Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

May 5th 2009

I thought a few photos of the rear rolls from the steam roller ‘Fiddler’ might be of interest. These rolls are unusual in that the tyre, normally a tight fit onto the wheel, is separated by wooden packing pieces. I am told this was typical in Lancashire and North Wales. Unfortunately ‘Fiddler’s packing had disintegrates so it was deemed prudent to replace the lot. Below are some images of the left hand wheel, with tyre removes (no easy task!). This is a contract job at the Bowes Railway, and is in cooperation between John Moore (metal), Alan Milburn (wood) and John Young (brute force!). It shows how useful and effective these Victorian workshops can be and also gives a glimpse into potential future works that could be carried out there.

Above: The wheel, with tyre removed.

Above: The tyre. Note the holes for securing bolts, this stops the tyre slipping on the wheel.

Above: The other wheel, showing the securing nut and also the construction of tyre, wooden packing and inner wheel. Not a feature on many rollers.

Above: Four of these metal packing pieces (acting in the ‘dog & bitch’ carpentry style of packing) are fitted to each wheel. All were broken and required specialist cast iron welding to make them fit for further service. If they give trouble in the future, it may be prudent to replace them in SG iron, which is less prone to shattering at weak points.

Above: Securing bolts, new (left) and old! The new bolt subsequently has the head turned to a taper to enable it to rebate into the tyre. Note the brute force required on the old one to remove it!