Dalbeattie Men’s shed has landed a new major project – to re-create a Skeoch Utility Cycle Car.
The Skeoch Utility was the only Cycle Car ever commercially produced in Scotland. In 1920-21, James Baird Skeoch produced 12 of these cars at his Burnside Works, Dalbeattie. Ten Skeoch cars were sold before a fire spread to the Works from the adjacent glove factory, destroying the works and its contents. The Skeoch Car Company did not survive the fire and all of the 10 cars sold have been lost over the intervening Years.
Early in this millennium James Skeoch’s son, Ron, decided to re-create one of these cars. Ron already had a set of 9 original drawings, so he set about seeking original/contemporary parts for his replica. Ron Skeoch passed away in 2017 and when his affairs were being tied up by James Skeoch’s grand-children the drawings, a part engine, and a gearbox were discovered amongst Ron’s effects. The Skeoch family would like to see Ron’s dream of a replica car fulfilled, and for Dalbeattie Town to be its home – but who could undertake the commission?
So in January, we have the discovery of drawings and parts of a car made in Dalbeattie, and owners of the parts wishing to find someone to build a replica to be displayed in Dalbeattie. Also in January, there was national publicity about Dalbeattie Men’s Shed being awarded the UKMSA Men’s Shed of the Year, and this serendipitously presented the Skeoch family with a way to realise their wishes.
On 22nd February copies of the 9 original drawings and a small cardboard box containing the part engine and gearbox were delivered to Dalbeattie Men’s Shed by Fiona Sinclair, grand-daughter of James Skeoch. The Shed is now Scoping the Skeoch Car project ,and setting about raising the several thousand pounds required to bring this historic car back to life in Dalbeattie.
This project page will be updated on a regular basis as the project progresses.
(Credits for some of these images, Dalbeattie Museum Trust.)