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Foden7536

1917 Foden Steam Wagon

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Good evening, let me introduce myself, I am David Main, a youngish (38 year old) enthusiast who has been involved with the preservation movement for many years, having been previously restored a 1930 Aveling Roller, which having brought aged 19 I spent the next 15 or so years restoring, however I never quite finished it as I had to get some funds to buy the vehicle I had hankered after ever since I first had a ride in it at the Sellinge Rally in May 1995 

 

I hope this “thread” is of interest to others, and I will try to chronicle the work I do on the wagon as and when I can. Most of the photos I intend to post are my own, however some came with the wagon, so I hope that if these are originally someone else’s photos then they don’t mind me using them!

 

I really liked it when Mr Gosling commented in one of his posts that he considers the forum to be like a group of friends sat around a table chatting, so please everyone feel free to chip in and comment, question or criticise what I am doing, and I hope it will be of interest. Also please forgive me if I spell things wrong or get the grammar wrong!    

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Welcome with your enthusiastic post. I think the last time I was near a Foden steam wagon was in the 1960s at Parky Bates at Lanchester County Durham.

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So, to quote Maria Von Trapp “Lets start at the very beginning”:

Foden 7536 was dispatched from Foden’s Elworth works in Sandbach, Cheshire on 17th October 1917, and supplied new to the War Department. To quote the build sheet it was painted “Khaki”. The body 12 ‘ long x 6’ 6” wide (inside) fixed sides which are 2’ deep. Tailpiece 2’ deep hinged from top of side boards. Sides lined with sheet iron. Platform arranged to suit Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear

So, in Foden Talk this wagon was built as a rear tipping wagon, the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” was the tipping mechanism for the body, which consists of a pulley, driven by flat belt from the wagon’s flywheel sited on the cab, this then drives a shaft with a worm, which inturn drives a gear which takes the drive through the rear of the cab and onto a set of bevel gears, these drive a shaft which goes across the “front” of the rear part of the chassis and then drives further sets of bevel gears which turns two large screw threads, on which two nuts run which lifts the body - but more about that another time!

I have a copy of the build sheet which I will try to scan and post, but it is not the clearest. 

For the wagons “War Service” I assume it was used on road repair and construction. I have just brought a copy of Tim Gosling’s excellent book “British Military Trucks of World War One” and if you haven’t a copy I can’t recommend it highly enough! This is the part of the Foden’s life that I would like to research more.

Following the war it was sold to Devon County Council, where it joined their “Northern Division” and was based in Barnstaple. I believe it was sold to them in 1920 and registered “ T - 8750 “ it remained in their ownership until 1950. Interestingly in 1937 Foden’s supplies a set of Pickering Governors, modifies safety valve plate and pulley for the crankshaft and I assume it was then used to drive a stone crusher. I know that in the later stages of it’s career with Devon CC it was used to provide steam to a rock drill, used in the quarry to drill into the stone before explosive charges were set as part of the quarrying process. One detail which I am not sure about, is wether or not the crank / part of the crank has been replaced, my Foden has roller bearing eccentrics fitted, this wasn’t standard on the earlier Fodens, so I can only assume that this is a later fitment - again further investigation work is required !!! At some point the tipping body was removed and a simple flat bed installed, and the rock drill was carried on the rear body.

In 1950 Mr Shambrook for Newton Tracy brought the wagon (for £18 apparently) who kept it until the early 1960’s when it was sold to Paul Corin in Cornwall. He built the current body, repainted the Foden into a maroon and red livery and then sold the wagon, via the auctioneers “Sotheby’s” and the wagon was shipped to America where it joined the collection of the Upjohn Corporation of Kalamazoo - where it stayed until it was brought back to the UK in 1991 by John Collins of Northampton. It changed hands again in 1994, moving to Kent, firstly with Tony Slingsby in Hythe, then in 2000 to Colin Wheeler of Dartford - Colin did a lot of work on the wagon including repainting it into its Devon CC livery - of which more another time!

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Finally I was lucky enough to be offered the Foden and brought it on 17th October 2017 ... 100 years to the day that it left Foden’s works!

 

how do you do captions for photos?

 

1. Black and White 

Foden on the day of Sotheby’s auction 1962

2. Maroon 

Foden at Chatham Dockyard 2012

3. Green

The day I took ownership!

