What little boy didn’t dream of driving a big red firetruck? Today’s find from the world of urban abandonment feels particularly tragic– and a little bit like uncovering the tomb of childhood dreams. Not to be a downer or anything…
On my daily dive into Flickr, I came across an account which has album after album of incredible urbex photography. Frenchman Vincent Michel has been on so many abandoned field trips, it should really be his full time job.
But it was these poor antique and historical firetrucks that caught my eye– and of course they did, because they should be sitting in a museum, not in a warehouse gathering dust.
This Aladdin’s cave of rare automobiles is likely one of several. In the 1990s, the French fire departments raised funds in an effort to restore and preserve their retired old trucks to be sent off to museums but in the early 2000s, that initiative ran out of money and went bust. The trucks that weren’t in good enough condition were sentences to the scrapyard rather than being sold to the public, and the rest were sent to storage sites like this in the event that maybe, on the off chance, one day a museum might come along and save them.
The good news is, exactly a year after Vincent took these photos, a firefighter museum opened up in Lyon, near the Swiss border in the East of France. The bad news is, fire departments across the whole of France were hoping to unload the burden of their old trucks and there’s only so many firetrucks that one museum can display. This particular warehouse is located somewhere near Le Havre, all the way across the country in the North of France. So I’m a little skeptical as to how many of these trucks have since been rescued from their dusty tomb.
If you can mute out the sound of your inner child crying, I can imagine the experience of finding your way into this unmanned secret museum where the red firetrucks don’t shine as brightly, is probably slightly more prolific than visiting the official museum. Having said that, these vehicles, dating as far back as the 1930s, are in dire need of some TLC and I think it’s time the fire departments considered selling them off publicly. Question is: would there be any takers?