It has been a little while since I updated this particular thread on this blog. Topics covered have included the overhaul of Beamish’s Fowler steam roller, D4 petrol motor roller and my own efforts in motor roller preservation with the gathering together of a small collection of A Series motor rollers from Barford & Perkins. This latter collection has now grown by one more, with the acquisition of QQ072, badged as an A3 but fitted with A 2 1/2 rolls. It is in remarkably original condition and though faded and scruffy, will be conserved in this original state. At present it is receiving some professional attention to the magneto and ignition system, but I hope it will debut in April 2015 at the Great North Steam Fair, to which I also hope we will attract several other early rollers and perhaps see the debut of Beamish’s D4 restoration…
Below: A gallery of QQ 072, for which an exact build date is to be ascertained. Of note are the patches on the bonnet, which cover ragged holes and bear out the tale that came with it, that it was strafed by the Luftwaffer during WW2, its place of work being adjacent to numerous RAF airfields.
The trip to recover the A series was also productive in obtaining a spare A3 bonnet (from a later Rochester-built example) and a set of lamp brackets. These are all earmarked for EE 067, which I intend to carry out a full restoration of now, with the missing Coventry Simplex engine and bonnets now being to hand. I also have the timber to start the replacement seat/toolbox as well as numerous other small fittings that were missing.
Below: The work on Beamish’s D4 continues with work now starting on the gearbox whilst the engine is now back in the frames, though still awaits new valves (seen here). The bulkhead is now being painted, magneto advance/retard mechanism rebuilt and the broken steering column repaired. Over the winter I hope that the staff will be able to start on making the replica canopy, for assembly by the volunteer team who are forging ahead with this project.
Below: This is NN 018 of 1930, a lovely restored example of the A Series, photographed by James West in Scotland recently – you can see more on this and other preserved rollers in the Road Making gallery on this site – shortcut: http://220.127.116.11/beamishtransportonline.co.uk/imagegalleries/road-rolling-and-making-gallery/
Below: I am steadily adding archive views, particularly of Barford & Perkins machines, and these can also be found in the Roadmaking Gallery. This collection will continue to grow as I both obtain material and find the time to scan it and put it online. From contacts made from other B&P owners, it is obviously finding itself of some use to researchers and owners alike, and has opened up doors to advice and spare parts for us at Beamish.