Aveling & Porter steam roller 3315 was built in 1894 and weighs 15 tons. It worked until the late 1950s and then stood idle until 2003 when it started a new life with the founders of the Hephaestus Trust. Over the next nine years it was slowly returned to working order and made a debut in steam in 2012. Initial trials showed up a number of problems that the restoration team had not forseen and since 2013, it has lain dismantled awaiting a new axle and gears.
These are major repairs which the Trust cannot afford, and run to £5000 including the cost of recertifying the boiler for use. The rest of the roller is in excellent condition after the initial restoration. Once complete, the roller will be shown at events, schools and gatherings in County Durham and Northumberland, where it once worked. It will be reunited with the roller driver's living van and a classic water cart to make a full road train able to tell the story of roadmending across the UK.
It is the hope that funds can be raised to allow the repairs to be undertaken in 2018 to enable the roller to attend a number of events in 2019 to mark its 125th anniversary. Should the appeal not reach the full target, it will still allow a lot of work to be undertaken towards the repairs. We appeal to friends and enthusiasts to help make that happen and a number of incentives are offered to supporters. EVERY DONOR WILL RECEIVE AN INVITE TO THE 125TH BIRTHDAY PARTY!