Category Archives: Charity News

The latest updates for Grace’s Guide….

The Automotor Journal

Automotor Journal2Presently, with kind help of the IMechE Information and Library Service, we’re focussing our attention on digitising editions of The Automotor Journal.

The  first volume of ‘The Automotor and Horseless Vehicle Journal’ was published in 1896. Monthly journals were published until April 1902 when similarly to The Engineer and Engineering publications, weekly journals were produced as ‘The Automotor Journal’.

These journals are rich with informative and factual literature, going into extraordinary detail into 21st century motor vehicle, cycle and locomotive history.

Please keep checking back to our archives on a regular basis for more additions.

Registering with Grace’s Guide – Updates April 2018

Book Study 2

We are introducing a small charge to access and view our digitized pdf files.

This month we are updating the way you’ll be able to view and download our digital material so we can continue to digitize and publish invaluable historical publications.

Presently, to view our digitized pdfs you are required to sign in and become a member of Grace’s Guide, but as from 16th April 2018 in addition to this, we will also be introducing a small charge to view this material.

Why are we changing the way you will be able to access digital publications on Grace’s Guide?

This is something we have been putting off for as long as we can, but due to unavoidable costs for the upkeep of Grace’s Guide, we are now asking our members for a small cost to access our digitized material. The price we’re asking won’t only essentially contribute to the administration and technical cost of Grace’s Guide, but will also enable our small team to continue to increase the amount of information published.

How much will I have to pay to access pdfs on Grace’s Guide?

There are three different payment options to choose from once you’ve registered with us.

These options are as follows:

5 pdf files for £4.95

25 pdf files for £12.95

60 pdf files for £24.95

Once you’ve selected and paid for your payment option, you can download pdfs up to your specified limit at anytime within the following three month period. After three months your credits will automatically expire, but if you reach your download limit before your three months are up, you’ll be able to pay for more pdfs anytime. To view your download status, refer to your ‘Account Status’ on the drop-down menu at the top-right of the page where you’d normally log-in.

Once I’ve viewed/ downloaded a pdf, will I be charged again if I re-visit it next time I login?

No, your pdf download limit will not be affected if you view the same pdf more than once. Your pdf download limit counts every new pdf you ever view, so you will technically only ever pay to view it once, then you can come back to the same file freely anytime.

All pdf files downloaded are free for you to store and print for you own personal use, but please be aware you are not licensed to share or resell all or any part of them.

If you have any problems or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form, or use the problem form to raise an issue.

Thank-you for all your on-going support.

Restoration Success in Tasmania

Marshall 2

Last year we were contacted by the St Helens Lions Club of Tasmania asking for advice on the restoration of a Marshall traction engine. With no ID number or clues to it’s original appearance, this engine being one of only two left in the Southern Hemisphere, became part of the Lions Centennial Project.

Marshall 1Originally used at a local sawmills – photo taken March 2017.

Marshall 3 Engine after undercoat and ready to be painted -  photo taken June 2017.

Marshall 4

Marshall Mayor


Now, and after a year’s hard work it sits proudly outside the local history room and information centre. On Friday 16th March the Mayor of St Helens cut the ribbon and uncovered the plaque that has been put in place to commemorate the fantastic work done to bring the engine back to it’s former glory.

Although some areas of it’s working life remains a mystery, it’s a lovely thought to know that a piece of Gainsborough industrial history has not only survived, but been lovingly restored on the other side of the world from where it originated.


How you can support Grace’s Guide

10th Anniversary  Banner

As a non-profit organisation, we rely wholly on the generosity of the people who appreciate and support the project. Without donations and sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible to publish the amount of historical content we do everyday.

There are many costs we have to inccur to keep Grace’s Guide online, from the running of the website, to the digital software and technology we invest in to reproduce digitized publications.

If you enjoy using Grace’s Guide and would like to see it continue,        please consider donating to us.

Whatever you can afford to give will make a great difference and will go straight to the upkeep of the website and maintenance of the archives. Read more on how your donations help us on our Support Page.

Every day we receive numerous emails with written contributions or photographs to add to our growing digital library of Britain’s industrial past. Many of you also donate important publications, magazines and specialised publications through the post, which we are always so grateful to receive.

This year we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and we hope to continue going for many years to come.

Thank-you for your continued support.

Becoming a Member of Grace’s Guide

Book Study 2We’ve made a few changes to the way you view our digitised publications.

Now to view any of our digital pdf files, you will be prompted to register with Grace’s Guide to continue viewing the content. Registering will include entering a few personal details.

Once registered, you will be able to log in and continue to read our digital journals, and next time you visit simply log in again to view the pdfs.

This does not apply to the majority of pages and material we have on the site – only the journals we have digitised and made available in pdf format. So you won’t have to register if you’re simply browsing through the company/ biography pages we have.

Why do I have to register to view the pdfs?

We’re asking readers to register to view the pdf files simply to keep a track on which digitised journals/ documents are being found and used. This better helps us understand how to improve and develop the website by analysing which digital journals are being read or downloaded and how frequently they’re being viewed.

Why is Grace’s Guide collecting my details?

