Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,361 pages of information and 233,518 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of Denton, Manchester.
The firm was first established under the name of W. J. Bates and Co in 1897 with a small capital, and was increased at different periods to about £70,000.
In 1919 Mr Scholes Senr., one of the founders and a Director of the National Gas Engine Co, Ashton-under-Lyne, purchased the business on the death of Mr. Bates.
Directors included: Walter Scholes (Chairman and Managing Director), Major Walter Neville Scholes (also a Managing Director), George Bleakley (Commercial Manager), William T. Hill, James Holt, George H. Roberts, Herbert F. Tattersall.
Major W. N. Scholes and Mr. G. Bleakley, the other two salaried Directors, were employed from their commencement in business with the National Gas Engine Co. Through the personal connections of the above, several well-established agents abroad were obtained whose united pre-war trade would necessitate a considerably larger works than was then existing, and for this reason and the favourable developments through the same means of the home trade, extensions to the works were commenced immediately on taking over, and were completed. A new design of engine was made entirely, and the works re-organised. The Capital spent on this, while increasing the assets of the Company had depleted the cash resources and caused financial unrest for the company by 1923.
1920 - Description of Victoria Ironworks. "The Works have not long been erected and are brick built, modern in design and layout, and comprise large lofty Machine and Erecting Shops with steel gantries for overhead cranes, Pattern Shop and Pattern Stores, General Stores, Brass Foundry and 3-Storey Block of General and Private Offices. The land forming the site of the Works is freehold, subject to chief rents amounting to £64. 19. 4 per annum. In addition to the Works Buildings, there are three cottages producing a gross annual Rental of £31.4.0. In arriving at our figure we have not included the land used as a yard for packing cases in Inman Street, this being held only on yearly tenancy. We value the foregoing land, buildings and cottages at the sum of £20,050." - F. S. Airey Entwistle and Co 12th January, 1920.
"The Works are laid out for the production of small and medium power gas and oil engines and semi-diesel engines. The Departments comprise large pattern shop, Pattern Stores, Machine, Erecting and testing shops, Tool room, Tool stores, small Iron Foundry, Brass Foundry, finishing shop, General and Drawing Offices, stores, etc." - F. S. Airey Entwistle and Co 15th April, 1920.
1921 Advertised a horizontal four-stroke engine from 2.5 to 30 hp. 
1923 The company had many agents abroad, and they were of exceptional value to the firm, being long established in this class of business, and many took over the agency through the personal connection with Mr. Scholes during his period with the National Gas Engine Co, their regular pre-war trade being very considerable. Previous to the present Management taking over this business, most of the Trade was shipping. In the last few years, although general depression has restricted the full development, many engines had been sold in important centres where their successful running "should bring further orders when business revives." Particularly in this the case with Gas Companies for Gas Engines. With regard to the semi-Diesel Engine, which since the reduction in the price of Oil seemed to have a great future at home, whereas in the past nearly all were shipped abroad, during the last 18 months, several engines were installed at home in good centres, and are running well.
Scotland: - Barclay, Mackay and Co, 70, Wellington Street, Glasgow.
France: - R. de Prez-Crassier, 90, Rue d'Amsterdam, Paris. (Late Agent for National Gas Engine Co).
Belgium: - Usines de Keukelaere, 151, Rue de Bruxelles Gand.
Portugal: - Jayma da Costa, 16, Rua dos Correeiros, Lisbon.
Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia: - R. McHaffie, 110, Calea, Victoriel, Bucarest.
India: - J. E. Minnitt, 65-68, Great Western Buildings, Apollo Str, Bombay.
Burma: - Smith, Smith and Co, 104 West George Str, Glasgow.
Ceylon: - Eastern Produce and Estates Co, London address - Mincing Lane House, 59, Eastcheap, London, E. C. 3. and at Colombo.
Western Australia: - Frank R. Perrot, 883, Hay Street, Perth.
Australia (other states and New Zealand): - Armstrong-Holland, 4, Bridge Street, Sydney.