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2 hours ago, Foden7536 said:

To quote the build sheet it was painted “Khaki”. The body 12 ‘ long x 6’ 6” wide (inside) fixed sides which are 2’ deep. Tailpiece 2’ deep hinged from top of side boards. Sides lined with sheet iron. Platform arranged to suit Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear

So, in Foden Talk this wagon was built as a rear tipping wagon, the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” was the tipping mechanism for the body, which consists of a pulley, driven by flat belt from the wagon’s flywheel sited on the cab, this then drives a shaft with a worm, which inturn drives a gear which takes the drive through the rear of the cab and onto a set of bevel gears, these drive a shaft which goes across the “front” of the rear part of the chassis and then drives further sets of bevel gears which turns two large screw threads, on which two nuts run which lifts the body - but more about that another time!

I have a copy of the build sheet which I will try to scan and post, but it is not the clearest. 

For the wagons “War Service” I assume it was used on road repair and construction...  This is the part of the Foden’s life that I would like to research more...

A couple of pictures of the Wilkins Unloading Gear in action, and the articles they are from.  The first is a Hallford, the second looks to be a Foden.  Enjoy!

Wilkins 1.jpg

Wilkins 2.jpg

Wilkins 1.pdf Wilkins 2.pdf

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Hi David.

Great to have you here! Speaking as a Sentinel man, I am sure we can find some relative merits to discuss!

Regarding photo captions, once you have inserted the pics in your post, just click the cursor next to the photo and it will allow you to write the text at that point, just like 'Word'.

Looking forward to following the progress.

Steve  :)

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Hello David,

Very interested in your latest project. Here is a well known IWM photo which may be of interest. The pic shows a standard Foden 5 tonner waiting to deliver roadstone at Zillebeke in 1917. Useful detail includes the buffers for protecting smokebox on convoy work, the heatshield for a single acetylene headlamp in front of the chimney and the position for the Pyrene extinguisher. This Foden still carries its Bulford induction reg. No. which  was usually replaced by a WD No. beginning with S ( for steam ) once in service. 

foden-steam-wagon.jpg.2a71ede728f6383d2cee4a58826a501c.jpg

 

Edited by Tomo.T
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Well, those buffers are interesting.  I have never seen them before.  I would guess it would only help of you were in convoy with another wagon, or similar configuration, since the front wheels are forward of the smokebox door.  

Thanks  for posting.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Runflat said:

A couple of pictures of the Wilkins Unloading Gear in action, and the articles they are from.  The first is a Hallford, the second looks to be a Foden.  Enjoy!

Wilkins 1.jpg

Wilkins 2.jpg

Wilkins 1.pdf 9.53 MB · 3 downloads Wilkins 2.pdf 10.31 MB · 2 downloads

Wilkins  'patent' movable floor ,  what goes around comes around , now loose bulk carriers are referred to with  "walking floor"   & one or two + manufacturers claim they hold patent.

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Another picture from the darker recesses of the collection.. This one from The World's Carriers February 15, 1918.

 

Wilkins 3.jpg

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Does your Foden still have the water pump off a Garrett overtype wagon fitted to it?

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On 2/28/2020 at 8:25 AM, Old Bill said:

Hi David.

Great to have you here! Speaking as a Sentinel man, I am sure we can find some relative merits to discuss!

Regarding photo captions, once you have inserted the pics in your post, just click the cursor next to the photo and it will allow you to write the text at that point, just like 'Word'.

Looking forward to following the progress.

Steve  :)

Good evening Steve,

Oh dear, I didn’t realise this forum was frequented by “Sentinel Men” - I do hope the far superior Cheshire constructed wagons (spelt correctly, Unlike that Shrewsbury product, whose residents can’t even agree how to pronounce the town they live in) !!!

Only kidding, steam of any fashion is good, I hope you find my little tales of work on the wagon of interest. Have you a Sentinel yourself? (Sorry, haven’t worked out who is who with their alias’s!

David

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16 hours ago, QL Driver said:

Does your Foden still have the water pump off a Garrett overtype wagon fitted to it?

Good evening Mick (or is it Ed?!) 

