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Priestman Cub restored to former glory

Digger Blogger | 12:53, Mon September 27 2010

Since I wrote this post, sad news has reached me that Mr Burnett has unexpectedly passed away. I would like to repost this piece in memorial to a great plant man with a warm personality, who’s fine restoration work will be remembered for many years to come. Our thoughts go out to his family.

Geoff Burnett has recently completed a two year project to restore his 1965 Priestman Cub Mk 6 dragline excavator.

Geoff who lives in Tickton near Beverley East Yorkshire has spent hundreds of hours at work on the restoration and a considerable amount of money too. Geoff said "I am really pleased to see it all finally complete, now I just need to put more hours in learning to drive it properly".

The Cub which is powered by a 3 cylinder Lister engine and still sports its (1965) C registration plate was first sold new to Alford drainage board in Lincolnshire near Skegness and spent much of its working life with them.

All the spare parts that were required for the restoration job were sourced within a twenty mile radius of Geoff's home including a set of tracks and drive sprockets.

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The village of Tickton is about 8 miles north of Hull which of course was the home of Priestman's and to some extent still is the spiritual home of the company with many ex employees still living in the area.

In the village the local water authorities have always had a depot where many Priestman and Ruston Bucyrus draglines were kept, in later years VC15's were also used.


Geoff said, "I used to know all the drivers but sadly most of them are now in church yard, all but one who is now 83, he has been very interested in my Cub project during the past 2 years. He says he is going to teach me how to drive the machine properly, not like these weekend drivers!"

Geoff who is a member of the Vintage Excavator Trust reminisced about the day in November 1990 when he went to the Priestman's sale. "It was a cold wet and rainy day, and it was such a shame to see all that gear going under the hammer, it was a very sad end for a once great company. I never thought that day that I would end up owning my own piece of Priestman history in the shape of a Mk 6 Cub, it's been hard work but well worth it!"


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