Two little boys and too big toys

The Times We Lived In – Published: May 5th 1980. Photograph by Tom Lawlor

 

Run, lads! Run! Oh, help. This is not a good time for your little brother to trip and fall. Today’s picture shows that a) dancing diggers have been a thing for longer than most of us realise, and b) a JCB which is poised on its toes like a giant malevolent crab, claws poised to grab a couple of yummy toddlers and eat them for dinner, is a seriously scary sight.

It doesn’t even have to grab them. It might just topple over and squash them.

Given that this picture was taken at a rehearsal for the dancing diggers at the 1980 Spring Show, however, it’s safe to assume that the driver knows what he’s doing and the boys – Rory and Gary Maughan from Tallaght – are perfectly safe. In fact, given that most boys of that age are mad about diggers, they’re probably in monster-machine heaven.

I chugged along to the JCB website to see if I could find out what a machine such as this would weigh. I learned a lot about JCBs. They’re named after the company founder, Joseph Cyril Bamford, an Englishman who made his first tipping trailer in a garage and sold it for 45 quid.

I learned that the machines are yellow, not for aesthetic reasons, but for safety reasons – scientists say you’re more likely to spot a yellow machine than any other colour, even if it’ s not in your direct line of sight. Still, the iconic colour has now become a standard paint shade, “JCB yellow”.

So although I wouldn’t know a backhoe loader from a Fastrac tractor, from the inscription 3C on the side of this machine, I confidently suggest that it weighs around 8,000 kilos.

Of course our photographer – with a little help from the driver and his assistant – has made it look so light that it might, at any minute, fly off, over the roofs of the houses in the background and away to the RDS.

And rarely have two little boys looked so very, very small.

Arminta Wallace

These and other Irish Times images can be purchased from: irishtimes.com/photosales. A book, The Times We Lived In, with more than 100 photographs and commentary by Arminta Wallace, published by Irish Times Books, is available from irishtimes.com and from bookshops, priced at €19.99.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.