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 148,535 pages of information and 233,960 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lucas and Aird

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In the 1860s the Lucas Brothers collaborated with John Aird and Sons in civil engineering.

From 1870 the two families operated as three firms:

Over twenty years the various firms undertook more than seventy contracts, many on a grand scale, such as the Royal Albert and Tilbury docks schemes in the Port of London, Hodbarrow sea wall, works on the Midland, Metropolitan, and Great Eastern railways, including Liverpool Street Station, and an extensive railway system around Hull docks. Docks were also built at Portsmouth, Southampton, Newport, and Newhaven. They continued to build gasworks, with extensions at Beckton, and their waterworks involvement included Thirlmere aqueduct for Manchester, part of the Elan valley aqueduct for Birmingham, and several reservoirs for the East London Waterworks Company.

The business undertook a considerable amount of railways and docks work. Projects included stretches of the Metropolitan and District Lines in London, the Royal Albert Dock, Tilbury Docks, East and West India Docks extension, and Millom harbour in Cumbria. Overseas, the firm built the Suakin to Berber railway in Sudan. Following the death of the previous contractor (Thomas Walker), Aird's firm also completed the Manchester Ship Canal.

From 1870 the two families operated as three firms: Lucas Brothers, who carried out building works, Lucas and Aird, who carried out railway and civil engineering contracts, and John Aird and Sons, who continued to specialize in water and gas contracts.

Members of the Lucas family were brought into the business.

1886 Built the second Blackfriars Railway Bridge

1895 following the death of Sir Charles Thomas Lucas, the Lucas Brothers business and Lucas and Aird were dissolved.

The businesses were reorganised again as:

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