Road roller proves old ways are best

SOMETIMES the old ways are the best and that proved to be the case when a 1920s road roller was used to create a new access road in Leiston.The 1923 Garrett Road Roller, provided by the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, chugged into action again yesterday to roll hard-core down for the road.

SOMETIMES the old ways are the best and that proved to be the case when a 1920s road roller was used to create a new access road in Leiston.

The 1923 Garrett Road Roller, provided by the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, chugged into action again yesterday to roll hard-core down for the road.

The route will be used by straw lorries going to a state-of-the-art straw burner at L.F. Geater and Sons, West End Nurseries, Westward Ho, Leiston.

Trevor Wrench, the museum's engine driver, said: “We have learnt from experience that the old-fashioned steam rollers do the best job.”


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Steven Geater, a relative of Ron and Richard Geater who own the nursery, asked Stephen Mael, manager of the Long Shop Museum, for permission to use the ten-ton machine.

He said the weight of the old rollers meant they were the best at rolling down crushed brick rubble.

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He had tried modern equivalents but found they were not as good.

Mr Mael said: “It's very unusual to get a request of this type but Ron Geater has for many years kindly loaned us hanging baskets and plants for the museum garden so this is our chance to give something back.

“It's also great to see the engine doing what it was designed for all those years ago.”

The access road will lead the way to a £300,000 environmentally-friendly straw burner which will heat the nursery's hectare of greenhouses.

Imported from Denmark, the high-tech burner is CO2 neutral and burns straw as well as gas to generate electricity. It is hoped that it will be installed by the end of the year.

n The Long Shop Museum will be hosting its annual end of season Steam Day on October 22 from 10am to 5pm. This year's event is called Sirapite Centenary Final Fling 2006.

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