Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,863 pages of information and 230,109 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
January 1888.
June 1888. Mineral Wagons.
Train step.
September 1913.
February 1929.

of Bristol Rd, Gloucester

1860 Company founded [1]. The Company was first incorporated as the Gloucester Wagon Co.

1888 Public company. The company was re-registered on 14 September, as Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.

1906 Together with Baldwins Ltd formed steel works at Port Talbot, which were incorporated as the Port Talbot Steel Co, to ensure supplies of steel[2]

1908 The company is also largely interested in steel works at Port Talbot.

1913 One of 15 established companies involved in manufacture and hiring-out of railway rolling stock[3]

1914 Railway carriage and rolling stock builders. Employees 1,900. [4]

1916 The Wagon company exchanged its shares in Port Talbot Steel for shares in Baldwins[5]

1918 Relinquished its repair operations. A new independent company, Wagon Repairs, was founded to acquire the wagon-repairing business of various wagon-building firms including the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co was a major shareholder in Wagon Repairs.

1920 Gave up its wagon hiring operations and sold its interests in this activity[6]. At some point Gloucester Wagon Hiring Co became a subsidiary.

From 1922 the company was closely associated with Alfred Danks Ltd., a local engineering firm which that year purchased the Emlyn Works and closed the Kingsholm foundry.

1929 The wagon works purchased Alfred Danks.

1930 The wagon works narrowly avoided financial disaster when a railway-wagon hiring business which it controlled went into liquidation.

1930 Set up Gloucester Foundry Ltd., to run the Emlyn Works, from which the company obtained malleable iron castings. Had a large interest in this company.

1931 Following the appointment of Harold Leslie Boyce, M.P. for Gloucester, as chairman the wagon works were reorganized

Late 1930s: financial recovery was helped by orders for re-armament projects and from the London Passenger Transport Board.

1950 Acquired William Gardner and Sons[7]

1951 Philblack Ltd was an associated company[8]

1953 Acquired the remaining shares in Hatherley Works[9]

1958 Acquired Wright and Marvin and transferred the staff to the Gardner factory[10]

1959 Acquired Joseph Kaye and Sons, railway carriage and domestic lock makers[11]

1961 Manufacturers of railway rolling stock and general engineers. 1,250 employees. [12]

1961 With effect from 29 December, Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co was acquired by Winget of Rochester, Kent. The new parent company was called Winget Gloucester Ltd.

The Gloucester subsidiary was renamed Gloucester Engineering Co and a new company called Winget Ltd was established at Rochester.

1962 On 1 April, the trading activities of William Gardner and Sons and E. Boydell and Co, a Winget subsidiary, which operated under the trading name of Muir Hill, were transferred to Gloucester Engineering Co.

1963 The trading activities of Moxey were similarly transferred from 1 April, following its acquisition by Winget Gloucester Ltd.

1964 Reorganisation of the group's structure occurred with effect from 1 April - the Gloucester and Rochester works started to operate as one company, Winget Ltd[13]. To further integrate the activities of the manufacturing companies in the group, divisional boards of directors were set up responsible for the sales and engineering aspects of the operations:

1968 From 1 April, Winget Gloucester became a wholly owned subsidiary of Babcock and Wilcox.


Perhaps because the existence of the records was not known even within the company, few books or articles have been published. A rather slight centenary history was produced in 1960 (A History of the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, pub. Weidenfeld and Nicolson); the authors remained anonymous.

A useful account of the early history ("The Gloucester Wagon Co Ltd" by Mike Christenson) was published in nos. 6 and 7 of the British Railway Journal, 1985 and 1986.

A selection of photographs from the magnificent series kept by the company was published in 1981, as Private Owner Wagons from the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd, compiled by Keith Montague.

  • When the export orders ceased they built complete coaches.
  • The vehicles had six-cylinder Gardner engines, five speed gearboxes and Kirkstall axles.
  • These models were the first long distance diesel engined coaches that could cruise at 50mph.
  • However the bodies were not durable, 'Red and White' fitted new Duple bodies within the next few years.
  • Further PSV were not built due to a massive order for London Underground trains.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. The Times, Aug 28, 1908
  3. The Times, Sep 20, 1913
  4. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  5. The Times, Aug 02, 1916
  6. The Times, Jul 28, 1921
  7. The Times, Nov 16, 1950
  8. The Times Oct 25, 195
  9. The Times, May 20, 1953
  10. The Times, Nov 03, 1958
  11. The Times, Oct 31, 1960
  12. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  13. The Times, 1 October 1964
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris
  • [1] National Archives: A2A
  • 'Gloucester, 1835-1985: Economic development 1914-85', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 4: The City of Gloucester (1988), pp. 183-191. [2]