Newspaper Article 2004 – Love affair with iron maidens

HB SHOW: Farming heavyweights roll into town.

Love affair with iron maidens


Jayson Scott reckons that if he ever has to move house from Middle Road, Havelock North, he will have [to] shift 63 tonnes of his toys.

Jayson, one of the organisers of the vintage machinery expo at this year’s show, admits to being a steam junkie.

He has several steam pumps, a railway locomotive and carriage, and a 1924 steamroller.

He has a steam pump which came out of Wattie’s factory in Hastings and is the oldest piece of their equipment still in use. It worked at the plant from 1952 to 1973. Jayson bought it as a pile of scrap after it had laid idle for 20 years.

He has definitely passed on his iron disease to his family.

His 15-year-old son Caleb has three elderly tractors, his wife Sally has a classic Ford Mustang car and daughter Erica, 11, never misses a ride on the steamroller.

He keeps everything at home and says he will pass his “toys” on to his children.

“We are a family with a bad case of iron disease.”

He says, with pride, that Erica will be [a] good steamroller driver when she is bigger and stronger.

His passion for restoring and using vintage machinery began 15 years ago.

He says it amazing what is still turning up from sheds, from under tarpaulins in sheds, under trees and in scrap yards.

Sometimes people attending shows tell him about [what] they have at home and offer it to him.

Wayne Clark is another organiser of the expo. He says he got interested in machinery when he asked his father what went on inside a lawn mower when he was about five or six.

He has a 1912 traction engine and says he was determined to have one ever since he saw one in a school library book when he was in standard four.

He says a mid-range one is worth about $30,000. A nonworking one with all its bits is worth about $15,000.

Diesel generating plants are another of his passions. He’s a diesel engineer in his working life so that is not surprising.

One of his plants gobbles 10 litres of diesel an hour and he expects it to use 300 litres at the show.

He has a couple of tractors, including one very special old Fordson, which was used to rescue survivors of the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake. He found it behind a shed in Onekawa seven or eight years ago and knew what it was as soon as he saw it.

The other is an “honest old Fordson workhorse” seen on Hawke’s Bay farms in the 1950s and 60s. He also [has] a “little grey Fergie” – only his is in the colours of the former national airline NAC because it was used to haul luggage trolleys from planes to the Napier airport terminal.

He believes owners of vintage machinery are just the custodians of it for the next generation.

He says farm and orchard clearing sales are happy hunting grounds for collectors and much remains in old sheds.


Iron-man Steve whistles up Dixie


Steve McClune happily admits to a bad case of iron disease.

The Wanganui-based, self- employed engineer is into traction engines – the bigger the better.

His pride is the 1907 Dixie Flyer, a 14-tonne beauty that once plied the road between the back country of Puketitiri, hauling wool and logs to the Port of Napier.

The trip took two days and the driver carted a small wooden whare behind him so he could sleep on the roadside if necessary.

Steve says there were also hotels at Puketitiri and Rissington on the way, a day’s ride apart, which would also have provided accommodation for the driver.

Although he lives in Wanganui, the Flyer lives in a museum in Feilding.

It consumes wood or coal to deliver seven-horsepower.

The Flyer was built by Charles Burrell and Son at Thetford, England, and was brought to New Zealand by Mr A G Williams of Rissington.

It was then used by the Hawke’s Bay Timber Company of Robert Holt to haul logs from the bush.

It was saved from being broken up for scrap by earning its keep heating glasshouses in Lyndhurst Road until 1968.

Steve bought it eight years ago and restored it to its full, impressive glory.

He drove it to Hawke’s Bay by way of a show in Wanganui, another one in Taupo and yet another one in Reporoa.

It took him three days to drive it to the Hawke’s Bay Show over the Napier-Taupo road.

He carted the whare behind him but stayed at the taverns on the way.

The taverns were also a day’s ride apart, he said.

The high, exposed driver’s seat meant it was a chilly ride at times.

The Flyer originally had cleated steel wheels to cope with the rough mud and gravel roads but have since been fitted with solid rubber tyres for a little bit more comfort and so they don’t tear up sealed roads.

Photo captions –

OLD WORKHORSES: The tractor Expo display at the show.    HBTODAY PICTURE: SARAH BICKNELL

HANDS TO THE PUMP: Jayson Scott with a 1949 Weir pump at the vintage machinery expo.

ENGINE FAN: Steve McClune, with his 14-tonne Dixie Flyer in the background.   HBTODAY PICTURE: SARAH BICKNELL

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Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

21 October 2004

Creator / Author

  • Sarah Bicknell
  • Rose Harding


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Wayne Clark
  • Robert Holt
  • Steve McClune
  • Caleb Scott
  • Erica Scott
  • Jayson Scott
  • Sally Scott

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