Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Great Dorset Steam Fair (5 of 6): The Roller's...

Hi everyone. Well, as I continue to write my online book, otherwise entitled "Posts about the Great Dorset Steam Fair", we come to the Steam Rollers. This year at the GDSF it was "Roller Year" and I think there were just over 150 of them in attendance! This gathering: as you can imagine: is pretty spectacular and on the Saturday of the event the show is hoping to grab the World Record for the largest procession of Steam Roller's ever. Below, the traditional method of road rolling is demonstrated. The Aveling & Porter Roller is crushing stone which has already been through a fine stone crusher driven by a Foster agricultural...
Now we come to what was a real delight for me. The Aveling & Porter R10 Steam Roller below should be familiar to many. Wearing her own unusual green livery and a familiar family name, she was none other than the late Fred Dibnah's "Betsy". Originally named "Alison" when Fred first restored the engine, her name was changed to "Betsy" after Fred & Alison (his first wife) divorced. "Betsy" was Fred's mothers name and the Aveling has carried this name ever since. Many years ago it was the engine that was forever broadcast on the BBC and is arguably the most famous Steam Roller in existence. And, here she is...now I can finally say that I've seen her in steam...
Proudly displaying the famous nameplate...
"Betsy" is now owned by Fred's sons Jack & Roger and, indeed, Roger was driving her about today. We spotted "Betsy" in the Playpen later on that day...
Rollers at rest...

More Rollers!...
A huge marquee on the 'Roller Strip' held yet more of them in various stages of restoration from scrapyard condition to immaculately restored. There must have been a good 15 or so Roller's in this marquee alone!...
"Aveling & Porter, A Workman's Machine"...
The Roller's stood proudly in the various line ups. Makers included Burrell, Breda, Marshall, Fowler, Wallis and of course the famous Aveling & Porter's which proudly carry their Invicta Horses on the headstock...
Another Aveling!...
There were just Roller's absolutely everywhere...far more than could ever be documented and truly described...
An engine with quite a humorous name...
"Told You!"...(A grand name for an engine I thought!)...
Thank you for reading yet another post about the Great Dorset Steam Fair, folks. The next post (you will be pleased to know) is the last one about this fabulous show but...and believe me...there was even more than this to see! Cheers guys, Sam...

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