The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)
A problem with rollers
“I’m glad to see road steam in the column,” emails reader Andrew Todd. “The rescue of the steam roller, covered on March 31 was interesting. Clearly, they have chocked and chained the traction engine to a tree, so she can winch the roller out of the ditch. The wire has been run out and they are discussing where to secure it.
“This is a problem with rollers. The headstock – the bit that connects the front rolls to the smoke box – is cast and not as strong as it looks. Some rollers had towing eyes attached to them but the Aveling and Porter did not have one, or a clevis in the front scraper. Hence the discussion.
“Ian Fraser wrote a book called The Arbroath Affair about his planning exploits.
The Traction Engine Register – a book detailing all road steam vehicles still in existence in the UK (that the publishers know about) has Jingling Geordie located in Coalville. I would love to know where the wee loco is.
“When Discovery returned to Dundee, I was a sub lieutenant RNR at HMS Camperdown. A group of us were asked to attend to provide any manpower that might be required as part of discharging her from the lifting vessel.
“The operation was somewhat protracted because the ‘tumblehome’ of Discovery (the shape of her hull) meant that, as the Happy Mariner sunk herself to allow Discovery to float free, Discovery actually gripped tighter into the chocks that had secured her for the voyage.
“As I recall, eventually careful use of a chainsaw eventually freed her.
“Once alongside, there was a slap-up meal for the great and the good in the wardroom. We were a little miffed, I have to say, that we had to stay on the upper deck and nobody thought to pass us out even a sandwich!”