Yes the Foden still has a Garrett pump and fittings, this was added during its time with Devon CC, as I’m sure you know Devon ran quite a few Garretts so I assume one became a doner. I have a Foden pump in the stores, but as the Garrett one has been fitted for at least 60 years so I think I’ll stick with that one. 

Hope the Garrett is behaving, and James Penfold is as lovely as always (for a Fowler!)

Regards

David

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On 2/28/2020 at 8:40 PM, Tomo.T said:

Hello David,

Very interested in your latest project. Here is a well known IWM photo which may be of interest. The pic shows a standard Foden 5 tonner waiting to deliver roadstone at Zillebeke in 1917. Useful detail includes the buffers for protecting smokebox on convoy work, the heatshield for a single acetylene headlamp in front of the chimney and the position for the Pyrene extinguisher. This Foden still carries its Bulford induction reg. No. which  was usually replaced by a WD No. beginning with S ( for steam ) once in service. 

foden-steam-wagon.jpg.2a71ede728f6383d2cee4a58826a501c.jpg

 

Good afternoon Tomo,

Thank you for posting that photo, it’s a personal favourite as some of the little details are wonderful, as you say the fire extinguisher and heat shield on the chimney, but also the rolled up sheets around the cab, guttering a downpipes for the cab etc.

the buffers are indeed a very interesting subject, in my “archives” of 5 ton WD wagons I have some images of wagons with them fitted, but likewise quite a few without, so quite what the reasoning for / against the fitment of them to some, but not all wagons will be another avenue to investigate. Likewise lots of WD Fodens have short canopies, whilst some have a longer one (like mine) as far as I can tell mine is original and so again want to investigate why the differences, I would have thought that a “standard” tipping wagon would be just that, but when I study mine against number 7768 (which as you know is the other surviving WD Foden, and remains in WD livery) there are several minor differences despite them both being built late in 1917.

I will post some of my photos later.

looking forward to reading more about the Thornycroft restoration. 

Regards

David

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I like your approach of keeping the Garrett pump; as it's part of the working history of the wagon, I think it would be a shame to revert to "factory new". Have you had a chance to get your wagon together with Mike Brown's ex-DCC Garrett yet?

As far as the Garrett and Fowler - I'm going to be flying over on Wednesday and hoping to get a good 5-6 days of work in on the wagon and trailer.

Ed

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58 minutes ago, QL Driver said:

I like your approach of keeping the Garrett pump; as it's part of the working history of the wagon, I think it would be a shame to revert to "factory new". Have you had a chance to get your wagon together with Mike Brown's ex-DCC Garrett yet?

As far as the Garrett and Fowler - I'm going to be flying over on Wednesday and hoping to get a good 5-6 days of work in on the wagon and trailer.

Ed

Good evening Ed,

Thank you for your comments on the Incorrect pump! I have spoken to Mike and Des Brown and hope to arrange something at some point. This summer I intend to take the Foden back to Devon and Cornwall to mark the centenary of the council buying the wagon, I hope to reunite it with the other 5 ton Foden (formally with the Dyke family) which was owned by Devon CC

Regards

David

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2 hours ago, Foden7536 said:

 

Oh dear, I didn’t realise this forum was frequented by “Sentinel Men” -

Someone has to keep the peace  and display sanity amongst the over-type riff-raff... 

I have always fancied early Foden waggon's ( spelt correctly - Sentinel way). There's something about them that, I have to say, even Shrewsbury's finest can't match. Maybe it's because the kettle lays on it's side? I look forward to seeing more pictures and shall follow this thread with interest.

Regards - A Sentinel Man.

 

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So, the work done on the Foden which I am going to post here isn’t necessarily in chronological order, in fact I’m starting with the most recent job and working backwards! 

The front tyres on the Foden were in terrible condition, and the previous owner was well aware of this and had therefore purchased four “new” 160 for 670 Dunlop tyres from Andrew Hawkswell (well known to “QL driver!) several years ago which came with the Foden when I purchased it. 

So, a couple of weeks ago, indeed the Saturday when “storm Dennis” hit I travelled what is obviously a well trodden path by posters on this site - to Woburn Sands to see Barry W and his crew and the fantastic tyre press! Well, what a bit of kit! It’s brilliant that this has been preserved, but not only that but has also gone to such a generous man who allows others to use it, so a few hours, a couple of cups of tea and a sizeable offering of cake (to bribe the pump operators - I was amazed by how Graham S pumps away at that handle and never gets out of breath - I was knackered within minutes!) the new tyres were fitted, and this weekend I have reassembled the front end of the wagon. The improvement in looks is amazing, I look forward to trying them out soon!

