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Vintage classics fire up again at working day

Mon 15 Jul 2013

Vintage classics fire up again at working day

We kick off with this old Priestman Lion crane, rigged out in dragline configuration. It’s always a delight to watch a dragline being operated by a skilled man in the seat, and it always amazes me just how accurate they can be with the bucket. Of course, Priestman machines have a rich heritage around the location of this event, having originally been built at the old Priestman factory in Hedon road, Hull. Next up is this lovingly restored example of a 22RB ICD (Improved Crane Dragline), which is set up in face shovel configuration and sporting the sign writing of Shepard Hill. Once again, this is a real classic machine and a joy to watch in the hands of an experienced operator. Next up is a machine from the Andrew Beaulah collection. One of two Vickers Vigor VR180 dozers, that I believe Andrew has in his portfolio of classic machines. These machines were said to be extremely fast, and were powered by a 180 hp Rolls Royce engine, although I am led to believe that there was also a Cummins power option. This rare and unusual wheeled dozer is another machine from the Andrew Beaulah collection. I was first led to believe that this machine was a WD Marshall tractor, but after a bit of research, I now think that it is actually an old Gainsborough Tractor Mk 2. Ambrose Thomas used to operate these machines whilst serving in Base Vehicle Depot RAOC in Malaya in 1968. According to Ambrose, the machines were fitted with a Cable Control Unit (CCU) on the rear for use when towing a scraper. Ambrose said, “The Mk 2 had a hydraulic boom assembly and a fibre glass roof, whereas the Mk 1 had a rather “Heath Robinson” affair system, which operated cables from the rear passing over a rig device on the solid roof to lift a boom for the dozer blade. In the hot sunshine, you didn't have the option of removing the cab as with the Mk 2, and we sweated buckets as a consequence!” If anyone can confirm the true identity of this machine, I would love to hear from you? It’s estimated that Andrew Beaulah has over 100 machines in his collection, and amongst them is this fine example of an Aveling Barford motor grader, which was working throughout the day at the show. Finally in this batch of shots, we see a JCB 110 crawler loader. These machines were something of a revelation when they were first introduced back in 1971. Featuring hydrostatic drive, and the now standard rear engine, the machines were way ahead of their time and very fast. However these machines were short lived in the JCB product line, being phased out in 1979. This is one event I must take the time to visit one day, and I’m sure it would be worth the long drive up North for!  

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