Road Roller Association AGM 2006

The 32nd AGM of the Road Roller Association was held on Saturday 4th March 2006 at The Holiday Inn, Basingstoke, Hampshire. As usual a whole weekend of activities, with the whole family in mind, had been arranged.

No formal activities had been arranged for the Friday evening, as many Members were not expected to arrive until the late evening. Approximately 25 Members, along with a number of wives/partners and families, enjoyed a convivial evening at the Hotel. By the end of the evening one of the three 9 gallon casks of Real Ale, sourced from the local Itchen Valley Brewery by the Association, had already been emptied!

After breakfast on the Saturday morning approximately 35 people made their own way to the Whitchurch Silk Mill, see their website for more details of the museum. All Members had an enjoyable morning.

During the visit our President, Steve Arrowsmith, noticed that the Governer "balls" for the water wheel operated mechanism were exactly the same as those required for his McLaren Agricultural Engine. So if you hear that the Whitchurch Silk Mill has lost a set of "balls", then you know where to look for them!

After the visit Members and their families returned to the Hotel in time for the buffet lunch.

The AGM itself began at 2:00 p.m., with over 50 Members in attendance, concluding at 4:00 p.m.. The normal formal business of the AGM was carried out.

One major change was made to the Committee. After 9 years the previous Chairman, Alan Holmes, stood down due to pressure of work. He was replaced by Michael Goakes. Alan did not desert the Committee totally, being elected as the Association's Webmaster. The other changes to the Committee were Richard Buck taking on the position of Living Van Specialist, and Graham Burbery and Andrew Hall joining the Committee for the first time.

The Associations Trophies were awarded as follows :-

In addition a new Trophy was awarded. This was a placque presented to the Association during 2005 by David Hirst. This plaque used to hang in the boardroom of Aveling and Porter at Rochester, and had been obtained by David when the premises were cleared. It had been decided at a Committee Meeting in February 2006 that the Trophy would be called the "The Rolling Trophy", awarded each year to the person who had written the most enjoyable article in Rolling during the preceeding year, in the view of those Members attending the AGM. A shortlist had been produced by the Editor, Alan Porter, and was voted on by Members at the AGM. Following the vote the winner was Richard Buck, for the culmination of his series of articles entitled "Taking East Anglia by Steam".

Following the AGM, Members mingled for a short while enjoying coffee and biscuits, before at 5:00 p.m. Gary Wragg, the Curator at Milestones, gave a short illustrated talk entitled "Milestones on a roll into the future". This talk included a number of slides of Wallis & Steevens and Tasker engines.

Over 50 people (Members and their families and guests) sat down for an Evening Meal at the Hotel. The social gathering continued until the early hours. During the evening the other two casks of Real Ale were emptied, the final cask being emptied by 10:00. Some Members wondered whether this was a record, with 50% more real ale being consumed than the previous year in the same timescale! Perhaps the price tag of £2.00 a pint had something to do with it!

At 11:00 a.m. on the Sunday morning approximately 45 people gathered in the car park at Milestones, Basingstoke, Hampshire's Living History Museum. Members spent an enjoyable 2-3 hours at the Museum. For further details of Milestones please see their website.

Most people then travelled across to visit Marder’s yard near Andover. Members were astonished to find a large number of Engines in steam, more than can be found at many rallies! Those who ventured into the undergrowth found a number of Motor Rollers, a number of Living Vans and also some interesting Road Making Machinery. The Asociation would like to thank Derek and Sandra Marder, all the owners and crews for steaming their engines, the Picket Piece Puffers, and also the ladies for providing the teas, coffees and the wonderful cakes.

As usual the social side of the weekend was very enjoyable. The Committee would like to thank all those members who attended and made this another RRA AGM Weekend to be remembered.

The Association would also like to thank “History in Harmony” who had made the hotel arrangements, and for having the clout to negotiate with the Hotel to get the Real Ale made available. Without the Real Ale many Members would have spent the weekend decanting to a suitable local hostelry.

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