In February 2013 we finally laid eyes on Lullingstone's c.1740s fire engine that was loaned by Grandfather Oliver Hart Dyke to the Kent Fire and Rescue Service firefighting museum in the 1950s. It returned to Lullingstone, in style, for our fire engine rally in June 2014.

It has a 50-70 feet hosing range and would have had 6 leather buckets for water and our coat of arms would have been painted on the buckets. It would have been more of a maroon colour then – you couldn’t get the bright red then that you see in the photo. It would have taken 4 men to operate the pump. This engine is entirely original except for the wheels which have been replaced - they too are made of wood, with steel coating. They would have paid the men in beer!

In October 2012 we also saw the return of a 1st/2nd century British-Romano jar, flagon and ‘biconical’ jar for keeping burnt bones in; they’d been on loan to the British Museum since 1923. They were found in Eynsford when the viaduct was built in the 1860s.