When displayed at Harewood House, during the 2007 August Bank Holiday weekend, the Roller was still essentially in its complete and very derelict condition in which it was removed from the Council storage yard at Farnley Hall in April 2007. After display at Harewood House, work on stripping the roller commenced, in accordance with the agreed plan. All fittings were removed from the boiler and the boiler tubes were cut out. The crankshaft, engine connecting rods, linkage and motion and the flywheel were removed and the cylinder has been lifted off. These are shown here :-
The removal of the cylinder etc. has considerably help in the intended dismantling of the motion – which was very well seized as a result of exposure to the elements for a very long time.
The second shaft has also been removed and the Roller blocked up at the rear so the rear rolls could be withdrawn from the axle. The rear rolls are off. The lack of tender side where the scarifier was is evident in this view here :-
The next step in the stripping down will be the removal of the back axle and a puller has been borrowed for this purpose in order to remove the brake drum and/or the main gear. This will enable the backed end to be blocked up, to enable the front rolls, forks and forecarriage etc. to be taken off. This will allow the removal of the front tubeplate, so that a Boiler Inspector can visit to to assess the major repair work required to the boiler. This is a pledge from a Leeds & District TEC member. As well as a new firebox being required as there is at least one hole, as a result of corrosion, in the existing one. A decision has been taken to replace the boiler barrel.
There have been a number of relatively small but very important items pledged for the Roller restoration project from individuals and organisations – such as a new pressure gauge, water lifter hose, a set of tubes, a water injector and fire irons.
At the December 2007 Committee Meeting, the Association sanctioned the formation of a Sub-Committee to progress the restoration and fund raising necessary for the Pudsey Roller which we now have on long term loan from Leeds City Council. Recent decisions of the Sub-Committee have resulted in competitive prices being sought for the supply of a new tender and also a quantity of shot blasting and priming of already removed components which is to be carried out when the better weather comes. Also, an order will be placed very soon for a set of tubes, the finances for which have already been donated by member Keith Sargeant. One of the first new items to be provided for the Roller has been a wire-bound water lifter hose which has been purchased by Tony Hunt of Leeds, who was Chairman of the Leeds & District Traction Engine Club for a very long time. This was obtained via Stuart Gray at a very specially negotiated discount with Redferns of Manchester, specifically for this project.
Aspects of further fund raising are being discussed and the means of achieving these. Also under consideration, in the longish term, is the possible formation of a support group – initially locally and then nationally - perhaps to be known as "The Friends of the Pudsey Roller".
In early January 2008, an exhibition stand relating to the Pudsey Roller was organised in conjunction with the L&DTEC at a Transport Fair at Pudsey Civic Centre and was staffed by Members Derek Rayner, wife Dorothy together with John and Dorothy Knapton and Keith Wear. This was well received locally and provided awareness of the project and it was sufficiently encouraging for a similar stand to be planned at other local events in times to come.
If there are any members out there who have an urge to want to help the Association in their present endeavours in connection with fund raising for the Pudsey Roller’s restoration, or are in a position to help with the donation of parts or services, would they please get in touch with Vice Chairman Derek Rayner. One item that is required in this respect is a chimney base casting. If anyone has a pattern for this item of the right size that might be available on loan, please contact Derek on 01904 781519.
Monetary donations to swell the fund will be very welcome and these should be sent to:- Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund, The Road Roller Association, 5 Dryden Avenue, Balderton, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire NG24 3QT.