After the worst of the winter flooding on the River Severn had started to subside in 2014, Tim Packwood, Head Groundsman of Worcestershire County Cricket Club was taking a look around at an indoor EXPO exhibition taking place at Edgbaston. Whilst looking around he noticed a large impressive looking sports field roller sat in the middle of the floor area.
He didn't have buying of any machinery in mind, in fact, the most recently purchased roller at the New Road ground was only 7 years old. However, he was mindful of the benefit that could be gained by possibly upgrading the elderly, lightweight machine used on Worcester's satellite ground at Kidderminster.
Kidderminster is Worcester's preferred ground when the New Road ground is out of action due to the regularity of the River Severn bursting its banks.
The Kidderminster ground has produced superb wickets over the years, but for early season rolling; due primarily to the lack of weight of the existing roller, the wickets have been slow to firm up. Poweroll were pleased to loan Tim a County roller to try out, to see if improvements could be made. The roller was unloaded from the delivery vehicle at its minimal traveling weight of 2 tonnes and immediately tried out. Just as immediate was the improvement after the first pass, even though a certain amount of pre-season rolling had already been carried out. A few passes later the roller was raised to its maximum gross weight of 3.25 tonnes using water as ballast. After a short period of time spent rolling, the wickets had hardened to a level never previously achieved during early season rolling.
Pleased with the success on that ground, Tim was interested to try the roller out at the New Road ground where, as before, the County roller showed immediate improvement in compaction of the wickets. In fact, progress was so rapid that the surface was firm enough to stage a County game against Kent, starting on 13th April; only 6 weeks after the flood water left the ground. This would have been virtually impossible with the other rollers available to him.
Such was the impression left on Tim of the County roller that after the 2 month trial, he described it as 'The best roller he has ever used.' He concluded that subject to available funding, the Poweroll County with its variable 2 - 3.25 tonne weight coupled to the 30inch diameter roller drums would be the best long term solution for the New Road ground. It seemed logical that Kidderminster would then be best served by the more elderly of the 2 rollers previously used at New Road, that had in previous years already proved to be beneficial over the then existing machine at Kidderminster.
Pitcured top is Tim (right) March 2015, taking delivery of his own new Poweroll County roller from Trevor Luckhurst, M.D. of Poweroll. The purchase of the roller has been most generously sponsored by Crown Domestic Appliances; importers of White Goods for the retail market.