Regards

David

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3 hours ago, Foden7536 said:

Good evening Steve,

Oh dear, I didn’t realise this forum was frequented by “Sentinel Men” -. Have you a Sentinel yourself? (Sorry, haven’t worked out who is who with their alias’s!

David

Hi David.

Sadly, I don't have one but just crew from time to time. You can just seen it in the picture next to our Thornycroft on the last page of our Thorny thread.

Steve   :)

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8 hours ago, Old Bill said:

Hi David.

Sadly, I don't have one but just crew from time to time. You can just seen it in the picture next to our Thornycroft on the last page of our Thorny thread.

Steve   :)

Ah of course, sorry I was having a dim moment! I’ve only been in Jim Hatfield’s Sentinel, but can see the appeal of one for eating up the miles, my Foden is a wonderful machine but certainly can’t be described as swift! 

Regards

David

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On 2/29/2020 at 12:02 PM, Runflat said:

Another picture from the darker recesses of the collection.. This one from The World's Carriers February 15, 1918.

 

Wilkins 3.jpg

Good evening all,

Well, at present I am slightly perplexed! I was most interested in the information “Runflat” kindly shared about the “Wilkins Patent” equipment, as this really wasn’t what I was expecting!

I am confident that my Foden was built as a tipping wagon, certainly the chassis is cut down, and the hinge is still present (although the body is incorrect and needs remaking at some point in the future, as there should be a steel framework for the tipping body, on which the wooden body is mounted.

The crankshaft still has has a pulley fitted onto the end of the crankshaft, this would take a belt to drive the tipping mechanism - originally this would have a lip on the inside edge, but this has been machined off  (I assume so a wider belt could be driven off the pulley - probably when the governors were ordered and fitted in 1937)

The cab has the mounting holes, cut outs and witness marks where the tipping gear was once fitted - now all sadly missing.

So this makes me ponder about the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” as written in the order book, was this a mistake, a changed order, or did Mr Wilkins also design the mechanical tipping gear? I have ordered a copy of the build sheet for Foden 7768 (the Foden restored in WD livery) which has the same tipping mechanism as mine should have to see what the order book says about this one... 

Please find attached a few photos of my Foden hinges and the pages from the Foden catalogue regarding this mechanism.

Regards

David

 

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Presumably it’s possible that it was built with the Wilkins patent gear, and was then fitted with the screw tipping gear post war?

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1 hour ago, QL Driver said:

Presumably it’s possible that it was built with the Wilkins patent gear, and was then fitted with the screw tipping gear post war?

Yes, that’s a fair point Ed, does anyone know how successful Wilkins Gear was? To the best of my knowledge there are no vehicles fitted with this in preservation (please correct me if I’m wrong) so if it wasn’t a huge success perhaps this could explain it being converted? 

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14 hours ago, Foden7536 said:

The cab has the mounting holes, cut outs and witness marks where the tipping gear was once fitted - now all sadly missing.

So this makes me ponder about the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” as written in the order book, was this a mistake, a changed order, or did Mr Wilkins also design the mechanical tipping gear? I have ordered a copy of the build sheet for Foden 7768 (the Foden restore

Hi,

I've always loved these waggons. It was at Steam Fairs (Husband's Bosworth) in the 1970's that I first saw these and traction engines etc. alongside my  first military vehicles in preservation, so it all has a lot to answer for (-:

Wilkins is a Mr. William Owen Wilkins, and this is his only Patented device, so I don't think that the “Wilkins Patent Unloading Gear” refers to anything else.

I have attached the Patent below.

Wilkins GB108393A.pdf

The Patent was still very new ( Applied for Sept 1916, Granted August 1917), so perhaps the waggon was ordered with the intention of fitting this great new innovation, and it was subsequently discovered it was not robust enough for field use, so a tipping body was substituted instead? (Or, indeed, someone figured out a tipping body would be a lot cheaper!)

Best Regards,

Adrian

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