Death on a roller

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Richard
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Death on a roller

Post by Richard »

I’ve just seen a poster for a newish film called “On Chesil Beach”. (I probably won’t see it because I didn’t think much of Ian McEwan’s novel on which it is based.) The poster shows a young couple fooling around, with one pulling a roller and the other standing on top of it.

That recalled a story from CH of the dangers of rolling cricket pitches. Half a century ago each house had a very heavy roller requiring at least about five boys to move it. (Are such rollers still in existence and used in this way?) These rollers smoothed the house’s first XI pitch. It was strictly forbidden for anyone to ride on one, while it was moving, for it was alleged a young child, with a house master for a parent, was once doing so, fell off and was crushed to death. To stop such a roller quickly was impossible. It was simply far too heavy.

Is that a true story, or just a good way of preventing a dangerous practice?

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Re: Death on a roller

Post by sejintenej »

Yes, those rollers were heavy and once they were moving then stopping them as surprisingly not too hard. However, if someone had been crushed I am ce rtain we would have heard about it from multitudinous sources.

We have had mention of the boy who died after an injury playing rugger - an incident which I think most people know about though I suspect the details, as told by Dr Scott, would be less well known

As for a master's child if not a pupil would they have been anywhere near a moving roller and there were relatively few master's children who were pupils to be crushed.
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J.R.
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Re: Death on a roller

Post by J.R. »

I remember those rollers well. Framework handle front and back which could act as a sort of see-saw for smaller kids.

I do remember stories of a boy being killed but think it was probably more of a 'story' that 'truth, probably to deter pupils from playing the fool.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Death on a roller

Post by michael scuffil »

As for a master's child if not a pupil would they have been anywhere near a moving roller

I think quite probably they might, if only for a lark. Safety in every area of life was much less important than today. The number of road deaths per registered vehicle was about 12 times what it is today. After the 1952 crash at the Farnborough air show, when about 30 people died, the flying display was restarted within an hour.

Having said which, I never heard this story, and I doubt its truth.
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J.R.
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Re: Death on a roller

Post by J.R. »

michael scuffil wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:11 pm
As for a master's child if not a pupil would they have been anywhere near a moving roller

I think quite probably they might, if only for a lark. Safety in every area of life was much less important than today. The number of road deaths per registered vehicle was about 12 times what it is today. After the 1952 crash at the Farnborough air show, when about 30 people died, the flying display was restarted within an hour.

Having said which, I never heard this story, and I doubt its truth.

I remember that well. I was 5 and living in Farnham, not so very far from Farnborough and I was in our garden. The sound was incredible.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Death on a roller

Post by postwarblue »

I and another, being finally determined to be no good at cricket, were deputed to go out early and mark the house pitches. This gave us, both by then Deputy Grecians, the afternoon to spend in more worthwhile intellectual pursuits than idly watching grass grow to no purpose whatsoever. After two years of this at the age of 17 we were deemed large and fit enough to be promoted to rolling so I can attest that two were sufficient to do this. It was more arduous and just as pointless as in any other way facilitating the mindless timewaster of cricket, but we still had our afternoons off which is what mattered. I have no recollection of any tales of fatality.
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Re: Death on a roller

Post by sejintenej »

Thinking about it in reality, it was very hard to push/pull those rollers. imagine it coming up against a child's foot on top of the grass - the roller would have been blocked so the concept of getting it over an abdomen or skull seems a fantasy.

Otherwise we would be considering deliberate killing by a considerable team of pushers and pullers.
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Re: Death on a roller

Post by J.R. »

sejintenej wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:14 pm
Thinking about it in reality, it was very hard to push/pull those rollers. imagine it coming up against a child's foot on top of the grass - the roller would have been blocked so the concept of getting it over an abdomen or skull seems a fantasy.

Otherwise we would be considering deliberate killing by a considerable team of pushers and pullers.
Drugs have always been a problem in sport !

:roll:
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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