Dragline Open Days 2017

Come and see Oddball, the largest preserved walking dragline excavator in Western Europe.

Look all round outside and see the giant 25 cubic yard bucket.

Go inside the machine and see all the motors and winding gear.

Sit in the driver’s seat!

Take in the view from the jib!

See working models and video displays in the substation.

Our dates for 2017 are:

  • Saturday 22nd April
  • Saturday 10th June
  • Saturday 9th September
  • Sunday 10th September

We are open from 1pm to 4pm on each of these days. Admission is free and there is parking on site.  If you are arriving by bicycle, there is parking available,  so please remember to bring your locks. Dogs on leads are welcome within our Compound, but cannot go on the Dragline. Please help to keep our area tidy by cleaning up after your pet, if necessary. Doggy bags are available at the Substation. For directions to our site,  and a map of the area, please see our “Find Us” page.

April Open Day

After some hard work by several of our Members, opening up and preparing the site, our first Open Day of the year took place on Saturday, 16th April, 2016.  This was attended by around ninety visitors who enjoyed looking around the Dragline, inside and outside and also watching the scale models operating in the Substation, with archive films of Draglines at work running in the background. Some visitors were relatively local, and some were from as far afield as Ipswich, Suffolk. One former Driver of Oddball arrived on his Vintage Tractor, which drew an appreciative audience.

Spend more time with Oddball!

At our recent AGM, it was decided to extend our Open Days from from two hours each to three hours each, by opening up for the public from 1pm to 4pm, so visitors now have an extra hour to spend with Oddball! Admission is free, and there is parking on site.

AGM 2016

On Saturday, 19th March,  a small group of Members had a busy morning of maintenance and site tidying. This was followed by our 2016 AGM, which was attended by eleven Members. Various Committee Members gave their accounts  of the year, and all Committee Members were re-elected. Future maintenance of the Dragline was discussed and plans were finalised for our first Open Day of the year, which takes place on Saturday, 16th April. It was decided that the event would open to the public at 1pm, instead of as previously at 2pm, thus giving visitors an extra hour in which to view Oddball.

Dragline Open Days 2016

Come and see Oddball, the largest preserved walking dragline excavator in Western Europe.

Look all round outside and see the giant 25 cubic yard bucket.

Go inside the machine and see all the motors and winding gear.

Sit in the driver’s seat!

Take in the view from the jib!

See working models and video displays in the substation.

Our dates for 2016 are:

  • Saturday 16th April
  • Saturday 11th June
  • Saturday 10th September
  • Sunday 11th September

We are open from 1pm to 4pm on each of these days. Admission is free and there is parking on site.  If you are arriving by bicycle, there is parking available,  so please remember to bring your locks. Dogs on leads are welcome within our Compound, but cannot go on the Dragline. Please help to keep our area tidy by cleaning up after your pet, if necessary. Doggy bags are available at the Substation. For directions to our site,  and a map of the area, please see our “Find Us” page.

Open Days Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th September 2015

On the Saturday morning,  the weather was very wet whilst Members were opening up the Dragline and preparing the site for our visitors. It became fine around noon and remained so for most of the afternoon. On the Sunday it was fine all day. We had around two hundred visitors, including some enthusiasts from Wigton in Cumbria. One visitor arrived in a Trabant car, which was a “first” for our Open Days. In addition to exploring the Machine, inside and outside, visitors enjoyed watching the working models in the Substation, also the DVDs of Draglines at work, which were running throughout the day. Our souvenir Dragline mugs were very popular which helped with our fundraising, and we were pleased to receive some inquiries about Membership. New Members are always very welcome, and if any of them feel able to assist with Stewarding on Open Days or general maintenance at other times, please either speak to a Steward on an Open Day or get in touch by email on  contactus@walkingdragline.org

Double Open Days this weekend!

Don’t forget our double Open Days this weekend, Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of September. These Open Days are part of the local Heritage Weekend, during which people may visit many local places, some of which are not normally open to the public. Our giant machine, Oddball, will be open for visitors from 2pm to 4pm on both days. Admission to Oddball is free, and there is plenty of free parking on-site.

Open Day Saturday 13th June 2015

There was light rain for most of the morning whilst Members were opening up and preparing Oddball ready for the public to attend the Open Day. However, at around one o’clock, it became fine and sunny, and remained so for the rest of the afternoon. Between seventy and eighty visitors examined our machine inside and outside, many of them walked the length of the jib, which since Oddball stopped working has rested on stacks of sleepers. In the nearby Substation, the working models in action attracted much attention, as did the DVDs of Draglines at work. We were pleased to welcome some new Members who kindly offered to volunteer their time on Open Days. Offers of help are gratefully received, as we have many jobs to do, from strimming weeds in the compound to Stewarding on Open Days. Please get in touch if you feel that you could help. You could either speak to one of the Stewards at an Open Day, or email us on contactus@walkingdragline.org and we will be in touch.

Return visit by Photographer

On the 29th of May, we had a return visit from Milo of OKDproductions – a Leeds based photographer/film maker who had first visited us in early 2013. He is a mostly surrealistic HDR photographer – amongst other work, who is currently working on a large end of year project for his college. He was interested in photographing Oddball because of the imposing and striking look of the machine – especially in the natural area where it is located. Some of Milo’s pictures of Oddball can be seen in the “Gallery” section of our Website.

Peterborough Farm Machinery Preservation Society visits Oddball

Following the visit of a coach party of around fifty members of Peterborough Farm Machinery Preservation Society to our April Open Day, their Chairman, Willie Chatterton, has thanked us for making them so welcome. He says that they really enjoyed their time with us, which was actually the first time that they had visited a Walking Dragline as a Society group. In addition to being able to go around and inside “Oddball” they were also very impressed with the display of working models. They noticed that one of the models was the same kind as one that they already knew of, and which had worked on Iron Stone in the Corby area which is quite close to where they come from.

If you are a member of a Society that would be interested in making a group visit to Oddball, please get in touch with us via our email address which is     contactus@walkingdragline.org