This was the title that accompanied the above photograph
in a Leicester Mercury of May 27, 1967. The article stated:
'WITH A HISS of steam, a subdued clank and a billowing
puff of smoke, the steam roller moved into action. It ground its
way up the concrete path curved an unerring track into passing traffic
and purred perectly along the road, its black gleaming green and
black paintwork giving not a hint that this rumbling, puffing, majestic
giant was three quarters of a century old'.
'The scene was the entrance to Road Rollers Ltd.,
Melton Road, Thurmaston, where the 1892 Aveling Porter steam roller
was being given its first run after 12 months rejuvenatiing operation'
'It was found, rusty and unwanted, in the corner of
a factory yard in Yorkshire, after the roller making company decided
to track down a pre-1900 single-cyclinder model to renovate and
use in carnivals and shows'.
'Once such a type had been found - "and it was
much more difficult than you would imagine." Mr. R. E. Hames,
assistant to the general manager, told me - three craftsmen got
to work on it."
'Mr. Alfred Harrison (61), outside service supervisor,
his son, 26-year-old fitter Mr. Edwin Harrison, and welder, Mr.
George Kirton, spent countless numbers of hours over the last year
to transform the decaying wreck into a thing of splendour.'
But everything had to be authentic. Photographic copies
of the original drawings, specifications and livery instructions
were obtained from the makers.'
'Now the ageing steam roller, with an expert piece
of cosmetic surgery, has been magically converted into the smart
sprightly youngster that first rolled Victorian roads in a Derbyshire
town just 75 years ago'.
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Thurmaston Heritage Group