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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 12:10 GMT
Engine restored to mint condition
The 1934 Commer Fire Engine
The engine is stored at the society's base in Skewen, Neath
A 1934 vintage fire engine lovingly restored by enthusiasts in Wales is to be featured on an Australian coin.

The Commer appliance owned by a Neath based society will form part of the collection made by the Perth Mint.

The engine, which took volunteers three years to restore, was one of the first to respond to the bombing of Coventry Cathedral during The WWII Blitz.

Five thousand silver coins with the image of the engine on one side and the Queen's head on the other will be cast.

It forms part of a series on coins based on Fire Engines of the World, which will be legal tender.

Each coin in the series is struck from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver
Alexandra Lucchesi, Perth Mint

Officials from the Perth Mint, the oldest working mint in Australia, discovered the existence of the engine from a feature about The Welsh Area Fire Engine Restoration Society (WAFERS) on the BBC's Where I Live website.

Society chairman Ray Evans said: "We were very surprised when they first got in touch but it is very pleasing that we are getting known.

"We were very lucky to get the engine about four or five years ago and it has taken three years to restore.

"It was one of the first appliances to attend the bombing of Coventry Cathedral during the Blitz."

He said spare parts were very rare and often had to be made to order by specialist engineers.

The society, currently based at an industrial estate in Skewen, owns fire engines, pumps, badges and helmets dating back to the 18th Century.

The 1934 Commer Fire Engine
The mint said no more than 5,000 of the silver coins will be cast

"Most of our members are ex-firefighters and you've also got a lot of people who just have an interest in the mechanical side and the glamour of the engines," added Mr Evans.

He said the collection was often taken to shows around the country including the Royal Welsh and Margam Park.

Alexandra Lucchesi of the Perth Mint said the Commer would be the third in the series of coins following on from a 1932 Canadian vehicle and a Soviet AA-60 Airfield fire engine.

"No more than 5,000 coins depicting the Commer will be released," she said.

"Each coin in the series is struck from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver and issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of the Cook Islands."

She said although they were legal tender the coins were aimed at collectors and investors.

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