It is with regret that I record the death of Paul Restall of Purbrook, the RRA Motor Roller Spares Officer, on 29 December 2007, aged 61. He had been unwell since the early summer. I knew Paul from the early 1970's and he was one of those people who could and would turn his hand to anything. He was proud that he had been a Royal Navy Artificer, which had given him a good training as a shipwright. I have to take some responsibility for getting Paul actively involved in preservation. I keep my Steam Roller on a farm and in 1982 one of the sons at the farm bought an Aveling-Barford A Series 2.5 ton petrol roller. The radiator was badly fost damaged and Paul, who was always willing to do anyone a good turn, succeeded in making it water tight. The outcome of this was that the roller was offered to Paul if he wanted to buy, which he did.
Paul joined the RRA in 1985 and became very involved, attending most AGM's with his wife Maureen. After obtaining the A Series, Paul rescued an Aveling-Barford 'Victor' pavement roller from a scrapyard near Southampton and this was restored, also having a purpose-built trailer made for it. He went on to buy an 8 ton Aveling-Barford DY oil-engined roller from the Midlands. He drove it to one rally in as-found condition but found it very slow on the road. This roller has since been almost totally restored. He acquired a second 'Victor' roller and another A Series roller from a local sports club. These two were awaiting attention at the time of his passing.
Paul will be sadly missed, most of all by his family and was evident by the large number of people at his funeral, including some RRA members. Even now I find it hard to believe that he is not at the end of a telephone for a chat or offering advice or help in some form.