Many thanks Dave and all. The reason I think it was a kit is because of the superstructure and deck detailing which you cannot see on my photos. All of the window frames have raised rivets around them and the deck has deck raised deck strips. As a modeller I know that these can be recreated but they look too perfectly spaced, etc. Many thanks for looking through your back catalogues Dave. Terry was very helpful and sent me quite a bit of information - he is a font of knowledge. My boat is well used at our pond at Eastrop, Basingstoke where I am the Secretary and Treasurer of the model boat club. Every couple of years I do have to give the hull a rub down and re-spray as being made from balsa and when running fast, the vibration does tend to crack the hull along the panel joint lines, but it is an easy fix and I try not to abuse it as it is precious to me.
Dave There were only 2 Mk 2 Firefloats built, No.'s 93 and 94 and they had a very different hull at the stern to what my model has. The superstructure could have been modified quite easily but certainly not the hull, so I am certain that it is not one of them. The stern is very reminiscent of the 'Fairmile' design but I have looked at these but nowt turned up. The number on the side of mine '1104' is I believe related to the Marine Craft Unit 1104 at Bridlington which possibly also may have been an ASR.
Hi ads Yes you are correct in that only the Mark2 was accepted by the RAF and were Nos 93 and 94. The Mk1 was the initial design but was not considered suitable for purpose hence the modification to the MK2.
I do believe your model was built by a keen modeller who took or built a hull and placed his own top details based on the Crash Tender and similar designs from the period.
I did find reference to Bridlington MCU and this corresponds with the number on your model https://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-312866.html They were active in 1969 and used Pinnace which does rather tie in with the front wheelhouse of your model. I have a book somewhere that lists all the MCU details and when I find it I will see what I can find.
Thanks for your reply and its very interesting. Was your model based on an advanced Fire Float that little was known about outside of military circles?
Bridlington is only a short distance from RAF Elvington which was a bomber base in WW2. In the 1950s it became a V Bomber base and logically it would need to have improved marine rescue facilities to deal with aircraft that had ditched in the North Sea.
It could be that your boat was built to fulfil this role and there may be a possibility that other Fire Floats may have been constructed for similar uses but not disclosed. 😁😁😁.
It is a little while ago since this subject was raised but I came across it to day whilst passing my time looking through this continuingly interesting web site, but for what it is worth I will outline a bit I know about the RAF marine branch.
I was one of the last National Service RAF enlisted men and started my service 5 th April 1960. I was then trained as an Air Wireless Fitter at Yatesbury and on passing the reqired tests was posted to RAF Mountbatten in May 1961, this was sited on the coastline of Plymouth Sound and the marine craft were moored on the Cattewater.
Not long before I got there, the main base for the RAF Marine activities was on the I. of W. at Calshot but the decision had been made, due to the great contraction of the marine arm, as helicopters had taken over the rescue task and the loss in interest in aircraft operating from water, the MU ( Maintenance Unit ) was moved to the operational station at Plymouth.
Mountbatten was quite busy with various activities and it was the H.Q. of Coastal Command the other activities was in providing targets for Shackelton training, dingy drill for aircrew and survival training for aircrew on Dartmoor.
All the useful marine craft were moved to Plymouth and I would imagine things like Fire Floats would have been disposed of prior to the move. All that was at Mountbatten were RTTL's of various standards, RSL's and Pinnance's. The only strange item was an old Rescue Launch which was powered by 3 Napier Lion engines, all the later RTTLs had Rolls Royce Merlin derivatives.
This was the only large boat that I ever had a fast ride on, but unfortunately we were only a few miles out of the Sound when one of the engines failed and we had to limp home. I never had a fast trip on a RTTL. I used to have lots of trips outside the breakwater on RSL's on RAF crew dingy drill, when the pilot under training had to jump off the boat with his uninflated dingy and when the RSL made as many waves as possible he had to inflate it and climb in whilst the launch continued to rough the sea up as much as possible. He then stayed in his dingy for about 45 minutes which was not very pleasant in winter. It was for us lesser mortals an enjoyable spectator sport to see commissioned officers undergoing sme discomfort.
I think that all the odd marine equipment was lost when Calshot closed.