Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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How you can help restore Pudsey Park steam roller

If you’re of a certain age, you probably spent hours playing on Pudsey Park’s steam roller, squeezing yourself into the firebox, clambering on the wheels and steering the machine.

The steam roller, which dates back to the early 1920s, was a popular attraction for generations of children between 1959 and 1990 before it was removed after falling into neglect.

The 70-strong Friends of Pudsey Roller (FoPR) group is an organisation dedicated to raising money to restore the Fowler Steam Roller to full working order.

Group chairman Derek Rayner says work started to restore the rusting roller eight years ago.

The machine – which had been ‘resting’ in Kirkstall and Farnley Hall – has been completely taken apart, with thousands of pounds spent on new parts to replace ones that had rusted. A replacement firebox is currently being made by a firm in North Staffordshire.

Pudsey Park steamroller
Pudsey Park’s old steam roller is being restored. Photo: Friends of Pudsey Roller.

Mr Rayner said the group of volunteer fundraisers recently received a £10,000 donation from a former Pudsey resident – but they still need more help to turn their dreams into reality.

He added:

“We want to see the Steam Roller back in Pudsey and taking part in the Pudsey Carnival parade as we know it’s part of Pudsey’s history. We haven’t set a date for it – as we’re completely reliant on other people’s generosity and expertise.

“Since 2007 we’ve taken it to bits. We feel it could take a few more years, but we will get there.”

FoPR raises cash by attending events like Pudsey Carnival. Its next pie and pea supper evening presentation is on Thursday 12 November, at Farsley Liberal Club, Old Road, Farsley.  The event starts at 7.45pm and features a talk by Jamie Guest of the Leeds Transport Historical Society. You can book by calling Jackie Gowing on (0113)250 3634.

You can also support FoPR by volunteering to help in fundraising activities.

To make a donation or to join the Friends group, contact Derek Rayner on 01904 781519 or email derek@invicta1915.freeserve co.uk.

A version of this article appears in the latest print edition of the Dispatch.

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