When you register to become a member of Grace’s Guide for the first time, you will be asked to enter you name, surname and country of origin.  We use this information to communicate with you when we send you your registration email for example, and for us to analyse the scope of our project.

We will never share your details with a third party or send you unnecessary advertising or unwanted mail.

Every month, Grace’s Guide attracts half a million page views – and every day, around 4,000 visitors. Every day our team of volunteers works hard to update the site so that every time you log in, there is more historical information to discover.

If you have any problems or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form, or use the problem form to raise an issue.

Thank-you for all your support.


Grace’s Guide Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

10th Anniversary  Banner

 This month we celebrate a decade of archiving Britain’s industrial heritage.

The team at Graces Guide has spent the past 10 years collecting fascinating extracts from The Engineer, The Engineering Times, Mechanics Magazines and The Autocar to name a few, preserving them digitally for many years to come.

See our archive page here.

Our online archive includes over 186,000 images and over 122,000 web pages, on Britain’s industrial achievements, companies and engineering pioneers. The project also boasts 40,000 pages of biographical notes and over 500 industrial categories for researchers, academics and enthusiasts alike, to explore.

Im20140416-AIT                                              Andrew Tweedie – Founder and Editor

Grace’s Guide originated in March 2007 when Andrew Tweedie, founder and editor-in-chief, directed his attention to a long-term passion – industrial history. Motivated by his belief in the importance of preserving our heritage for future generations he was inspired to begin an extensive collection of historical material and publications. This new venture launched within days of the birth of his grand-daughter Grace, seemed too providential not to name the project “Grace’s Guide”.

The Engineer began publishing engineering developments and achievements in 1856 and has continued to record engineering history ever since. Sourcing these rare and early Engineer volumes to photograph and digitalise soon became a core purpose of Grace’s guide.

In 2014, the project reached an important milestone when not only did it become a registered charity, but 100 years worth of Engineer volumes had been photographed, digitalised and published online and free of charge to view and download.

There is currently no other online archive offering an entire digital run of these volumes in such an accessible way.

Many Engineer volumes were sourced from Grace’s Guide’s private collection, but many were also kindly loaned from Bristol Reference Library, The Institute of Mechanical Engineers and The Engineer (Centaur Communications).

The website attracts some 4,000 visitors each day and around half a million page views a month. Our team of volunteers help contribute to the website daily, so there are constant updates and new information to uncover with every visit.

Thanks to a continued sponsorship from Applegate Marketplace, Grace’s Guide will continue to provide people worldwide, from every generation, a free online resource to explore Britain’s rich industrial past.

Andrew Tweedie comments:

“We would like to thank all of those who have contributed information and publications to Graces Guide during these past 10 years. Without sponsorship and donations, we would not have been able to build such a vast encyclopaedia of industrial history. It’s wonderful to know there are so many people out there who share our dedication to maintain Britain’s great industrial history. As we look forward to the next 10 years we hope to expand the project by including more digitised publications and welcoming more contributors.”

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Can you help us identify this family?

A  few years ago, we received an e-mail  with the attached photographs of this family supposedly relating to Beans Industries Ltd – Engineers and Ironfounders of Tipton in Staffordshire.

They are captioned ‘The Bean family’ in our records and the photographs are noted down as being between 1937-38, although we’re almost sure these dates can’t be accurate for both photographs.

If they are members of the Bean family, who are they? Can you help?

Please contact the editor if you have any information for us.





As a non-profit organisation, we rely wholly on the generosity of the people who appreciate and support the project. Without donations and sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible to publish the amount of historical content we do everyday.

Already this year we have received numerous e-mails with attached photographs, written work and links from you, to help further the content on our webpages. Some of you have also been donating  magazines, books, and company publications in the post, which we are always very grateful to receive.

Thank-you for your continued support. With your help we can continue to preserve and grow the project. And remember to keep checking back to the website as we add new information daily.

If you think you can help in anyway, we want to hear from you. Please see our Wanted page or send us an e-mail.

British Industrial History in Sculpture

Look out for these striking works of art around the UK, built by the English sculptor Robert Erskine. Combining a passion for engineering and industry with his talent for creative thinking, he has fabricated his own masterpieces around the country to represent our country’s great industrial achievements.

1. Dead Blow (2011) in Openshaw Manchester, UK. To represent the Nasmyth steam hammer first produced on this site.

Nasmyth Hammer 1Nasmyth Hammer 2

 James Nasmyth with the steam hammer he invented. Picture taken in 1856.

2.  Roll Down (1996) in Bilston, Midlands, UK.  Sited on the former Bilston Steel Works No. 1 Furnace. To represent the rolling process of a steel bloom and reflect the thriving steel industry of the Black Country.

British Steel 1

British Steel 2

Nile Street steel works, Birmingham. Picture taken c1905-20.

3. Gloria (1996) in Canley, Coventry, UK. Situated on the historic site of the Triumph cars facility. To mark the centenary of the British car industry and tribute the technique of the wheeling machine used to curve body panels.



An example of an advert for the Triumph Renown showing the signature curves of the wheel arches.

Visit the sculptor’s official website for his full portfolio.