Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
If you are connected with (or know some one at) the VET please get in touch as we would like to post an accurate list of the machine collection on here.
As well as having accurate information about forthcoming events at the VET and any related events featuring vintage plant.
If you have an active web site please post the link up. Thanks - BulldozerD11 01:28, 4 August 2009 (UTC) (Site admin)

Machinery line up a Threlkeld Quarry, looking across the valley

The Vintage Excavator Trust Preserving Britain's Engineering Heritage Is based in Threlkeld, Nr Keswick, Cumbria, England at the Mining Museum in a disused quarry.

The Trust

The Vintage Excavator Trust was formed in 1998 as a result of a meeting organised at Threlkeld Quarry in Cumbria by Ian Hartland and Philip Peacock and attended by a small group of excavator preservation enthusiasts.

The aims of the organisation, as stated in a document produced at the initial meeting, are "to acquire, preserve, restore and keep in working order, a comprehensive collection of rope-operated excavators, associated plant, machinery and equipment, literature and models and to display, demonstrate and explain to the general public, schools, industrial history societies etc their history, evolution, construction and working principles"

Priestman on Dyson low loader with scammell tractor unit parked up in lower Carpark

A wide range of excavators and other plant have been donated to the Trust for preservation. These include NCK 605 and Ruston-Bucyrus 38-RB face shovels, a 22-RB dragshovel, a Jones 565 crane, Smiths and Priestman draglines, two Aveling Barford SN35 dump trucks and a variety of smaller items of plant. Most of these machines are displayed at Threlkeld Mining and Quarrying Museum in Cumbria, with a few stored at other locations including Andrew Beaulah’s Farm in Yorkshire, where working days are held with demonstrations of earthmoving machinery .

Recent Acquisition include a 110-RB Shovel, that is expected to be working in 2008, following the successful transportation to Cumbria in 2007, with the assistance of Heanor Haulage and other firms, and reassembly over a period of several months by volunteers. A large Generator has be loaned by a quarry with a similar machine keep in reserve, to enable it to be powered up for demonstrations.

A variety of machines are being restored on site, as time allows by a Enthusiastic group of volunteers. A lot of machines are kept there by owners without suitable large gardens to keep them in at home, as they can use them as well.

The narrow gauge loco at Threlkeld

The site includes a Working narrow gauge Railway, Workshops Several areas were machines can be worked in a Realistic setting.

Last open day saw about 60 machines on site, with about 20 working. The site provides a great location for members and the public to see machines in a proper working location and actually under power, not just as static exhibits. As most people would no longer be able to witness these types of machine in action normally with H&S excluding people from working Quarries and building sites.


Stone Crusher by the weigh bridge

2010 Dates
To Be Confirmed - Please post uptodate info Asap.
2009 Dates
  • MAY, 17 & 18 May (Sat & Sun)

Threlkeld Quarry,Cumbria.
( A66 Nr Keswick. From 10am.)

  • July 19 & 20 (Sat & Sun)

Threlkeld Quarry, Cumbria.
( A66 Nr Keswick. From 10am.)

  • SEPT 20th & 21st (Sat & Sun)

Threlkeld Quarry, Cumbria.
( A66 Nr Keswick. From 10am.)

Machine List

Other collectors

An extensive collection of Priestman of Lincolnshire, Early Draglines & Modern Hydraulic machines owned by Adrian Patterson, is displayed at the site.

Several other collectors keep their machines at the site, as it gives them the opportunity to Use them in a realistic environment.

  • Please add details of the other owners machines to this page or create a "collection" page for your machine list.

Recent acquisitions

The Vintage Excavator Trust has recently taken delivery of the Ruston Proctor steam navey(excavator) that was at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life in Lincoln that was recovered from a flooded gravel pit by Ruston engine expert Ray Hooley & restored with the help of many people. It was then placed on display in the museum at Lincoln, but unfortunately it had been allowed to deteriorate over the last 30 years and has not been steamed for a long time. Ray Hooley has now transferred it to the care of The VET who plan to restore it again to working order.[2]

Several other machines have also been moved to Threkeld, but some former residents have left for new sites. These include Dave Weedon's Scammell Highwayman and Dyson low loader and Adrian Patterson's Priestman VC15 which was recently sold and has gone back to work after a few repairs in the south of England.

Photo Gallery of Machines

Photos from 2008 open day

Assorted photos

Trust Web Site

Note: The trust does not currently appear to have an active web site ! (July 2009)

New members are always welcome, so if you are interested in joining the Vintage Excavator Trust please contact them for an application form.

  • Email: Navvyman
  • For more info contact the secretary Philip Peacock 01482-875892, or
  • membership secretary Pam Allarton 0121-5503160.[3]


Trust Web site.

  1. Classic Plant & Machinery Magazine, V1-5 Jan 2003
  2. News Article in Old Glory Magazine, November 2011
  3. from Vertical Article (PDF)

External links