Malay States: - G. W. Wilson and Co, 110-112, Belfield St, Ipoh, Perak.
China: - Jardine, Matherson and Co, Hong Kong and 3, Lombard Street, London, EC3.
Argentina: - A. G. Pruden and Co, 333, Callo, Peru, Buenos Aires.
The following is a description of the company's engines by the company itself stated in 1923:
"The general work is the production of high-class Gas and Oil Engines. They compete favourably in design with the best maker, say Crossley's National and Ruston Hornsby's which is proved by the fact that we general obtain prices equal to these makers." (1923)
The general design of our Gas Engine apart from the general clean design, we claim has the following advantages:-
Diesel Engines Main advantages included: Complete Scavenging and System of Governing.
"We have recently introduced a cold starting semi-diesel engine, in conformity with more recent practise. We already have a few of these running in England. They are doing well, and promise to give improved results particularly with reference to easy starting and low fuel consumption." (1923)
These are of the general Vapouriser type, built on the same lines as our other engines, and also the Electric Ignition Paraffin Engine.
|Company Name||Company Address||Engine Type Supplied|
|Leicester Corporation||Sewage Works Desford||2-140.BHP Semi-Diesel Engines|
|C. R. Smith and Sons||Britannia Flour Mills, Portslade-by-sea, Brighton||140. BHP do|
|Frodingham Ironstone Mines||Scunthorpe||120 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Gavan Electric Light and Power Co||Gavan, Ireland||120. BHP do / 50. BHP do|
|E. McCreanor and Sons (Brickmakers)||Newton Heath, Manchester||130 BHP do/8 BHP Gas Engine/10 BHP do|
|Holmfirth Electricity Works||Holmfirth||120 BHP Gas Engine|
|Southport Crystal Ice Co||Virginia Street, Southport||110 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine|
|F. Tempest||Creft Shed, Sutten-in-Craven, nr Keighley||120 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Kendal Handle Co||Timber Turners County Mills, Kendal||105 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Harrison and Sons||Joiners Square Mills, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent||84 BHP Gas Engine|
|Swan Engineering Works||Barry Dock||80 BHP Gas Engine|
|Osmond Brothers||Quarry Owners, Ely, near Cardiff||70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|D. Jenkins and Sons||Ship Owners Port Talbot||70 BHP Gas Engine|
|Ashton-u-Lyne Sewage Works||Dukinfield||70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|N. C. Joseph St. Eloi Works||Stratford-on-Avon||50 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Greenhalg and Co||Ashley Street, Burnley||70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Morris and Sons||Welsh Flannel Mfgs, Llanidloes||70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Fife Laundry||39, Southville, London, SW||70 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine|
|Abel Lees and Sons||Wheatfield Ironworks, Bardsley nr. Ashton-u-Lyne||60 BHP Gas Engine|
|J. Helme and Co||Halton Hills, Halton, nr Lancaster||55 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine|
|A. Malkin and Sons||Standon Hill, Eccleshall, Staffs.||65 BHP do.|
|T. Poulter and Sons||Globe Works, Rupert St, Whitechapel, London||50 BHP do|
|Apex Inflator Co||Thapex Works, Aldridge Rd, Perry Barr, Birmingham||44 BHP Gas Engine|
|Shaw, Sons and Co (Linthwaite)||Lees and Grosvenor Mills, Linthwaite||44 BHP do.|
|W. Murphy and Sons||New Street, Bantry||42 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|Kilmurry Co-operative Society||Kilmurry, Ireland||40 BHP do|
|Westrup-Ayling and Young||Roydon Mills, Essex||40 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine|
|Middleton Brothers||Hague Quarries, Broadbottom||40 BHP do|
|Desborough Shoe Co||Desborough||36 BHP Gas Engine|
|P. W. Spencer||Giggleswick Lime Works, Giggleswick, Nr Settle||36 BHP Gas Engine and Plant|
|J. Rogers and Co||Virgil Street, Cornbrook||36 BHP Gas Engine|
|National Glove Co||Matlock, Bath||34 BHP do|
List of Gasworks Supplied