British Engine Clubs

| November/December 1991

'Oron' , 11 Avenue Road Chelmsford, Essex, England CM2 9TY

Readers of The Iron-Men Album magazine who are members of engine clubs or associations may be interested to read how a similar organization operates in Great Britain. As I am the Publicity Officer of the Road Roller Association, it is about this that I shall write a little.

For many years there had been in existence societies catering for the enthusiast interested in a wide range of engines, such as portables, stationary engines, tractors, heavy haulage, showmans and ploughing engines, as well as rollers, but none catered specifically for the actual science of road making and repair and the associated equipment involved with these operations. Therefore, in 1974, a group of people who had a common interest in these activities formed an association specifically to help and encourage the preservation of rollers, living vans, water carts, tar boilers, stone crushers and the like and to keep alive the old and traditional methods of road making and road repair.

A committee, elected once a year, is responsible for the organization and day to day running of the association. The election takes place at the Annual General Meeting which is held in a different part of the country each year. It is spread over a weekend and is the opportunity for the members and their families to meet socially as well as to conduct the business side of the association.

The 1991 AGM very fittingly took place at Rochester, Kent, which is the birthplace of the firm of Aveling & Porter, who made more rollers than all the other British firms put together.

The day before the AGM, members and families gathered at an hotel in Rochester and were greeted, when they entered the car park, by a Ruston & Hornsby 10 ton steam roller in full steam. It was built in 1922. Beside it stood a small Wallis & Steevens diesel roller belonging to the Road Roller Association. After a convivial evening meal, there was a get together of members for a chat about all the happenings since they last met.