This little Bulldog, a J Model 10-20, was originally bought by the Tully family, who were orchardists in the Doncaster area, east of Melbourne, Victoria. Bill Petty designed the plough that it pulled and it was made, under license, by Daniel Harvey, who made farm implements.
^ Alan 'Bulldog' Bailey
Later in its life, it was used for clearing scrub in the Mornington Peninsular area, before it was bought by Ed Chivers and was brought back to undertake orchard work at Wonga Park, before it finished its working life, pumping water for the apple trees in the orchard. The Dobson family then bought the tractor from Ed, so it could sit outside their fruit and vegetable store in Fern Tree Gully, as a display. All the children would play on it and, over the years, bits and pieces would fall off or go missing, which made its eventual restoration, which I started in 1986, a bit more of a challenge. My deadline for the restoration was to be ready for the City of Knox Bicentennial parade in 1988, which we achieved.
^ The working drawings for the specifications/construction of the Petty plough, designed by Bill Petty, and as manufactured by Daniel Harvey. Plan supplied by Alan 'Bulldog' Bailey.
A bit later, I was invited to a Bulldog Rally at Katamatite, by the late Mick Lawless, a Bulldog expert who was running the event. I was loading the tractors at the end of the rally when an old fellow came over to me and said, “It’s a pity son, that you got Second”. I thought he had been referring to the tractor pull, but he went on to explain that he was the judge for selecting the best restored tractor. He had to give me second place as he knew there was something not original on it, but he couldn’t work out what it was.
I was unable to enlighten the judge at the time, but a few years later, a member of the Tully family (the original owners) was at a festival where I had the tractor on show. We were chatting and I told him the story of my second place, to which he told me that their young neighbour next to the apple orchard in 1939, had been doing his apprenticeship at McDonalds in Richmond, when he decided that the Lanz spud grips were doing damage to the roots of the apple trees. He made a mould and poured a new set of grips, which are still on the wheels to this day. Of course, because of this, they don’t have the L.H. stamp on them.
I really wish that I had got the judge’s phone number that day, so that I could finally let him know what the non-original part was.
Article and images by Alan 'Bulldog' Bailey.
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