The "Pudsey Roller" - The Summer of 2007

During the Summer, or should that be the Monsoon Season, of 2007 the Fowler Roller on loan to the Association – No 15752, ex-Pudsey - was displayed at the Family Steam & Kite weekend on 26-27 August at Harewood House; the transport of the Roller to the event being sponsored by Chris Rhodes and family. This event, organised by the Harewood House Trust in conjunction with the Leeds & District Traction Engine Club, was the first Traction Engine Rally ever attended by the Roller. This is shown here, photograph courtesy of John Knapton :-

Pudsey Summer 2007

The Roller’s exhibition at the event was organised by the Road Roller Association’s Operations Agent and was to raise awareness of the restoration task ahead and to provide publicity for all parties concerned. A ‘bucket collection’ at the show raised a sum approaching £150 and much valuable publicity ensued.

The promised donation of £5,000 has now been received from Leeds City Council – and a grant was applied for to the Sir George Martin Trust at Ilkley, which resulted in a donation of £500 from this worthy body. Towards the end of Autumn 2007 the Pudsey Roller Restoration Fund stood at over £9,400, and the Associations Treasurer is hopeful that this can top the magic figure of £10,000 by the end of 2007.

A number of additional donations in kind have been received. Stuart Gray of Heritage Steam Supplies, has promised to supply a newly overhauled pressure gauge for the Roller. This donation was warmly welcomed, especially since it will have the correct Fowler legend on the face of the gauge and the Roller’s working pressure denoted by the red line at 180psi. Ray Matthews, one of Stuart’s suppliers and himself the owner of a Fowler Roller, is very kindly manufacturing a set of fire irons to donate to the Roller – and the shovel will have the Roller’s Fowler works number – 15752 - emblazoned on it.

Although the full list of items required to complete the Roller’s restoration will not be known for some time – at least until the Roller is stripped down - it is known already that some broken or missing items will required to be replaced. It may be recalled that the Roller lost its chimney on the way from Pudsey to its storage location and a local engine owner whose business is in sheet metal, Robert Midgley, has agreed to provide a new chimney for the Roller. There is a problem here, however, because it has since been discovered that the Roller’s chimney base is cracked and broken and needs replacing. If any reader therefore can assist with the loan of a pattern for a Fowler type DN Roller chimney base, it would be very much appreciated. However, an actual new cast chimney base would be a much better option in this respect, if anyone just happens to have one.

Another item in the pipeline is a water lifter hose which Tony Hunt, a previous Chairman of the Leeds and District Traction Engine Club, has agreed to donate. If anyone can assist with appropriate ends for such a wire bound hose that will be provided by Redfern’s of Manchester, it would be also be very much appreciated.

Mike Jones from North Wales has agreed to donate a pair of Fowler pistons which may be useful during the Roller’s overhaul in the future. One item which is also known to be required is a 3/4in Penberthy style injector – so if anyone has such a spare sitting unused in a tool box or on the shelf, the Pudsey Roller can use it.

Further 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. Other aspects such as donations in kind may be discussed with Derek Rayner by ringing 01904 781519.

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