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RB 22

The last time I talked to you, I told you that lately I have been doing a lot more projects, like having a lot of trips away and visiting places that I have always wanted to go and revisiting places that I haven’t been to for many years. Well I’m 71 now and I can hear you all say when is he going to settle down and relax in his old age, well its not yet I can tell you, I think that I was meant to do this later in life, which brings me on to my latest project.


All my life I have been fascinated with giant machinery cranes and excavators and especially drag lines.  At the ship yard in Padstow there is such a crane that always catches my eye when I walk along the quay wall, it has its jib stuck up in the air, and I think that it is trying to attract my attention, like a school child in the class room trying to attract a teachers attention when he wants some thing.  The other day as I walked along the dock wall, on a sunny afternoon and I looked over and saw the crane with its jib standing up, and it sort of said come and get me, I walked over to the boat yard and walked around the crane and as I looked up at the jib I heard a voice in my head saying SAVE ME, SAVE ME do not let me go too the scrap yard I will be dismantled and broken down and put into a furnace to be melted down and sent off to china to be manufactured into push bikes to be ridden around Beijing, don’t let this happen. Then the vision was gone.  Well I never thought anymore about it, until a couple of days later when I was talking to one of the workers in the ship yard, when are conversation turned to the crane. I said what are you doing with that old crane. It’s going for scrap he said. I couldn’t believe it. I went home that night and weighed up the pros and cons or as I like to think of it, my masculine and feminine sides. My feminine side said, what do you think you are playing at, there is so much to do at home back at the stones, you were going to decorate the bungalow, get new curtains and carpets, and then you said that you were going to give everyone a special Christmas, with expensive presents and treats. My masculine side on the other hand said buy it, you love the giant machinery it’s what you have always wanted. Well I fell asleep that night thinking all these things over in my mind.


When I woke up the next morning I knew what I was going to do, I went to Padstow, walked along the quay to the boat yard and said to the boss if I give you the cranes scrap value can I buy it, “of course” he said. The scrap value is 700. So now I am the proud owner of a 22 ton Ruston Bucyrus crane.

Soon it will be coming back to its new home at St Eval recycling centre where we will fit a bucket on it, the men at St Eval said they can’t wait as they have never seen a dragline working. I also plan on rallying it at the traction engine rallies.




Well I think my masculine side took control this time, but as all things go when you buy something you must save on something else so to my step daughter Emma I’m sorry but we cant have the new carpet, curtains and three piece sweet, also Nicholas, Matt and Jack my grandchildren my son Christopher and his wife Karen, and a few close friends, I’m afraid Christmas will be a bit lean this year as I have to buy a new set of teeth for the bucket, a new wire rope, 2 doors as the others have been lost, don’t forget this machine is 20 years old. I was thinking of going over to Arizona to see my cousin Faith, but that’s out the window now. I do apologise to you all but while we are on the subject of Christmas I wouldn’t say no to

  • a set of teeth for the bucket,
  • a new grease gun,
  • 10 grease cartridges,
  • a king dick spanner,
  • oil can,
  • new seat,


So with a bit of generosity from my friends and family, and help from the fitters at St Eval it will be up and running in no time.


I promised some of my close friends that they could have a drive when it is going, but driving an R B isn’t like driving a JCB out on the road. To explain it in another way its like a young 20 year old man courting a 45 year old woman you cant just jump in and give it a lot of revs and away you go, there are levers to pull and buttons to press gears and cogs have to be eased into the right places to make it work to its best performance

All these big machines have nicknames, such as, The Ace of Spades, Big Mix, The Captain, so I have got a name for my RB 22 it’s going to be known as, Sir Ernest Shackleton, he was my idol and that’s what I am going to call it.


This isn’t like any other machine, people say that if you can drive a JCB you could fly a helicopter, well my friends if you can drive a Ruston Bucyrus 22 they you should be able to fly a 380 air bus.

One day I’m going to have a flying lesson in a helicopter to see if that is true, but as I am scared of heights so we won’t be going very high, maybe 20- 30 ft of the ground.

On the road to the recycling centre there is going to be sculptures and artistic works, my daughter in law Karen has put me in charge of overseeing that work, so there is a job for sir Ernest Shackleton already.

We have a great artist to do our work she lives here in Cornwall and she is going to make all the artwork out of the waste that comes out of the recycling centre.

The 1st sculpture is going to be a humpback whale, but we will almost probably do the sculpture of a penis out of a tree trunk, it will be called Big Dick. There are some exciting times coming up for me at St Eval and I cant wait to tell you all about them also in the new year I am going on holiday with the family I said that I was a sick man and that I could not travel, they said you are coming with us as long as you can breath we will take you, I will tell you more of my adventures in the new year

So to all my readers have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

RB 22 on Padstow Quay