'Lost' Victorian fire engine found in garage returns to Blenheim Palace

  • Watch the report by ITV Meridian's Charlotte Briere-Edney

A Victorian fire engine has been returned to Blenheim Palace after a century away.

The steam-powered machine had ended up in a garage in Warwickshire, but is now on display to the public.

The Merryweather fire engine was bought at the end of the 19th century and was used at the country estate in Blenheim.

It dates back to 1890, where the machine cost £600 and was operated by palace staff.

It's a similar model to one kept at Rewley Road Fire Station in Oxford, which was purchased in 1886, for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations.

The engine dates back to 1890 and cost £600

The state-of-the-art piece of equipment was used to put out a fire that broke out in the saloon, while a fire drill was happening in 1896.

The Blenheim estate got rid of the machine in around the 1920s and after having multiple owners and appearing at steam rallies, the fire engine seemed to have disappeared.

It was recently uncovered in a fire station garage in Nuneaton by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Officer, Christopher Wilson.

Christopher is the historian for Oxfordshire Fire and rescue service and says he's a fire engine enthusiast.

He says: "For me it's a bit of a dream come true. To have a piece not only of Blenheim's history restored, but also the heritage of the fire service of Oxfordshire, it's really a great pleasure and a great privilege for me. I hope that everybody enjoys it."

  • Christopher Wilson, Fire officer, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service:

Chris says apart from the pump being "a little dusty", the fire engine is in a good condition overall.

The engine is now on display alongside other fire fighting equipment from the Palace.

It's hoped that experts may soon be able to get it working once again.