Five Ton, 4 NHP Steam Tractor

Picture 2

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Lower Priory Farm Clamp Hill, Stanmore Middlesex, England HA7 3JJ

I have been a reader of Iron-Men Album for the past few years and have pleasure in enclosing some photographs of a British engine, the Burrell Tractor, 'GLADSTONE', which has recently returned to Miami. (Additional specifications: D.C.C., 3 speed, double geared sprung tractor. Works No. 3540 left works on 22.1. 1914.)

It was sold new to William Oakes of Hollington, Stoke on Trent, Staffs, who was a haulage contractor in that area.

Named 'GLADSTONE' Registered on the NORFOLK Reg. AH0 171.

About 1918 it was sold to E. H. Shopland of Clevedon, Somerset who later sold it to W. Issacs & Sons of Braunton, Devon who used it for many years and it was reported in a recent edition of 'Steaming' as being very popular amongst the drivers.

It was out of use in 1948 and when Mr. Issacs died, they couldn't find the log book for the sale so the original registration number was lost and when it was purchased by Mr. G. B. King of Temple Cloud, Somerset, it was re-registered in 1950 0YB 558.

It eventually went out of use again and was sent in working order to the U.S.A. in 1959 to Mr. Jeffrey Roberts of Osterville, Massachusetts who ran it in the Cape Cod area. He then bequeathed the engine on his death to the Boston Transport Museum, Boston, Massachusetts in 1974. The engine required major work and was just a static exhibit. The museum took it apart but found the repairs needed to be very extensive.

In 1984, the museum put the engine up for sale via a sealed bid and the successful bidder was Mr. Finlay B. Matheson, of Coral Gables, Miami, Florida. He then looked at having the engine repaired in the U.S.A. and found that it was not very practical. By far the simplest way was to send the engine back to England for one of the English repair companies to repair it.

In October 1987, the engine returned to the United Kingdom for a major overhaul, including new fire box, boiler barrel, front tube plates, smoke box, tender, gears built up, new canopy and a full repaint. This work was carried out by A. G. Bicknell & Co., Liphook, Hants. It returned to Florida in October 1988, now carrying the number AHO 171 which is on the Great Britain Motor Vehicle Computer at Swansea. The engine is currently being run in Florida and can be seen there.