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Green Blackstone oil engine tractor - engine number 77934 [there is no serial number] - built by Andrews & Beaven of Christchurch in 1910 for Andrew Wooding's grandfather. Andrew is the son of Arthur Wooding. This was a chaff cutter, but has been turned into a tractor for driving bridge piles. Both of the back wheels can be disconnected, leaving in the pins so that it can still drive, so it can be used as a winch. There is a wooden belt pulley on the right-hand side and the machine has a wooden chassis. The tank carries the water supply for the radiator. The pipe on top is for the hot water going out of the tractor into the tank, there is another pipe underneath the tractor bringing cold water from the tank into the radiator. This type of Blackstone was a mobile chaff cutter and once this machine was cut down it became unique, it also became big and clumsy. For instance, unless it was working very hard, it needed one person in front, holding a blow lamp under the fuel tank, to keep the fuel warm. Donated to Vintage Farm Machinery Society by Mr. Arthur Wooding of Ward on 7th September 1981. The Marlborough Express of 10 March 1981 has an article about this tractor. Image 12 shows Andrew Wooding driving it in Brayshaw Park in 1981. Wording from image 2 by R. D. Thoms: Combined Engines and Chaff-Cutters. Tractor Chaff-Cutters. We are prepared to make for customers combinations of Oil Engines and Chaff Cutters, to suit varying requirements, from a Portable Set on four light wheels, combining a 3 H.P. engine and a small 9 inch three-knife chaff-cutter up to one represented in the above photograph (image 4), which has been working in the Springfield district for the last three seasons, most successfully, worked by three men only and cutting up to eight tons in half a day. This consists of a 12 B.H.P. "Blackstone" Oil Engine and a No. 4 "Commonwealth" Chaff Cutter; it has gone anywhere in the district where it has been wanted, and travels at four miles an hour, using at the rate of one tin of kerosene for each twenty miles of travelling. We have orders for such combinations to travel at a greater speed, and requiring up to 25 B.H.P. The 10 H.P. Blackstone engine was built in England about 1906 and shipped to New Zealand. Tractors were being built only overseas and this led William Andrews to design and build this unit in New Zealand. It was completed with a chaff-cutter mounted on the front and was on display at the Canterbury A & P Show in 1911. It worked in the Springfield area in Canterbury as a portable chaff-cutter until about 1918 when it was purchased by Mr. A. R. Wooding and was moved to his farm at Ward, Marlborough. The chaff-cutter was removed, the chassis shortened, and the tractor was then used as a mobile unit. It is well remembered in Ward, pile driving with a built-in winch on the back axle, chaff-cutting, and when fitted with chains on the rear wheels, all other farm work within its power range. It was retired in about 1938 and kept under cover until being shifted into Brayshaw Park, Blenheim in 1973* (see notes). This was probably the first New Zealand built tractor. The owner, Arthur Wooding, was a founding member of Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc. and later a Life Member. In the 1979-1980 period the tractor was towed into my (R.D. Thoms) workshop. Only minor alterations were made to keep it as near as original as possible. Fifty or sixty years of grease and paint was cleaned off, water tanks were made or repaired, and then a paint job was done. The tractor was then returned to Brayshaw Park. Wording in Image 5: Andrews & Beaven. At the Christchurch Agricultural Show in 1911 Andrews & Beaven Ltd had on their stand a contraption of their own make which could be described as a tractor with a bit of licence. Using a Blackstone engine they had imported about 1906 William Andrews built a self propelled unit complete with chaffcutter mounted on the end of the chassis. It worked in the Springfield district in Canterbury from 1910 to 1918. At this stage a farmer bought it and took it to his farm at Ward. The chaffcutter was removed and the Blackstone became a mobile power source for threshing mills, pile driving etc. until it was retired from work in 1938.
Tractor, Farm -Tractors and Crawlers from the collection of the Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Society Inc -Copyright Marlborough Vintage Farm Machinery Inc

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Last modified on: December 15, 2014