Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund - February 2010

The following Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund Sub-Committee report was presented to the main RRA Committee at their February 2010 meeting by Derek Rayner.

A visit was made to Hunslet Steam Co’s premises near Tamworth on 5 November when the deposit cheque for the roller’s new tender was handed over. This was subsequently reported in OG. Plate for the tender has been delivered and a former is being progressed for the tender’s manufacture. After something of a struggle by Ian Fearnley. to remove same, the remains of the tender have now been collected by Hunslet – by fellow Fowler roller owner Alan Lloyd who works there - after a couple of false starts caused by the weather. At the same time, the cylinder was also taken away for assessment regarding its condition in connection with the possibility of it being rebored and the valves faced. It will be cleaned and shot blasted whilst with them and I’ll discuss the scope of work required in due course. Graham Lee has indicated he hopes to be able to obtain sponsorship for us for the required work on the cylinder.

An arrangement has been made with Energas for the supply of gas for our use at Wike on a minimum of 12 month’s gas bottle rental contract. The usual three firms were contacted by Ian – BOC, Air Products and Energas – and this latter firm was the cheapest and most amenable – and easiest for Ian to work with in so far as their location is concerned. In recognition of our task, they have granted us a free month’s bottle rental – which has turned out to be a bonus.

It was intended that the front end of the roller (tubeplate/barrel) would have been dismantled by now but the bad weather, coupled with the death of Ian’s mother, has meant that things have not progressed as quickly as was hoped in this direction.

Some minor components have been sand blasted by Robert Midgley and primed and returned. More will follow. In this connection, Robert has suggested that we should buy a bulk load of sand which will work out cheaper in the long run. We will be agreeing to do that. He is willing to collect it and is looking to blast and prime the rolls etc when the better weather is with us.

At the Leeds college, our contact Paul Hogarth has advised that the new group of students are working well on various items, although with only have half a day for each group per week it seems progress is somewhat slow. Nevertheless, progress is being made and it is all work which, when completed, will be able to sit on the shelf awaiting bolting back on – and it is stuff we will not have to contend with ourselves. This is certainly proving to be a major bonus. The chimney base casting is progressing and they hope to have it machined before the end of this term. They are making a wheeled stand so we can take the chimney assembly to fund-raising events. This should be ready by Easter. The clack valves are all cleaned up, but they are having to make some threaded plugs as the thread on the originals had all but vanished. Some Whitworth bolts will be obtained so that these items can be assembled. The threaded new stainless steel valve rods are complete. The eccentric straps are about half completed and these should be ready before the end of this term. Work on the smokebox door progresses – the inner and outer door skins and the spacers between are made. The handle was so bad they are making a new one and the hinge fell in two pieces when unbolted, so a new one is being made. It is expected that the main door assembly will also be done by Easter. The main shaped part of the ashpan is done, the next job will be to weld the mounting flanges on. It is expected that the main body of the ashpan will be done by Easter, but the flap/door will then have to be made. The brake assembly was so badly seized that it was decided to cut it open and make a number of new parts. The re-assembly will probably not be completed this term, but should be well on the way. An appeal was made recently in the pages of Old Glory in connection with canopy stays. Nothing has yet come of this. In the meantime, and expecting a NIL response, the college have made a jig for the production of these - which will be welded up and then ground back as required for cosmetic purposes. Appropriate size steel angle is being organised for the four curved canopy roof supports and this will then be cut and shaped. It is unfortunate that a large number of the items will seemingly be finished together at the end of term (July) as it is hoped that publicity for the project (and the college) could be obtained before then. We will have to see how things progress.

The new organisation, Friends of Pudsey Roller, held a meeting on 20 November at which various Officers were elected and the Draft Constitution was adopted. Things are now moving forward to sort out a bank account but this has been held up by the absence of some of the key players on holiday.

I gave a slide presentation last Wednesday to the Pudsey Men’s Forum. This was very well received and some good sales resulted. Brian took a day off work to help.

A further PRRF meeting is to take place on Sat 13 Feb and I am intending to produce the required annual report for Leeds City Council very soon after that.