The Skeoch project

The Dalbeattie Men's Shed signature project. Our aim is to build an exact replica of a cycle car originally built in Dalbeattie in 1920.
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A New Dawn
When a devastating fire ripped through Burnside Motor Works in Dalbeattie on 23rd December 1921 it turned a young car designer's cherished dream into a financial nightmare in the space of just a few... more
February 2018 - Setting the scene
Several exchanges by phone and email by the various parties interested in recreating the Skeoch Cycle Car culminated in a meeting that took place at Edingham on Thursday 22nd February 2018.... more
March 2018 – Scoping the rebuild
It becomes apparent that the items left to kick-off the Skeoch project are less complete than anticipated. The nine copy drawings do not completely describe the car, there are significant component... more
On 7 th March Geoff Allison & Alan Mazza travelled to the home of Archie & Betty Sinclair (the daughter & son-in-law of James Skeoch) in Helensburgh where they were met by Fiona Sinclair... more
Billy Connolly sharing a cup of tea with Robin Gilchrist
Attracted by the Skeoch project the Shed had a famous visitor on Thursday 24 th May; Sir Billy Connolly, with a film crew from 7Wonder, recorded a piece for the upcoming Billy’s travelogue around... more
The Skeoch chassis in it's very early stage.
On receipt of the side frames from Paterson Engineering the basic frame was assembled , allowing measurements to be confirmed for the design of the Gearbox rear support, chassis drop arms, running... more
Photo taken for the 'Dumfries and Galloway Life' magazine article.
Drawings for the bulkhead supports added to the Paterson Engineering job list. Removal of the engine cylinder head allowed the crankcase seals to be tested – they failed – confirming the need for a... more
August 2018 – Going electronic
A new member, Dave Higginbottom, has brought computer aided engineering, CAE, skills to the project. Dave is building up a virtual Skeoch and converting the imperial aluminium casting drawings into... more
September 2018 – Ford Model T Club visit
Members of the UK Model T Ford Owners Club visited the shed on 20 th September with 5 vehicles. Inspection of both the Fords and the Skeoch prompted lively discussion around similarities and... more
October 2018 – CAD design and drawings
Professional supporters make valuable technical contributions. CAD design and drawings of the most complicated aluminium part,the engine & gearbox support together with CNC files and an aluminium... more
Danny Melville of Hexagon Metrology visited the shed with state of the art 3D scanning and metrology equipment.
Early in the  month Danny Melville of Hexagon Metrology visited the shed with state of the art 3D scanning and metrology equipment. Danny 3D scanned the Skeoch radiator badge & the Model T... more
Our first 3D printed, red on black, Skeoch key fob
Using files from the 3D scanning by Hexagon, Tim produced our first 3D printed, red on black, Skeoch key fob, and we send Skeoch themed Christmas cards to supporters of the cycle car project.... more
January 2019 – A Fresh Start
The festivities are behind us and work on the Skeoch picks up on several fronts. Patterson Engineering cut and folded rear spring supports from supplied .DWF & .pdf drawings, the parts are now... more
Design of the rear wheel hub.
