,” Best said.

The fire truck’s offloading and trip home is expected to be filmed as part of the TV series Mega Shippers, Best wrote.

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