Aveling & Porter #4546,10-ton roller, owned by Essex Steam Rolling. Association; photographed May 29, 1922.
This photo graces the cover of the Ind. book. It was taken on February 23,1907, in Ardleigh, Essex. The Fowler traction engine is thought to be #3187, and the outfit was property of C. W. Dorlin.
A sample photograph from the lnd. book, showing a Burrell Ploughing Engine, #801, built in 1878 when owned by G. Bedford, Little Bradley, Suffolk, England.
The Road Locomotive Society, founded in 1937 in Great Britain, is entering its 45th year as an organization devoted to preservation of engines and archives, and exchange of information among collectors.
Steam road vehicles were still in use on roads and in the countryside when the society was founded. They were far more prevalent in Britain than in the United States. Although there were experiments in America in steam's early days, locomotives for use other than on railroads did not become part of the scene. The same was true of steam plows; they were tried in the United States but received far broader application in Britain.
The Road Locomotive Society keeps rolling right along. While it does not sponsor a museum of its own, it strongly encourages the preserving of all engines. Interests of its members extend to traction engines, rollers, wagons, portable engines and like mechanisms.
One of its major services is in publishing of books on the subjects its activities cover. These books provide excellent illustrations and historical information which should interest many American readers.
A book which is fascinating is 'The Major R. J. W. Ind Collection of Historical Photographs,' edited by Peter G. Smart. Most of the photos in the book show plowing engines, mainly of older designs. Some are very unusual. Steam rollers and traction engines are included.
A recent publication is 'Steam Rollers and Steam Wagons of the Worcestershire County Council,'by John T. Rhead. One chapter deals with Bridge Testing by Steam, telling of the way heavy steam engines would be run onto new bridges. The amount of deflection indicated the loads that the bridges could bear.
'Traction Engine Locomotives,' by Ian K. Hutchinson, tells the story of the traction engine as a railway locomotive. It goes into conversion of road locomotives and steam wagons for use on rails.
Stemgas lists titles and prices so that you may write to the society direct to place your order:
Major R. J. W. Ind Collection book is $4.00 U.S.; airmail postage is $4.00, total $8.00; surface postage is $1.00 (put it takes longer).
Worcestershire Rollers & Waggons book is $10.00, air mail is $6.00, total $16.00; surface postage $4.00.
Traction Engine Locomotives book is $4.00, airmail is $4.00; total $8.00; surface mail $1.00.
These orders should be sent to: Road Locomotive Society, Oak Lea, Moss Lane, Mobberley, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 7BU, England.
If you wish to obtain a draft for pounds in your home town, we can furnish the prices and postage fee figures.
Another book you should consider is 'A Head Full of Steam,' the story of a 200-mile journey on a steam roller by J. G. Stevenson. The roller was named 'Cinderella' by Stevenson, who did all the restoration himself. The trip he wrote about took place in 1979; he made another in 1980.
To order Stevenson's book, send him $2.50 U.S., plus $2.00 for airmail or 80? surface. His address: J. G. Stevenson, 14 Arran Ave., Sale, Cheshire, England.