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Sheffield's 1950's Austin Sheerline ambulances

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Anyone work at Corporation St. Ambulance Station when the Austin A125 Sheerlines were there? ( not to be confused with the later A135 Princesses)Superbe,early 1950's, coachbuilt machines with imposing Lucas 11" P100 chrome headlamps, hyde leather seats, Burr-walnut dash, spats on the rear wheels and built-in hydraulic jacks. They were bodied by Thos.Startin Jnr. of Birmingham. WWB 3 had the radio call-sign 'Sheff-Am Robert'. Would be interested to hear from crews or mechanics of the time.

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Hi Erin, yes that's the one, but Sheffield's had a far superior, better styled body by Startin's; really graceful. As you probably know, as with Roll Royce etc the chassis with front end back as far as the windscreen were supplied to various coachbuilders for fitting their respective bodies. Thomas Startin Junior's bodies made the rest look like glorified bread vans ! That one's probably a bog standard Lomas body. Pity the one in your photo doesn't have the lamps on. Maybe there are some photos in the Sheffield archives ? I'm new to the net and still struggling.

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Hi Erin, yes that's the one, but Sheffield's had a far superior, better styled body by Startin's; really graceful. As you probably know, as with Roll Royce etc the chassis with front end back as far as the windscreen were supplied to various coachbuilders for fitting their respective bodies. Thomas Startin Junior's bodies made the rest look like glorified bread vans ! That one's probably a bog standard Lomas body. Pity the one in your photo doesn't have the lamps on. Maybe there are some photos in the Sheffield archives ? I'm new to the net and still struggling.

 

Hi David, thanks for the info although i love these old ambulances they are before my time lol. I found this pic on PictureSheffield.com it looks similar? to the ones you mention and is local.

 

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/picturesheffield.pl?_cgifunction=form&_layout=picturesheffield&keyval=sheff.refno=v00362

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Hi Erin, That's the exact type and a damn good photo I haven't seen before. I fell in love with them in the 50's/60's and ended up owning 4 over the years, the only Sheffield one being my first, WWB 3. The 2nd, RNU 109 had been the colliery ambulance at Markham Main. The 3rd. I rescued from Smith's Dock on the Tyne where it had been the Co. ambulance, still in original condition with even the medical equipment. I re-sprayed that one as a Sheffield one, which it never was, complete with coats of arms transfers donated by Sheffield Council.The 4th. was bought from a farm near Woodstock and used for spares. I sold them off when moving abroad and am currently trying to locate the present owners ( not to buy them back,but to inform of their history, with and before me) I must sound like an ambulance anorak, but apart from the Startin Sheerlines and the contemporary London Daimlers which also had a 'presence' on the road,my interest ends. Many thanks again.

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My dad worked for City of Sheffield Ambulance Service at Corporation Street and he drove an Austin Sheerline, his call sign was Shef Am David. In those days drivers were allocated their own ambulance and were responsible for it's care. They were brilliant ambulances very defiantly a cut above the rest they were navy blue with cream flash down the side with city of Sheffield coat of arms emblazoned on the side it was my dad's pride and joy

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Hi 'Sheffamdavid'. Fancy you remembering the call sign ! WWB 3 which I mentioned was 'Sheff Am Robert'. I didn't know that the crews stuck to one vehicle, but there's sense in that. The Sheerlines had 4 built in jacks, one by each wheel which were controlled by a selection switch under a little trap door on the floor by the passenger seat, I never tried it in case of problems, but it was said you could lift the entire vehicle off the ground by selecting all 4. When they first came into service, people used to call them 'Fever Ambulances' as a distinction to the others in the fleet, the Sheerlines having a reverse livery to the rest. Two Sheerline ambulances once crashed into one another on Commonside, Walkley, but I don't know the date and can't find anyone who remembers the incident. Tremendous power but poor braking !

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does anyone know when sheffield stopped using these ambulances. thanks

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My dad worked as a driver at this time, Mick 'chinny' Smith. His call sign was S for Sugar.

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