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Tag design by CCT - Thank you for this special design, it is awesome- from a hand drawn picture from one of our photos. Update - just received some more tags, some will go to the museum for fundraising, the rest, well, wish and we'll fill.
See the story of this magnificent engine below. Mark & Gayle are active members of the Cobdogla Steam Friends, on operating days you will find Mark driving and looking after George, and Gayle will be on the gate.
This engine, named GEORGE WILLIAM 14660 is one of a pair of ploughing engines built by the John Fowler Steam Plough Works in Leeds, England, in 1920.
The other engine BLACK BESS - Engine No. 14661, is at the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement.
These engines, along with 2 Fowler B6 engines (one of which is the crane engine at Cobdogla) were believed to have landed at Pt Augusta in early 1921,
and steamed overland to Cobdogla to be used in the development of the Irrigation Area, a trip reputed to take 3 months.
The ploughing engines were supplied with an anti balance mouldboard plough, a double ended chisel plough and a scoop for dam sinking.
The engines were put to work clearing and ploughing land to be used for the Soldier Settlement Scheme in the Cobdogla and Loveday areas of the Riverland.
Following the collapse of the dried fruit markets in 1922, it is believed that the two ploughing engines were little used, being left in the scrub near Spectacle Lakes.
At some time BLACK BESS 14661was taken to the Paringa area were she worked for some time. Eventually BLACK BESS was purchased by the Swan Hill Pioneer Village.
Meanwhile engine no 14660 was purchased by George William Woolmer in 1948 who had the engine towed to his Glossop property using Dr Sergeant's tractor, a 2 day journey.
He intended to use the boiler in a fruit processing operation. However, this did not proceed and the engine became known as the Glossop Monster.
In 1970 the Barmera Apex Club towed the engine to the Barmera Council Depot for sandblasting and painting before moving the engine to a plinth at the top of Barwell Ave as an example of the early machinery used in this district.
The Steam Friends subsequently moved the engine to Cobdogla for a short while and then it was then towed to the Loveday Workshops by the Fowler B6 Crane Engine in 1990.
Here the engine was totally stripped down, inspected and a restoration programme implemented.
A set of plans for the engine was obtained from the Fowler Works records held at the University of Reading in the UK.
Over a 14 year period, the engine was rebuilt with many components being fabricated and or repaired.
The Z7 made its return trip to Cobdogla under it's own steam on Monday 5th April 2004, the first road trip it had made under it's own steam in about 81 years and was recommissioned on 11th April 2004.
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