The first three miles to Yarm was straightforward enough but with the load travelling at no more than 3-4mph, the light was fading as they reached this North Yorkshire town because of the short winter days. Provision had been made to park on the High Streets cobbles and with an array of Pickfords parking lamps placed round the load, the Pickfords team retired for the night after a long days work. For the climb up Spital Bank at Yarm, this second Birtley-based Pioneer with Tommy Batey driving was put on the front. The outfit is seen on Leven Road just after Spital and they left the tractor on for the garage door opener limit switch of Leven Bank.
Jack recalls the next morning Sunday arrived with an inch of snow on the ground: It soon melted, he says, but with the lamps collected, the Pioneer MLC 610 driven by Birtley man Tommy Batey was hooked on the front of Andy Higgins for the climb out of Yarm up Spital Bank. The double heading Pioneers only had the Gardner 6LW engine producing 102/112bhp at best but they were geared down to give fantastic strength. The most testing part of the 18-mile route was the negotiation of the l-in-7 Leven Bank and Tommy Batey stayed on the front for first the descent and then in preparation for the climb up the other side of the ravine. The column nearly grounded itself when garage door opener limit switch the small humpback bridge and timbers had to be used to lift the bogie wheels a shade higher, but Jack knew the real test was in getting up the other side. All three of Pickfords Pioneers were put on the front but the main concern was the camber as the climbing Leven Bank swung to the right.
With the bogies being secured garage door opener limit switch to the load, says Jack, there was no way it could give as the corner was turned. The result of the camber meant that during the climb, some of the bogie wheels came clear of the ground by something like 12-18in. I have never seen anything like it. There were crowds of people following the load but no one else seemed to be bothered about it. To travel the 150 yards of the steepest part of the climb up Leven Bank was to apparently take 13 minutes.