Continuing my tour around the Vintage Excavator Trust’s collection of machines, which are preserved at the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum in Keswick, Cumbria.
Wandering up a small gravel track from the museum and shop, one comes across the quarry itself, which is the venue for the Threlkeld working weekend events. One of the first machines to catch my eye was a venerable old 10 RB in drag shovel configuration. Apparently there are at least 12 of these old Ruston Bucyrus machines at Threlkeld now, in various stages of restoration.
Another similar sized drag shovel model was close by, in the form of a Smith Super 10. This machine was manufactured by another famous Leeds based British manufacturer, Smith Rodley. Looking at the front of the cab, one can only imagine that forward visibility must have been very poor on this machine, but like all these machines, in their day they were probably at the cutting edge of excavation technology!
Of course no vintage excavator collection would be complete without the most famous Ruston Bucyrus of all the 22 RB. And a fine face shovel example, which I believe is owned by the Chairman of the VET Mr Ian Hartland, is still put to work on a regular basis loading the occasional lorry load of stone which is sold to boost the trusts funds.
Another face shovel which is a youngster compared too many of the other machines in the quarry, is the NCK 605. This company can be traced back as far as the Victorian times when Newton Chambers & Co Ltd started out as an iron foundry. This example was kindly donated the VET by Loughside quarries in Ireland.
Of course it’s not all excavators at Threlkeld, there are a small number of dumptruck’s and this fine example of a Caterpillar D8H dozer which is owned by John Teasdale, who is a stalwart of many working weekend events at the quarry
Lookout for more Threlkeld highlights in part three of this series here on the Digger Man Blog.