This is a 1976 15cwt Thwaites dumper. Just in case anyone is interested, it is powered by a single cylinder Petter PH1 diesel engine. We had quite a few problems getting it started, but finally succeeded by bump starting pushing it down a hill. We did manage to start it after this using the crank. We half filled it with stones before it finally conked out going up a slope in the bottom field. Now, it will not restart.
I am guessing that it is a problem with the fuel lines – the engine turns over and has no electrics, so it can’t be much else other than a lack of fuel. The tank is half full so I suspect that driving it up a slope caused dirt to get into the system somehow. This would also explain the lack of power when we started her up. Looks like the next job is to strip the fuel side of the engine and give it a quick clean. I will take the injectors off first, and crank the engine, to see if it is delivering any fuel.
You are not going to win any races in one of these. In fact, you are not going to make any progress in one of these if there is the slightest incline. Admittedly, it does go downhill a lot faster than uphill, however, I put this down to the almost not existent brakes.
For some reason, it doesn’t quite capture the feeling of driving one of these! Maybe, it is the lack of the phut-phut-phut of a single cylinder diesel engine. The seat seems to be a replacement – the current one is a wooden seat from a child’s swing!
Going up this slope was the final straw and we haven’t been able to start it since. It sounded like it slowly ran out of fuel despite the fuel tank being half full. My guess is that there is dirt in the fuel system – there are any electrics and the engine still cranks over – so it can’t be much else. We’ll see.
We managed to get half a day today once the rain stopped to finish off the wall in the bottom field. We started on the wall on the right hand side of the gate a couple of weeks ago. There wasn’t a wall here previously, just a gate post. We have used all sorts of odd stone from around the property to build up this wall. In fact, it has been a good way of getting rid of quite a lot of stone. Once it all weathers in, it will look as if it has been there forever.
The rain stopped this afternoon and this gave us enough time to finish off the wall that we started on a couple of weeks ago. We just need to find some coping stones now.
We used a line to get the top of the wall straight and level. It is amazing how this simple approach produces a very straight line. The wall is made up of all sorts of different stone (and the occasionally brick!) from around the property. If nothing else, the wall is a good way of getting rid of a lot of the surplus stone.
There is a dry stone wall between the orchard and the top field. There has been a gap in it for a while – where we didn’t quite join the new dry stone wall to the orchard wall. We have decided to close this gap and make a proper one a little further along the wall. The ground level in the top field and the orchard is slightly different, so there will be a step down into the orchard. Fortunately, we had a piece of ashlar left over from the renovation. No one can remember why it was ordered, but it seems to fit here a treat.
The step is level – honest. We used a spirit level on it. There are a couple of flagstones at the back to increase the width of the step. You can see that we have started to build up the left handside. We have overlapped the wall onto the step to make it all a little more robust.
The left hand side has now been built up. Like the walls themselves, the end leans back as it is a more stable structure.
We used some big stones out of the old barn directly on top of the step.
Both sides of the new opening have been built up. The next job was to make sure that the top of the wall was level – both sides of the opening – before putting the coping stones on.
There is a wall (sort of) and a gate in the bottom field. I suspect that this was the main route into the property before Upper Hagg Road existed. You can see a “running joint” down the outside of the wall where the wall with the gate joins the wall along the road. I think this is because the gate wall pre-dates the wall along the road.
The wall to the left of the gate was in decent shape and we did repair it earlier in the year. The wall on the right of the gate, however, was largely missing. I am not sure how this had happened since the top part of the wall seems to have survived in tact. Anyway, with lots of stone left over, it seemed like a good idea to have a bit of a tidy up.
The wall to the left of the gate is not too bad, but the wall on the right was largely missing, until I started building it back up. The gate posts have the hooks (iron hooks held in place with lead) on the other side of the gate posts. The only way the gates would have opened would have been away from the camera. So the land the other side of these gates must have been built up – the gates would never have opened against the built up soil.
The wall to the right of the gate was non-existent next to the gate post. We have used all sorts of odd stone to build it up. Once it weathers in, you would think that it had been there for a hundred years.
The wall on the right handside needs to be built up quite a bit – there was no wall against the gatepost before we started. The area beneath the wall with the coping stones has been used as a bit of dumping ground. Lots of old bathroom tiles, concrete and general garbage. We have bagged most of this up to go to the dump together with the other rubbish that we continue to dig up.