A 4C On The Move
Althuogh we had long known that there was a 1960s JCB at the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway the story of our involvement with AGE748B starts on the 7th June 2004 when I received an email from someone we know there offering us their JCB 4C for nothing. It sounded too good to be true but it turned out that AGE748B was no longer required there and they much preferred to find it a good home rather than scrapping it. Clearly finding fellow preservationists who were interested in preserving plant was the best answer and since they knew us... Naturally we were interested and I emailed back quickly to say so, but that wasn't all that needed to be done as it hadn't been used for some time.
So we visited the following weekend to spend some time doing some basic maintenance which included topping up the oil/water/fuel, getting it to start, and putting air in the tyres, so that it would be at least able to drive on and off a semi-low loader. Of course it isn't always easy to hire one of these at the 'drop of a hat' but we were able to arrange the move in less than a fortnight, and so on the 19th June 2004, we turned up at the back gates of the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway...
1. ... and found them locked! While the Bo'ness
people knew we were coming that morning, we had beaten them there!
2. While we were waiting, I discovered that
looking down the side of the diesel shed at Bo'ness gave a distant view of AGE748B in
it's long-time parking place between two sidings as can be seen here.
3. Zooming in a bit shows the sad sight of
a redundant JCB sitting parked up. However all that would soon change for the better!
4. It wasn't took long before someone from
the railway showed up, by which time the low-loader had arrived also, and we were able
to set about getting AGE748B started, moved round to the back gates, and loaded. However
since I was doing a lot of the work, I didn't get the chance to do any more filming for
a while, so this next picture is of it being driven out of the back gate.
5. A rather better view of AGE748B as it drives
from the back gates to the semi-low loader. The person from the SRPS we dealt with 'on the
ground' turned out to be someone who had driven AGE748B quite a lot in the past, and since
he had the experience he volunteered to drive it for us (I won't mention his name here
without permission, but he knows who he is!)
6. Up, up,...
7. and (almost) away! AGE748B loads itself for
transport in one (fairly) swift maneouvre!
8. Despite the low-loader appearing at first to
be much longer than necessary for this move, it wasn't really as the back arm of the JCB
would have to be sat down on the deck for height reasons. Which is why AGE748B is edging
right to the front of the deck in this picture.
9. All ready to go! AGE748B has now lowered
it's back arm and has been chained down so that it's can't fall off the deck. A bonus
for us which can be seen here was that although the SRPS had in the past (to save money)
replaced the back wheels of AGE748B with the incorrectly-sized wheels from another
(scrapped) digger rather than pay for new tyres, they had saved the original wheels and
gifted them to us also.
10. Alistair shakes hands (for the camera!)
with the representative of the SRPS before we set out for Methil...
11. ...and we're off!
12. It isn't too obvious in the earlier
pictures, but the weather that day was neither very warm or bright for mid-June,
but this picture of AGE748B heading along the A92 in Fife shows this quite well.
13. And a few seconds later I was able to
get a better (if not much brighter) view of our 'new' JCB travelling at speed
14. I managed to get ahead of AGE748B again
before the outskirts of Kirkcaldy (a place with the unfortunate name of the 'Boreland')
and thus here is a zoom view of it being transported round one of the several roundabouts
in the area.
15. And much less than a ninute later it passed me!
16. Arrival! Now all that was left to do was unload
17. A view of AGE748B just before it was
unloaded, with its back arm lifted back up. I drew the short straw of being the first to
try to unload it and I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I couldn't get it to back up
straight due to the steering being stiff, the tyres still being a bit soft, and my total
inexperience in doing things like that. So the driver of the semi-low loader (who had
years of experience with plant of all kinds and in all conditions) had to do it! And
did it very well too!
18. Home safe. AGE748B safe on the ground at
Actually I didn't stop filming or taking pictures when we got AGE748B unloaded as we posed it up for some pictures and camcorder footage of it working it's various motions but since they aren't pictures of the move itself I have chosen to use the rest as the first set of pictures in The AGE748B Galleries, as a good way to start that section off. However while posing it up for pictures was fun, a lot of hard restoration work on AGE748B would now be required...