Tuesday, 8 May 2012

End of Season Roller Round-Up

Go-slower stripes at Bashley.
As you may know, I'm inordinately fond of the rusty groundsmen's equipment that I see lying around on my travels. Having compiled photos of various rollers and ultra spreaders from the first half of the season here, I thought it was high time that I showed the second half's haul now that my season has ended.

There weren't a huge number to display, so I've added a fork from Havant & Waterlooville and a couple of nice specimens from Bognor Regis Town to bulk up the article a tad (yes, Bognor is in Sussex...I was intending my last report to be from either Gosport Borough or Sholing in the Southern League South & West play-off final, but unfortunately Poole Town spoilt my plan by barging in front of both clubs towards the end of the season, resulting in the final being played in Dorset...so I went to Bognor Regis Town v Dulwich Hamlet instead).

Unloved of Bashley.
The first two pieces of equipment are from Bashley. The large yellow roller with its go-slower stripes is quite a beast, rivalling the one at Cove for super-massiveness. I presume it would need a tractor to pull it along the pitch. However, if there was no tractor available, there are a pair of hefty horses in the field next door who might be amenable to a spot of roller-pulling.

The second item from Bashley was suffocated by weeds. Once a much-loved tiller (or similar), now discarded like an old and unfashionable toy and left to rust in peace behind the terraces.

Two rollers in one at GE Hamble!
The place to be for groundsman's equipment in January was GE Hamble. Not content with just having a cool aeroplane within the ground, there was also a lovely cup of tea in a mug from Mug's Corner; an old bus shelter behind one goal; an interesting quirky stand, friendly locals and a cracking game of football...

A roller, a spade and a jar of grease at GE Hamble.
...all this, and they also had a great selection of rollers! It was hard to choose a favourite, but the two-in-one effort just shades it right now (I may change my mind and prefer the spiky leaf-picker tomorrow...). Two rollers in one! If the first one fails to squish that pesky molehill, the second is sure to do it!

A spiky leaf-picker-upper at GE Hamble.
The coveted award for Most Colourful Roller of 2012 has already been won by Tadley-Calleva. The bright March sunshine made their already red roller seem even redder. If you wanted to take a piece of groundsman's equipment to Mars and hide it on the planet's surface, safe from prying eyes, then this is the roller for you!

The winner of the Most Colourful Roller trophy is... Tadley-Calleva!
Havant & Waterlooville had a squeegee-roller on show before their immense match against Staines Town a couple of weeks ago. The groundsman carried on improving the playing surface at half-time with his fork. Most definitely the Hawks' heroic twelfth man on the day.

A spot of half-time forking at Havant & Waterlooville.
Other than the previously-shown roller at Romsey Town, that was that for the second half of this season, excepting a short trip to Bognor Regis Town last weekend for their play-off final against Dulwich Hamlet (in front of over 2,000 fans!).

A big rusty hot dog at Bognor Regis Town.
Bognor's equipment was safely locked away in a compound, but by peering through the slats, I could see a big rusty roller protected by dog patrols and anti-climbing paint. I can see why they would be so protective of this one - what a lovely specimen - a big rusty hot dog to rival the one at Moneyfields!

Caged up at Bognor Regis Town.
Their second, smaller roller was resting against the iron bars of the compound, looking lonely. Luckily, it had some training equipment to keep it company - traffic cones and those two-dimensional metal men that footballers line up in a wall to practice their curling free-kick technique.

Rickety TV tower at Bognor Regis Town.
As a bonus (and because I'm not writing a report of the Bognor match, despite it being a good 'un), the final photo is of Bognor Regis Town's rickety TV tower. This is very similar to the one at Havant & Waterlooville, built of scaffolding, string and air. Nice floodlights at Bognor too!

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