Foden D Type Tractor

No. 14084

AMB 300

Built - 1.10.1933


Built in 1933 and delivered to James Murch & Sons Ltd of Umberleigh, Devon in October of that year this is the last Foden steam lorry to have been produced for the home market. It worked inside an area roughly from;

Lynton - Dulverton - Exmouth - Launceston - Barnstaple.

It delivered to sawmills at, Chapelton near Barnstaple, Bartletts in Bideford, Dulverton sawmills at Dulverton, Webbers in Bonhay road Exeter, Bartletts in launceston, Blay in Honiton.

It hauled from the Winscott estate, Peters Marland. Clinton estates, east and north Devon. Eggesford estate, Eggesford. Pullapit estate, Launceston. Coryton estate, Lifton. Buckland Filleigh estate, Buckland Filleigh. Castle Hill estate, Landkey.

It threshed occasionally in the Parish's of . Beaford. St Giles in the wood. Torrington. Little Torrington. Langtree. Peters Marland. Merton. Petrockstowe. Meeth.

It started hauling when new from the Winscott estate into Chapelton sawmills, it finished work at Buckland Filleigh sawmills.

She was swapped for 5 HP Burrell traction engine with J P Vine of Hardwicke, Gloucester in August 1941 where during summer months she was used for timber extraction and transport, running on between Gloucester and Bristol docks. Over winter she powered a Marshall threshing drum and was used for delivering coal to the local area. While owned by the Vines she had a replacement back axle fitted from another D type, it was thought that it was to have stronger winch drive bolts.

The buff log book has another change of owner to Cliff James of Kingswinsford, Staffordshire in November 1944. The engine continued to be used for timber work, but rolled away down a hill into a wooded dell and sustained damage to the steering. The engine was then abandoned for 3 years and was eventually recovered by Mr Eric Middleton of Hartlebury in 1951 who parked her up in his yard. After Mr Middletons death she was eventually put up for auction in 1977 along with other engines from the Middleton collection.

She was purchased by Duncan Price at the auction but sold that same day to Derek Trice who possibly after some time realised the enormity of the restoration project and sold her to Ian Sparks in August 1985. She is likely to have been quite worn out at this point. Ian then started on the long job of restoring her back to full working condition. Her first run out on the road was in1989.

She has passed through two other owners and has had a new boiler since being sold by Ian in November 1997. We purchased her on the 19 July 2011. It is hoped that we can place her back into her original livery and we are currently researching quite what that might have been.

The engine was built in Fodens rectification shop because by then they were building diesel lorries in the main factory. Two other D type tractors were sold by Fodens after that date too the South African Railways (14086 on 13.7.34 and 14088 6.9.34).

One other D type was built previously to 14084 but was not sold after, 14080 ALG 276 left the works on 16.12.1936 too H.M.King George VI Sandringham and was scrapped in june 1955

By late 1933 Fodens were very much into the production of Diesel powered vehicles and several earlier examples of Diesel Fodens are known to exist.

Two AMB registered Fodens.

Ian Sparks lets Fred Dibnah have a drive during the 1990;s.


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