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British Industrial History

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Clayton Equipment Co

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1958. Motor Shop.
1958. General Assembly Shop.

of Record Works, Hatton, Derby

1931 Founded as a general engineering Company. Stanley Reid Devlin is reputed to have been the Chief Draughtsman of Clayton Carriage and Wagon Co in Lincoln, manufacturing locomotives, rail cars, transfer cars and general engineering products. When Clayton Carriage and Wagon Co ceased S. R. Devlin formed Clayton Equipment to carry on the manufacture of the goods and spare parts for the Clayton Carriage and Wagon range of equipment.

WWII During the war Devlin was seconded to run a factory producing war materials. After the war in response to the great shortage of goods, Clayton produced general and structural steelwork, farm buildings, conveyors, elevators, submerged ash conveyors, much of it as a sub-contractor to International Combustion.

1946 The Company had expanded and acquired the premises known as Record Works, Hatton, Derby. The Company continued to progress and erected new workshops, new offices and installed new machinery. Many types of locomotives and other equipment were made for export to various countries, e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Korea, and a number of diesel electric locomotives were made for British Railways as they started their modernisation programme.

In 1957 International Combustion acquired the whole of the shareholding in the Company, but Clayton continued to operate as an entirely self-contained and self-supporting unit. Clayton Equipment Co were also makers of vertical kiln cement making plant.

1958 Manufacturer of mainline locomotives. When awarded a £5M contract by British Railways for 88 mainline diesel electric locomotives, it became necessary to rent manufacturing area from International Combustion Ltd at Derby in order to meet the delivery requirement of British Railways. This was partly due to the fact that at this time the Company's effort to break into the Canadian market with the Clayton mining locomotives was beginning to show considerable success and production capacity at Hatton was inadequate to meet all the demands upon it. Following the delivery of the British Railways locomotives, a contract worth £1.75M for 10 x 2,500 hp diesel electric locomotives for Cuba was obtained whilst at the same time, the Company's sales, particularly of mining and tunnelling locomotives primarily for export, continued to increase.

1962 Product moves towards narrow gauge Locomotives. In 1962 a decision was made by British Coal that the hundreds of pit ponies would be taken out of the mines as soon as possible. It was recognised that the pony was the most efficient form of transport, requiring little maintenance and having a big drawbar pull. However because of this decision an interest was taken by British Coal in very small locomotives to replace the pony. In 1963 Clayton supplied a 2 tonne steel wheeled 7hp locomotive, several of which were subsequently put into service. These small locomotives were well received and the request then was to produce a locomotive which would negotiate a gradient steeper than 1 in 15, exceeding the limit for a steel wheeled locomotive. Clayton produced a design using rubber tyred instead of the steel wheeled locomotives, producing spectacular haulage and tractive results.

1965 Devlin retired from the company.

c1965 The first purposely designed rubber tyred locomotive was built, from that point on the rubber tyred locomotive took off and because it had achieved its purpose, which was to replace its equine counterpart, it was named the Pony Locomotive. Subsequently larger, more powerful, modernised rubber tyred locomotive were produced, and these became virtually a standard locomotive in British Coal.

1974 Introduction of the world's first Rubber Tyred Locomotive.

1979 Incorporated into the NEI group of Companies.

1989 Incorporated into Rolls-Royce group of Companies.

2005 Became an independent Company following Management Buyout.

See Also

  • 'A New Subsidiary' by S. R. Delvin M.I.Mech E. , M. I. Loco. E. from The Peak Magazine by International Combustion Ltd of Easter Number 1958 (Available in SMCL)

Sources of Information

  • [1] Clayton Equipment