Intermat 24
Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 28 Nov 2023

Rare Hymac 690 Still Lying at Rest

We last reported on this old Hymac back in 2013 on the old Digger Blog platform, but over the weekend it was brought to my attention that the old girl has defied the dreaded “gas axe” and is still standing in the same spot in an old quarry in Petersfield.

Rare Hymac 690 Still Lying at Rest

So, I took a call from Wayne Lymburn, who is another classic plant and machinery enthusiast, on Friday evening who told me that apparently the Butser Hill Lime Works Pit has been sold and is now in the hands of Portsmouth based TJ Group.

Wayne, who lives in Surrey, like many of us of a certain age has a lot of affection for the old Hymac brand, and he is still keen to see this old machine saved from the scrap heap and restored to her former glory. He even said if he had the space for it, he would buy it and save it himself, sadly its not an option for him at this time.

The photos of the machine seen above here come courtesy of Graham Rush and have done the rounds on the classic plant social media platforms over the years. However, I have come across another example of a 690 that a guy bought in Norway, which for its age is in exceptional order.

As we reported previously these were quite rare machines and according to my friend and Hymac aficionado Jeremy Rowland, there were only ever 64 of the 19.6-tonne machines ever built, with production running from 1972-1976.

We both feel it would be great if this machine could be preserved for future generations to see at vintage rallies and the like.

Wayne said “This really could be the last chance we get to save this old girl, let’s hope someone out there is prepared to do it, maybe we could even set up a Crowdfunding account to raise funds for it”.  

If nothing else, I would love to make a pilgrimage to see this rusting hulk from our British earthmoving heritage before the invevitable happens.

The aforementioned Jeremy Rowland, has one of only three working examples of 690's that he knows of, in the video below he is seen moving the machine closer to a power source to allow him to work on it. 

UPDATED EDIT : Sadly I have just heard that this machine has actually already been weighed in and is no more, but hey ho, it was nice to dream that it could have been saved. 

 

Loads more