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Photographer / Copyright
John Marshall
Images should not be reused without permission.

View vehicle details
 GKH349

Location Link/s

Date added to site
11/12/2011

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Details: Not a great photo alas, but a very interesting subject. Seen at West Acton on 13th January 1967, this is apparently Priestman Excavator GKH349, one of three acquired during the war. I have never seen a picture of one before. The Capital Transport SV book of 2003 mentions just GKH349, adding that it was registered by the manufacturer in Hull. Since all three had Hull registrations (GAT978 and GKH212 being the other two), they were presumably all acquired new. As the photo shows, these are drag-bucket excavators. I can't make out any details of the chassis, though being registered suggests they were capable of being driven on the road. I wonder how they got that jib around tight corners? It looks like the machine is working on a railway embankment. Any further information on these machines would be welcomed.

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Posted ByCommentsDate/Time
Thomas YoungRay has found a picture of this (or a similar vehicle) when new in 1942 on the LT Museum website. 1998/36029Sun 11/12/2011, 21:10
Clive GOn the westbound side of the Central Line just by West Acton station. I remember this work going on to consolidate the cutting as I was a train guard on the line at the time. It had caterpillar tracks and could have been taken here on 1010L I would guess. I'm no expert on plant but seeing a shorter jib on the Priestman in the LTM picture taken at the war damage depot in Hammersmith makes me wonder if this long jib would be removed for transportation. As for being registered it might have been in case it was needed to clear debris from the road. Wed 25/06/2014, 19:01
Clive GThis must be a Priestman Panther Dragline as it is very similar to the 7mm scale model kit of that vehicle produced by Duncan Models. They also make one with a shorter jib as in the LTM photo of GKH349 at Hammersmith plant depot. That is described as a grab bucket (clam shell), so it appears these jibs were interchangable. Looking back through my ABCs I first noted GKH349 some time between August 1962 and August 1963 at Parsons Green depot, describing it as a dragline excavator. I do remember jib pieces stored on the ground there along with cement mixers and dumper trucks so they could have been for the grab bucket. Mon 23/11/2020, 12:36