A HISTORIC steamroller responsible for building half the roads in Clacton is expected to fall into the ownership of a preservation society.

The Clacton Queen, a Garrett 10-ton compound light steamroller built in 1922, was originally purchased by developer Zachariah Fairclough.

It was put to use during the early 20th Century by Clacton Urban District Council - the forerunner to Tendring Council.

The roller fell into disuse and decay during the middle part of the century, and was bought by Tendring Council in the 1990s at auction for £5,000.

In 1995 the Clacton Queen Steam Preservation Society was founded by enthusiasts, who set about restoring the machine to working order and often display her around the town.

The society's efforts have been supported by the council, which offered free use of the Queen and storage space at its depot.

The Queen is now in need of some major repairs which the society has been fundraising for.

The society is looking to take on ownership of the roller so it can apply for grants to assist with the maintenance, while the council needs to increase its use of the depot site.

Council officials and the society have reached a deal which includes the sale of the Clacton Queen to the society for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will be considered by councillors in late April.

A council spokesman said: “We believe the deal struck represents a fair recognition of the investment and support of the council and the investment and effort of the society."

Peter Williams, Chairman of the Clacton Queen Steam Preservation Society, added: “We are delighted we have been able to reach a deal with the council.

“We can then move forward with further fundraising and get the old girl back on the road.

“The members of the society believe the Queen is an important piece of history. We are determined to keep her in local ownership and restore her as a fully working roller.”

Although Mr Williams previously said the roller is valued between £20,000 and £25,000, the price of the sale will remain confidential until the deal is agreed.