Absolutely nothing to do with model railways apart from the fact that it is a mechanical toy and I'm sure that many members here enjoy other areas of engineering related hobbies apart from railways.  I've been involved with a slightly different project over the last couple of weeks which some of you might just find interesting so I decided to write a few words about it.  Its a long story but the background is important to help everyone to understand why I am putting so much into this restoration.

When I was around three years old I was given a clockwork driven model of a lorry.  It was a die cast body, sat on a pressed and fabricated chassis with mostly cast white metal and pressed steel fittings.  It was all held together with brass BA cheese head screws and incorporated a trailer by the same manufacturer.  The idea was that you wound up the clockwork motor with a key through the front of the cab, set the steering wheel to determine the direction and set it off.  The only place I had to play with the lorry when I was three was on the stone flagged pavement outside our mid terraced house in Doncaster.  The pavement was very rough and hammered the lorry as it ran over it but I used to play by setting it off towards my father, who would collect it, turn it around and wind it up again before returning it to me.

After a while the pavement took its toll on the poor quality cast white metal wheels so the damaged ones were replaced by pinching ones from the trailer.  This kept things going for a while.  Then, eventually, the rear lorry cast suspension units broke and my father tried unsuccessfully to replace them with homemade cut up bits of nylon and tube. 


The model was shelved until I was around in my 20s when my father gave it to me again to see if I could repair it.  I dismantled it, made some notes of how the bits went together and it sat in various boxes for the next forty years.


It didn't take too long to discover that the lorry was made by a firm called Shackleton and it was a Mk II Foden flatbed lorry with Dyson trailer.  Various examples on Ebay were going for round about the £500.00, with a boxed example with trailer actually on for £975.00 so clear to see that the 'collectors' were completely screwing up the market as usual.  The plus side is that manufacturers have seen an opportunity and there are now a number of spare parts available, both in the form of machined replacements and cast pewter items, made from original parts.  I started to track down some of the bits and pieces I needed and buy parts as I found them.  I bought a complete set of new cast spring sets with brackets and screws, I found a guy who made new tyres, the old ones were solid and brittle, another guy who machined parts such as the bevel drive gears, drive shafts and UV joint and even a guy who had boxes of old stock brass cheese head BA screws of varying lengths from the period.


For the first time in over forty years I started to assemble some of the old and new components after carefully straightening some of the bent chassis parts.  I used old parts as much as possible but, as I had to replace the main drive bogie springs, which were then new and shiny, I decided to replace them all.  I used a mix of period screws and originals and followed my old sketches and photos downloaded from Ebay for correct location.


The work progresses but I have now come up against the brick wall of parts missing from the clockwork motor.  More to come.

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It is always interesting to see such things

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Mister Rusty
It's ''toys'' like that, that create engineers in the future.
i know that it did me.
Mine was a pile of pre-war Meccano. It taught me practical structural engineering, especially bridges.
I am locked out, hooked up on your last message, this is the only way that l can get into the forum.
Anyone else having issues?
Please check.
Could anyone reading  this, please advise Jazavalley or another admin , thanks
Be careful, in case it's a virus. The message received is:-
The last email that was sent to you was returned as spam by your email provider. Please update your account with a valid email address. Ahjay said  that my details are all in order, correct address and all.
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By chance I found a very knowledgeable and decent chap in Bedford who has kindly replaced the main spring of the clockwork motor and has made a new governor weight for the governor shaft.  He then put everything back together and the motor has run for the first time in forty years!  I replaced the motor in the chassis and simply enjoyed looking at it.  I have also received a new drive shaft, bevel gear and UV coupling which I was going to fit until I realised just how badly worn the bevel box casing was.  I made a brass bush to suit the shaft and drilled out the damaged part of the bevel box before fitting the bush.  The drive shaft now has a nice brass bearing surface to run on rather than the poor quality aluminium of the box.





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Just in case any of you are interested in the progress of the lorry.  The trailer has been put back together completely now using old wheels, just to see what it looks like.  I had to make some new brass spacers for one set of wheels as they were missing but, apart from that, everything went together smoothly.  It will be dismantled again when I receive the new wheels for greasing up and final assembly.


The lorry is now also completely assembled apart from the wheels, which are currently on their way from Canada.  Unfortunately they cannot provide the driving wheels and the potential UK supplier seems to have gone very quiet on the subject.  I think I might have to go back to the clockwork motor guy and see if he can provide the driving wheels.  When I get them all together the wheels are going to need a coat of silver paint, which will not, of course, be exactly as per the original but, there again, a great deal of the new parts are not either!  I have fitted a number of new bushes to improve the operation and a couple of parts have been replaced with modern machined items as opposed to the very poor quality originals to improve the reliability. I am not putting this together to emulate the original and make money out of it, I am putting it together purely as a tribute to my Dad and in memory of the time we spent together when I was a child playing with it.  Just the wheels to deal with then, when they arrive.

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Jaz Avalley JazAvalley
even though not original bits, it is just lovely to see the love and attention to keep them in a nice condition.

Jaz Avalley

Model Railway Discussion Group

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Ruffnut Thorston
Now that is some lorry.

I especially like the way that the drive is from a proper prop. shaft and a gearbox / differential arrangement.

Nice...and well worth doing. 🙋
Best wishes,

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