Southern Cross Pump Engine

No 293 (Toowoomba Foundry) Owner John Hinde , Gladstone

John Probably got the ‘bug’ for hit-and-miss engines after seeing them at the calliope Historical Village. The ‘bug’ led him to this two-inch pump unit that had spent its working life at Terrors creek pumping about 110 gallons an hour 300 ft up a hill to the Dairy at Dayborough.

The property on which the dairy was located was sold in the mid-seventies, And John’s father ended up with about 200 acres of it. The original owner’s son inherited the portion of land where the creamery and a couple of sheds were located.

Information filtered down to John that most of the machinery from the original property was still located inside the creamery. John could not resist contacting the new owner, and a meeting was arranged just after Christmas day 1995.

As it happens, the new owner was “A bit into old engines” and had intended to get the old pump working again, but being a busy fellow, he had never quite found the time. A bit of negotiation followed, and the result was that John swapped an old marine engine for the pump unit and whatever parts there were, some bits off a Chapman Pup boat engine and two milk crates of additional parts were thrown in.

Later investigation revealed that most of the engine was there, giving the impression that the engine had been dismantled for general maintenance and had never found its way back together. There was no magneto, and there were no valves for the pump but there was a new set of guides.

Upon reflection John feels the original property owner got the better deal.

John stored his newly acquired goodies in his Fathers-in-law’s shed, where they became “invisible”, melding amongst everything else that was stored there until Christmas 1996 when John retrieved his prize and brought it to Gladstone. After a bit of effort, the engine was freed up and rebuilt. New pump valves were made, and eventually, the unit was pumping again.

With the aid of Johns’s son Tim the colour scheme of grey for the engine, green for the pump and yellow for the side rods was chosen. John admits that these are not Southern Cross Colours ‘But it looks quite good”. The other variation is a standard petrol carburettor, replacing the old Kerosene one.

John runs it on display days on super with 25% Kerosene

Knowing the history of these engines is always a bonus and adds interest to any stationary engine. I suspect if you have a photograph of the Dairy at Dayboro in its heyday, John would not say no to a copy.

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