January 1905 saw the Wallis and Steevens 10 ton compound roller 2819 delivered to Sewards. The roller carried the name “EMPRESS OF THE SOUTH” on her motion covers. Empress was only the second compound roller Wallis had built, and was unusual in being fitted with a differential, and a roping drum. This was because the engine was really a 5hp road locomotive built up as a roller.
Wallis’s overhead valve cylinder blocks were very tall, and with the safety valves being mounted tranversely across the top, instead of down the centre line, it meant that once the brass columns to take excess steam through the roof were in place, the driver could not see very much of the road ahead!
Walter Seward bought Wallis and Steevens rollers because of their short wheelbase and left hand steering; both were considered a bonus when rolling sharp curves or narrow roads.
Initial history based on information kindly supplied by Kevin Lockyer from his articles re. Sewards of Petersfield.