Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund - October 2010

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

Good progress is continues to be made with the roller’s dismantling. Now the rally season is over, the rivets at the front end have been blown out and the rotten smokebox has been separated from the barrel and also the blocking ring which is sandwiched between has been released and can now be despatched to the person who has volunteered to roll a new smokebox for us – we will be buying the plate for this.

It will not be too long before the barrel is released from the throatplate and some rivets were also removed from the foundation ring before the assembly was turned over through 180 degrees to take the front end off. It is intended to take the barrel complete with smokebox tubeplate to Newton’s in Bradford so that the pledged new front tubeplate and a new barrel, for which we have a quote, can be manufactured – although we have yet to discuss whether the two new items will be riveted together before they are returned to us.

The new tender was delivered by Hunslet Steam Company just before Pudsey Carnival in mid-May and created a lot of interest whilst on display there. It was accompanied by the Sales stand, manned by members of Friends of Pudsey Roller – and also a number of tins of Williamson’s paint which we were able to buy at a massive discount. A decision has been taken to turn the roller out in lined Fowler black.

One bonus from our letting the contract for the tender construction to Hunslet is that we have also had the cylinder re-bored – as a sponsorship deal – something we could not have envisaged at the time – or perhaps have expected from any of the other people who provided prices to us.

In addition to Pudsey Carnival, the Sales stand has also been at Pudsey Civic Hall, Bramley Carnival, Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Harewood House Traction Engine Rally, Statfold Barn Railway in Staffordshire and Middleton Railway – and has done very well as a result of these appearances. More die-cast rollers have been commissioned – green ones with the FoPR name on the awning sides – and these are selling well.

Leeds City College students have worked very well for us this last year. A new smokebox door has been made, the ashpan is nearly completed, the handbrake assembly is almost finished and canopy supports are in the process of manufacture. There are several other items on the way as well. Last year’s students were treated to a day out and one of our local engine owners steamed his Fowler Tiger tractor for them – so they could see what a proper steam engine looked like and be shown how it worked – to give them a better understanding of what they had been working on at the college. They also visited the remains of the roller in its shed and before they finished their year, they were presented with jointly signed certificates recognising their contribution to the restoration of the roller. Work is now getting underway with a new batch of students for 2010 – 2011 and they now have more items now to be getting on with.

Many of the smaller components have been sand blasted and primed and are now awaiting painting. This is being done locally as a sponsored activity and we only pay for the sand. The rear rolls will be sent to a local commercial firm to do as they are rather too large to be tackled by our kind friend who is doing the rest of the things free of charge – including transport there and back - and he said he’ll take the rear rolls for us as well!

An open day was arranged for FoPR members in early September to see work in progress and was reasonably well attended. My steam roller was in steam for the occasion as well as two Sentinel wagons. More recently, a visit was made to the shed by members of the Somerset Traction Engine Club and this resulted in a substantial donation to FoPR. More local fund raising appearances are planned for the forthcoming winter months.

We are expecting a visit from high level Leeds City Council representatives very soon – as per the contract - and although in these days of stringent budget cuts, it is not expected to lead to more money from that source, we nevertheless live in hope!