The Low family recently took delivery of a new engine, here are a few words by Jim Low
The Low’s New Engine
Tasker B2 Chain Drive, Three Speed, Convertible Steam Tractor (No.1911)
The engine with side tipping wagon came new to Aberdeenshire Council in 1924, delivered to the main council depot at Turriff, it then was sent to Balmedie quarry from where it worked for most of its working life, finally ending up on Deeside working from the council’s Aboyne depot.
Bill McConachie’s father Willie, purchased the engine from the council in 1945, after Willie McConachie passed away, the engine was passed down to Bill in 1981.
The engine, along with the wagon and a living van, are now with Jim Low and family at Oldmeldrum, they were picked-up from Tullynessle by Alford on Saturday 17th September 2011, by Kenny Cheyne with brother Alfie’s trailer, the ideal tool for the job as it held all three at the same time, they are now housed in a purpose-built shed at Oldmeldrum.
Although the engine has not had many outings over the past ten year’s or so, the boiler certification has been maintained continuously. The boiler had a new firebox fitted in 1995, and at that time the engine was completely stripped down by Bill McConachie, with the use of an overhead crane in the former the Inverurie Loco Works. It was then cleaned-up, re-painted and put back together again. This makes it the last steam engine to leave the loco works!……before they were demolished to make way for Tesco’s new store.
Some of the paintwork is now showing a bit of tiredness, so will be gone over again and tidied up.
Army tank track rubber wheels have been purchased, enough to provide a complete replacement set of rubbers for all four wheels. These will have to be cut and opened out to the correct diameters, then welded in place on the wheels.
The boiler cladding will be replaced at some point, and water tanks internally coated to slow down further corrosion. Some of the pipework is in need of attention and replacement and all the valves and fittings will be checked and refurbished as necessary, to make sure they are in good working order.
Once all this has been done, we look forward to seeing the engine out on the road and attending some events again.