In 1907 The Duke of Sutherland modernised his estate fire brigade. He purchased this A3 16hp Albion motor lorry and added an existing Shand Mason steam water pump to the rear creating one of the first motorised fire pumps in Scotland.
The Albion was in service at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie, the family seat and centre of a vast self contained estate. The Duke of Sutherland was famous for building his own infrastructure in the North; he even had his own train, very much in the royal tradition, based at his own railway station.
Of the three leading Scottish motor manufacturers at that time, Argyll, Albion and Arrol- Johnston it was Albion of Scotstoun, Glasgow, that began to move away from motorcar production in favour of light commercials. Their 16hp A3 was supplied as a car, wagonette or lorry and was the obvious choice at that time as a fire engine.
In 1907 steam pumps were still widely used. The Shand Mason pump is much older and was apparently taken from a small horse drawn fire pump.
It is interesting that Aberdeen Fire Brigade had a motor lorry for general duties in 1904 but their first motor pump was the Halley of 1912. Perhaps the Duke of Sutherland was among the first to trust a motorcar to reach a fire faster than a team of horses!