We now have enough data to complete the rear axle/hub/suspension/wheel design. Early in the month work commenced on fabricating radius arms (by member Donald) and stiffened rear spring supports (by... more
Donated front axle and radius arm from an early Austin 7
Dave Dickinson’s donated front axle and radius arm from an early Austin 7 was delivered, minus a few fittings, enough to allow finalisation of the front wheel hub and front spring designs. Keith... more
April 2019 – First milestone ups the pace
A piece of software discovered by Dave Higginbottom designed to colourise old monochrome photos has revealed more detail on a profile picture of the Skeoch (see image) and revises our understanding... more
May 2019 – One year into the build
It doesn’t feel like a year since Billy Connolly visited the Shed and saw the bare ash frames laid out to begin the Skeoch build, but the time has fled by. On the 14th May we were ready to see if... more
Wm Kennedy’s Orroland Lodge annual open day with the Skeoch display front and centre
Sunday 9 th June was cloudy but remained dry and warm, this combined with the added attraction of veteran, vintage and cherished cars made for a record attendance at Wm Kennedy’s Orroland Lodge... more
Post Orroland snagging
To prepare the Skeoch chassis for Orroland a number of components had to be fettled to compensate for shortages, such as a missing trackrod link, errors, such as misaligned mounting  holes in... more
Bill Simpson arrived with a prototype exhaust for the car
Work continued on fixing the snags revealed during preparations for Orroland, then in the 2nd week of August, Bill Simpson arrived with a prototype exhaust for the car, returning a couple of days... more
September 2019 – Steering and controls
Continuing from last month the donor steering column shroud was welded to the bulkhead mounting plate and to maintain alignment extra stays were bolted between the bulkhead and the front chassis.... more
October 2019 – Cash and Controls
The project received a welcome increase in liquidity with a donation from the Bert & Ruth Dunn Trust, plus proceeds from the resale of the unwanted Model T Ford front axle, allowing us to settle... more
November 2019 – Controls vs Components
The month was largely spent wrangling controls to clear existing components such as the steering column, exhaust and cockpit floor. Fitting the dashboard, cab and seat floors has allowed us to clear... more
We ended last month fitting final controls to the Beardmore Precision engine, and sorting transmission access hatches. The countershaft hatch under the seat was cut, but the cab floor had to be re-... more
January 2020 – A new year, a new phase
A slow start to the year due to the festive break and member’s holidays, however work continued on fabrication the starting mechanism which will allow a handle start via a chain driven sprocket on... more
The build really began to gather pace in February after significant injections of cash from the sale of the last Riley 9 parts donated by Archie & Betty Sinclair, and a very generous cash... more
June 2020 – Two major successes despite Covid19
In March the Shed was locked down and progress halted. The lock-down had a huge impact on all the Shedders, who missed their project work and social interaction. Tom, one of key members of the Skeoch... more
Good old-fashioned fabrication skills resolved two of the our ongoing build difficulties – a new hand built starting handle & support bracket is now robust enough for repeated use; and a process... more
With the coachwork moving to completion, this month’s efforts were largely expended on resolving a couple of drive issues. The engine was removed to find an oil leak source, which lead to a complete... more
September 2020 – Rolling again, and a Press call
This month saw many of the workfaces complete, the wheels came back from powder-coating looking good and were re-fitted; fitting the seat squab completed the upholstery and trim items such as the... more
October 2020 – Mechanical Completion & Border TV
The car is now essentially complete mechanically, and ready for the paintshop, final details such as the hood and radiator badge will be fitted after painting. Discussions with Fiona Armstrong, Lord... more
November 2020 – Ready for the Paintshop
With the Skeoch now ready for paint, it has been loaded into our display trailer where it sits waiting for space in the paintshop. Meanwhile thoughts turn to post completion displays as our original... more
The Skeoch is now being prepped for painting
The Skeoch is now being prepped for painting, starting with the driver’s side being flatted down. Meanwhile thoughts turn to displaying the vehicle when finished. Last month we not only discovered... more
January 2021 – Painting continues
Tighter lockdown due to new variant COVID knocks confidence in public events; centennial plans to display and publicise the finished Skeoch are scrubbed. On the 100th anniversary of the original... more
February 2021 – The Skeoch comes home
A superb paint job at Sanderson Auto Repair – thanks Sany – and the Skeoch is ready to return to storage pending a few wee tweaks and lockdown easing sufficiently to arrange public unveiling(s).... more
Our Skeoch display in the bandstand at Colliston Park, Dalbeattie
After 16 months closed The Shed was re-opened on Monday 5th July with restricted numbers attending, under protocols compliant with Covid Protection Level 1. The Skeoch had been in store since... more
Skeoch in Annandale Distillery courtyard
Following the successful exhibition of the Skeoch car in Dalbeattie and points west in July, in August the car exhibits were to the east. On Saturday 28th August we were invited to exhibit the car... more
Skeoch Supporters
Dalbeattie Men's Shed wishes to acknowledge the following without whom the Skeoch project would not be possible. Fiona Sinclair, Archie & Betty Sinclair - donation of Ron Skeoch’s collection... more