NOSTALGIA: Mr Garibaldi’s dream toy

Robert Garibaldi stands in front of his roller.
Robert Garibaldi stands in front of his roller.

Robert Garibaldi stands proudly in front of his new favourite toy.

Growing up, the garage owner from Weedon had a liking for steam traction engines and he dreamed of sitting at the controls of a heavyweight giant and steaming his way along the roads.

Here Robert is pictured with his then 23-year-old Aveling-Barford steam roller which he bought for £700.

It was one of the last steam-driven rollers to be built and there were only about six of its kind still in running at the time the photograph was taken in 1969.

Robert’s roller had been used for 12 years by Tipton Corporation and had been in the hands of collectors after it was retired.

The one and only time Robert took his engine out was to a traction rally at Stanford Park.

It took him five hours to cover the 15-mile journey because the tank on the engine had a capacity of 50 gallons of water and it required constant re-filling.

“You have to keep your eye open for streams and water in ditches,” Robert told the Express.

Not content with owning the one, Robert confessed to having his eye on a 1916 Burrell road locomotive which he hoped to purchase in the future.