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'Britannia' Kemble August 2006
No. 8545 is an Aveling Porter, 5Hp, 12 Ton, 2 speed single cylinder, shot box roller with a manufactured weight of 14 tons 3 quarters. Dispatched new on the 24th April 1915 to R.Dingle & Sons, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, with the name of 'BRITANNIA' attached at their request. The seventh engine purchased by Dingles out of a total of 200 plus and the first Aveling, the first six being Garrets. Britannia was the last of their engines to be named and Dingles retained the nameplate following it's sale and transferred it to their Fowler.
First registered in Cornwall on the 17th of August 1921, when compulsory registration was introduced. AF 4442 was the eighth in in a sequence, AF 4435 being the first. Sold in 1955 to James and Cockerell, civil engineers near Salisbury for a pricely sum of 200 pounds. When seen it was in bits and Dingles had fitted a new tender purchased reassembled by Dingles and Mr Peter Barber (well known it the world of preservation) and then driven by him from Cornwall back to Salisbury. Whilst in transit it succeeded in setting fire to a thatched cottage just outside Oakhampton. The insurers refused to cover the cost of repairs which cost three times as much as the roller!
James owned 's three other rollers of various weights, his children named all of them, 8545 was called 'Tulip', the others were 'Andy Pandy', 'Dorrngton Dolly' and the Burrell 'Daffodil'. Daffodil is also preserved.
'Tulip' was used extensively on Salisbury roads and spent a lot of time in the Boscombe area where, among other works, 'she' helped to lay Boscombe down air field runway. Sold to Turner's scrap merchants in 1965 'Tulip' had a cab fitted and was used to flatten corrugated roofing sheets from the dismantled Ebbw Vale steel works. Sold again in 1966 to Mr R Evans of Glyn Neath it was used to lay tarmac, rallied in the infancy of preservation before being laid up for 30 years in a garage in Hirwaun.
Henri purchased 8545 in 1986 she became 'Britannia' once more. Restoration involved replacing the smokebox, tubes, tube plate and stays plus a coat of paint and lining.
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