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Little Giant Steam Wagon 1915

'Little Giant' Steam Wagon 1915 at Milestones

...believed to be the last surviving wagon of its kind.

Steam Wagon serial number 1915 was built by Taskers in 1924 and is believed to be the last surviving wagon of its kind. It is a five horse power, five ton, two speed, chain driven compound steam wagon ‘Little Giant’, fitted with a tipping body.

The steam wagon was bought by a company called W. J. King who used it for moving stone at their stone quarry at Bagborough in Somerset. It was ‘retired’ in 1930 because such wagons were no longer economical to run, and spent the next 25 years or so in the company’s yard.

In 1932 Arthur Fuller became managing director of Taskers and realised how important Taskers was not only to the history of steam but also to the history of Andover and Hampshire. He began to collect objects from all over the country which had been made by Taskers so he could display them in a museum in the Tasker factory.

Arthur Fuller approached Mr King on several occasions about selling Steam Wagon 1915 but had always been refused. One day, in the late 1950s, a W. J. King lorry was stranded on the road and Arthur Fuller personally arranged for it to be rescued by a Tasker low-loader. Soon after this, Mr King agreed the sale of Steam Wagon 1915 to Taskers.

The Taskers museum collection came into the care of Hampshire County Council in 1972.

Quick Facts

  • Accession number HCMS1972.669.12
  • Built in 1924
  • Made by Taskers
  • Once owned by W. J. King, Bagborough, Somerset
  • Serial number 1915
  • Registration number YB 183

Facts

  • When Arthur Fuller acquired Steam Wagon 1915 for Taskers it was not in a good condition after years spent carrying heavy loads of stone at the quarry and then years of being left outside. Much of its body was rusted. Taskers restored its cab and tipping body, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and put it on display in their museum. 
  • Once in the care of Hampshire County Council, staff from the county’s museum service restored Steam Wagon 1915 to working order and painted it in its current livery. It has recently had a complete mechanical overhaul by Hampshire County Council Arts and Museums staff and volunteers.

 

Did you know?

Steam Wagon 1915 is usually displayed at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke.

Gallery

'Little Giant 'Steam Wagon 1915 in King's Yard in 1956
'Little Giant' Steam Wagon 1915 fully restored

Fact Sheets

Find out more about Taskers

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