Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Bi-annual Road Maintenance

The Wallis & Stevens Steam Roller.
The Wallis & Stevens Steam Roller was a very familiar sight around the English roads in the early part of the 20th century. Some were fitted with two saddle tanks, which were filled with tar and fed to a spray boom at the rear. Also hitched to steamroller was a gravel spreader, whose wheels were outside the area being sprayed. A complete pass would cover about 100 yards at a time. At the end of the pass, the spreader would be unhitched from the steamroller, and it would return to roll in the gravel that had just been laid.

The tar boiler in the picture above was located in a small layby, where the steamroller could come by and fill up his saddle tanks for the next section of road, to be paved. This layby, as I remember was where the steamroller would be parked overnight, and together with the crew caravan in which the steam roller driver and the tar boilerman would live during the working week.

The caravan above is typical of all crew caravans that were used by the road maintenance steamroller driver and his tar boiler mate. As they were up very early in the morning to stoke the fires in both the steamroller and tar boiler.

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