Episode 55

ON A ROLL with Richard Robinson and Gary Barwell (Republished)

PODCAST produced on behalf of Autoguide Ltd, first published January 2022 - moved to Inside Agri-Turf channel to centralise all published episodes (May 2023)

A familiar sight at cricket grounds around the world, the Auto-Roller manufactured by Autoguide Equipment Ltd, reached its century in 2021.

Hand-built by craftsmen at the company's Wiltshire factory, the Auto-Roller is the choice of many leading groundsmen at Test and County grounds for the upkeep and preparation of their playing surface.

(0:41) The podcast traces the development of turf machinery used in cricket, starting with the invention of the lawnmower (as we know it) in 1832.

(05:20) Host Chris Biddle finds out more about the history of the Auto-Roller from Richard Robinson, the founder of Autoguide, and discovers more about the lengths the company goes to ensure comfort, ease of use and reliability.

(15:40) Chris talks winter rolling regimes with Auto-Roller user Gary Barwell, head groundsman at Edgbaston, home of County Champions Warwickshire CCC and famous Test Match venue. Gary also talks about the scrutiny of the pitch during a game, whether the captains often ask for his advice and why he feels that a variation in pitches around the country gives the game energy and spectator appeal.


Further information: Auto-Roller website

About the Podcast

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The farm and grass machinery business

About your host

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Chris Biddle

Chris is an experienced journalist specialising in the farm and grass machinery market. He has worked for a major tractor manufacturer and been a managing director of a farm and grass machinery dealership in the West Country.
In 1988, he launched trade magazine, Service Dealer followed by TurfPro in 1998, selling both titles to Land Power Publications in 2015.
He was editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) from 2008 until 2019 and is the recipient of the 2020 IAgrE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Land-Based industry.
Chris lives in Salisbury with his wife Trish, and is an avid cricket fan and member of the MCC for over 55 years.