Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund - April 2009

Local members of the Road Roller Association’s Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund have been working hard in pursuance of gaining extra funding for the roller’s restoration. The promotional stand was at the Family and Local History Fair on 4 April at Pudsey Civic Hall and this was organised to be the Pudsey Roller’s Duo-Day – in that two activities took place on that day which will hopefully be to the eventual benefit of the fund raising activities for the roller’s restoration. It is also hoped that they will encourage more local people to become involved.

The first, at mid-day, was the launch of the new organisation – Friends of Pudsey Roller – by the Pudsey Carnival Queen, Lauren Prince, attended by her attendants Jessica Williamson and Laura Pearson. Then, in the evening, a slide presentation was given in Pudsey Conservative Club by RRA Vice Chairman Derek Rayner on the history of Pudsey’s rollers, with special emphasis on the Pudsey Park roller. Following this, a discussion took place regarding the aims and objectives of this new organisation. A Treasurer and Membership Secretary designate of the Friends has now been appointed; the annual membership for which is £5.00. Applications for membership can be made to FoPR, Cambridge House, Calverley Lane, Bramley, Leeds LS13 3LR.

The PRRF is delighted to announce that two well-known local figures have agreed to be Patrons of this new organisation – Cllr Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council and Tony Hunt, past-chairman of the Leeds & District Traction Engine Club.

On Duo-Day, a new range of wooden-based promotional items featuring the Pudsey Roller was on sale – such as key rings, key racks badges, clocks and fridge magnets. In addition, a DVD of the removal of the roller from the playground in 1990 is also available. Prices of these vary – details can be obtained by writing to PRRF 42, Alexandra Road, Pudsey LS28 8BY or ring 0113 2579641.

Following recent excellent local publicity – including front page coverage in the Times – the Pudsey Times, that is – in connection with the on-going activities relating to the roller’s current dismantling phase, an approach has been received from the Leeds City College Engineering Department to enquire whether there might be any suitable projects with which students could become involved, in order to help them with their studies and to further the restoration project.

After consultation with the RRA’s Operations Officer, Ian Fearnley, in the knowledge that the roller’s ashpan was missing from the roller at the start of the project, a similar item was borrowed from North Yorkshire Fowler steam roller owner Andrew Craske who has an identical type DN machine. This is now being measured and drawn by the students and in due time, a new ashpan will be made by them using the facilities available at the college.

A further and different item is also being tackled – and that is in the creation of a new chimney base for the roller. The existing one is very badly cracked and substantial pieces are missing from it – so a foundry at Huddersfield, H Downs of Leeds Road, was approached and discussions have taken place regarding the work necessary to ‘patch up’ the damaged chimney base and use it to produce a pattern suitable for the casting process. When the students have completed this exercise, the foundry have agreed to cast the new item in SG iron and will be sponsoring the cost of the casting as a contribution towards the roller’s eventual restoration – for which the fund is extremely grateful.

Further relatively small projects are now being investigated for Leeds City College Engineering Department students and these are likely to include the remanufacture of valve and other rods in stainless steel, together with other drawing work and the repair and/or replacement of some fractured items such as piston rods and the roller’s motion work.