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When Tyne & Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade came into being 1974 after the Fire Services Act of the same year, merging all previous county borough fire brigades post 1948 into county run services, Tyne & Wear adopted a very distinct cap badge from all other British fire service cap badges of the period. 
A gilt 5 bladed star with the enamelled centre depicting a pump impellar was the design this North East of England fire brigade chose for its new emblem!
The former brigades of Sunderland, Tynemouth, Newcastle & Gateshead, South Shields & parts of Durham & Northumberland made up the new brigade which grew to 20 fire stations covering a new boundary area of 204 square miles!
Tyne & Wear had variations of its cap badge & this first issue badge manufactured by Gaunt & Sons of London, official suppliers of cap badges to this brigade, was only in force for 3 years making it a harder to obtain cap badge & being redesigned in 1977!
The difference quite purely was the letters in the centre of the enamel badge T & W….the 1st pattern being the T over the W…the 2nd pattern from 1977 being W over T! There is also an ERROR version in existence where a handful of cap badges were produced the wrong way round with the botton “tail” of the badge being upside down & 2 “tails” were at the base of the badge ! This was an error in the 2nd issue cap badge from 1977 onwards & not noted on this rarer 1st issue.
The badge has perfect patina to both the gilt front & enamel centre which is secured to the rear by the lugs & a thin Gaunt & Sons pin, both cap fixing gilt lugs also complete & attached to the rear.
A nice rarer post 1974 cap badge that was used for only 3 years in 100% original condition & over time is becoming increasingly harder to obtain!

Tyne & Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade 1974 to 1977

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