Photos by Marilyn and Garry Armstrong

Number Two started life in Milton and has moved around some. It finally, when it no long was able to do its job as a fire truck, came to rest in a field in Uxbridge, across the road from the post office. It just sat there, by the road. Every now and then, I’d stop by and take pictures of it and feel a bit sadder as it got older, more rusted, and started on what could only be a long road to the crusher.

FROM 2012 THROUGH 2016

One day, it disappeared. I was glad I’d taken so many pictures.

old number 2 fire engine

Old Number Two in the snow

I knew it is an inanimate object. Just an old truck. Metal and glass and rubber. An engine that ceased running years ago. A fire truck whose time came and went. But these old vehicles worked hard and died in service. They are more than chunks of old metal. They are history. They’ve got soul.old number 2 fire engine truck

They are packed with memories. Fires, rescues. The history of all the places they worked.


I know I’m not the only one who feels this way because the countryside has many veteran trucks and other vehicles quietly rusting in fields, often keeping company with the growing corn and the grazing cows and sheep.

old number two fire engine wheel


We invest our things with personality. Maybe we can’t help it. We are alive and we share at least the sense of life with those things with which we share our world. Then, yesterday, I got this note in my “contact box.”

Hi Marilyn,

I hope this finds you well. I saw those fantastic photos you took of Old Number 2, the Fire truck. I just wanted to let you know that Old number 2 may be gone from where you took those photos, but it lives on. I saved it from the scrapper back in November, and it still resides in Uxbridge, in the north end. I figured you’d like to know, seeing how fondly you wrote about it. I’m glad to know someone else cares about the truck like I do. It makes my efforts in giving it a new life much more meaningful.

Before I found this contact box I had tried messaging you through Facebook, so if you’d like to get in touch with me you can through there, or through my email.

Thanks for all those great photos of the truck through the years. They give me a great reference to show me which parts it had but were stolen over time. It makes my job of bringing it back to its old glory much easier.

Thank you,


So we had to go take pictures! There will be, I hope, many more to come. I hope we will see Number Two back on the road again … soon!

Still alive!
From the right side …
Photo: Garry Armstrong – From the right
Photo: Garry Armstrong – From the back
Long nose of the engine
Within lies the engine

There are a lot more pictures and many more to be taken. I’ll keep you  up to date. Now, if we could just rescue the old Unitarian church across from the Commons!


  1. What a wonderful tale to tell about that old fire engine and with a happy ending. I can imagine your delight receiving the message. You would never see an old truck here in a field, but they do save some that would be put in a museum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really happy about it. So was Garry. He was on his feet with the camera in hand and he isn’t usually quite that fast on his feet. That old truck has really been around. It’s worked in three towns, for a major contractor … and was part of the airport fire department. It was built in 1953, so it’s six years younger than you and me. Yes, it was a really nice surprise. I was afraid it had gone to the junkyard.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was truly nice to see old #2 again. I have a special affinity for fire trucks. I covered myriad fires during my career and have so much respect for the folks who put their lives on the line every day. I spent a week with a Boston area fire company, following them around, eating and sleeping in their fire house. I got to wash and clean many of their trucks as a “probie”. The “jakes” shared many stories about their house, trucks and calls. I wound up with a complete “jake” outfit and still have some gear around.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Erik is working to get it “legal” so he can display it. We have old car shows and this would probably draw cheers from the crowd!

      He’s also working on the old truck. I expected an older guy, but he’s just 24 — a mature aware 24. I wish I could hook him up with my granddaughter. It might upgrade her expectations of what young men can be!

      Liked by 1 person

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