Episode 1

AUTO-ROLLER: 100 NOT OUT with Richard Robinson and Gary Barwell

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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About your host

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Chris Biddle

Podcast host Chris Biddle has over 50 years industry experience having worked for a major tractor manufacturer, run a multi-branch dealership, launched two trade magazines (Service Dealer and Turf Pro), was Editor of Landwards (the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers IAgrE) from 2012 to 2019, has spoken at many industry conferences and written countless features and articles for specialist publications.
He received an industry Lifetime Achievement in 2012 and an Award for Contribution to the Landbased Sector in 2020.
He is a Fellow of the UK Institution of Agricultural Engineers and a member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.
Chris lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire with his wife Trish, and has three children and four grand-children