The Cook family recently took delivery of a new engine, here are a few words and pictures by Philip Brown
The Cook's New Engine
Fowler BB1 Ploughing Engine "Mistress" (No.15138)
The Cook family have recently celebrated reuniting the Very First pair of Fowler BB1 ploughing engines after 50 Years apart.
Fowler No, 15138 had spent the last 50 years in a collection in Canada, having been very little used but very well preserved in a heated shed as part of the Mathew's Collection.
The engine was shipped over 1200 miles by road to the nearest port where it then took a 6 week voyage to Liverpool Docks, an eager team from the Cook family and helpers was there to greet the engine and brought it swiftly home to their awaiting shed.
Although the engine has not had many outings over the past 50 years or so, the boiler is in fairly good condition though it will be undergoing rigorous checks to give a better idea of the exact condition. After a week of checks and lots of oiling the engine was connected to a compressor and pressurised to 100psi on air and turned over for the first time in a very long time.
Since then the engine has had further checking and oiling, on the 10th of March "Mistress" and was again pressurised to 100psi on air and was able to move under her own power out of the Cook's shed to the delight of the small crowd present and also the Cook family.
The engine will now have its lagging stripped of and be thoroughly checked by a boiler inspector and depending on the findings will dictate the course the Cook family take towards restoration.
The long term goal is to have both "Master" and "Mistress" working as a pair again ploughing in the hopefully not too distant future, we look forward to seeing the engine out on the road, and attending some events again very soon.