Restorer finds steam engine in Maryborough
STEAM machinery restorer Bill Ives has rolled into the Heritage City stumbling across a unique steam engine and was looking for information.
The make of the machine is a DN1 Fowler Steam Roller which was bought in 1925 by Main Roads in New South Wales and then it was sold from them in 1935 to Main Roads in Queensland, according to Bill.
Its manufacturer is John Fowler and Company of Leeds in the UK - they were the largest steam manufacturers in the world.
"Then it was sold by them around 1962 and it went to work for Burrum Shire Council and apparently it was parked outside the council depot at Howard for years," Bill said.
"It ended up going into Maryborough and going to the Apex Park at Aubinville sometime in the mid to late '60s. "It ended up in the park for quite a while and then ended up in another council grounds on the way out to Hervey Bay.
"In 2012 it ended up at the Matilda service station on the way into Maryborough.
"It was just on display in the park and for kids to play on but it was deemed unsafe to play on and it was moved out of the park and then ended up at the Visitors Information Centre in the Matilda service station which closed in 2017 I think."
Bill said it sat there languishing away.
He said he has been involved in steam engine restoration for 35 years and was the vice-president of the Queensland Steam and Vintage Machinery Society at Old Petrie Town in Brisbane.
"I first saw that roller in the mid-eighties at the council depot and often thought it would be great to get it to restore it and then I was talking to my 15-year-old son and said we should give it a go, see whether we could get it for restoration and we did," he said.
"We have started work on it now, which is great. We have had a boiler inspector look at it and he's told us what we need to do to it.
"Hopefully by its hundredth birthday in 2024 we will have it running."
Bill said he wanted to bring it back to Maryborough for display every now and then, but there was still work to do.
"The main thing is the boiler on it; the boiler has to be up to Australian standards for operation so it has to comply to Australian standards," he said.
"We have a fair bit of work to do on the boiler, probably about $10,000 worth of work on the boiler alone."
Bill was after after any photos or information from people who might have seen in working in the Howard area.
"What I am after is any photos, or any personal stories about it maybe so I can just get the history. That's the main thing," he said.
"It is missing a plate of its side, if anyone happens to find that. It is missing its Austral Engineering plate. It was on it in the park.
"I have another photo of it and it looks like it was on it in the council yard I went to and the motion cover and the plate was still on it so its gone missing from there.
"It might be something people like because it is a nice big shiny brass plate
"It is so hard to find photos of the machinery working.
"It is just for interest sake.
"I am coming up to Maryborough next week and we will be going to the library and look for photos."
If anyone has information or photos, please email email@example.com.
"It is nice to get a bit of history on these machines, not just restore them, but what they were like and what they were used for," Bill said.
"We have actually named it ourselves, we are going to call it Proud Mary. My wife named it because she liked the Creedence song."