Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund - Additional November 2009 update

The Associationís Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund went out to tender for the construction of a new tender for the Fowler roller last July. After evaluation of the tenders, a contract has subsequently been let with the Hunslet Steam Company of Tamworth, Staffordshire. This is a subsidiary of Hunslet Engine Company Ltd, which firm used to operate from Jack Lane, Leeds. In addition to other commercial reasons, it was felt somewhat appropriate that the new tender for the steam roller, which was built at the Leathley Road, Hunslet, works of John Fowler & Company in 1921, should be awarded to a firm with that name.

As a result of continual exposure to the elements, the majority of the original tender is fit only for scrap but some parts of it will be used as a pattern for the new one and three original items have been salvaged, namely the drawbar, water pocket and manhole lid. It is intended to build these original components into the new tender.

Delivery of the new item is expected early in the New Year and this will be the first major component to be obtained for the roller following provision of a new chimney base casting, provided free of charge for this community project, by the foundry of H Downs, Leeds Road, Huddersfield. This latter item is now being machined by students at Leeds City College as part of their on-going studies.

The Association would like to provide correct details regarding some information passing about within some enthusiastís circles regarding the above. A suggestion was received by the PRRF in mid-2008 regarding someone who had advised that he was prepared to construct a new tender for the Pudsey Roller Ďat a good priceí. The person concerned was requested, in a proper business-like manner, to put forward a price in writing. This did not happen and in line with accepted business practise, the RRA felt in principle that it was unable to go forward only on the basis of a chalked-on price on a piece of metal. In consequence, an announcement was made at the Associationís AGM at Swindon in March 2009 that a conscious decision had been taken NOT to pursue the production of the Pudsey roller's new tender at a very good price with the person who by that time had carried out the conversion of the Fowler tar-spraying roller Undaunted. This announcement was met by spontaneous applause from the floor and was thus effectively endorsed by the AGM as a result of the membersí actions at that time. As was stated above, the tender documents were sent out to a number of firms in July 2009.