the history of our local area
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|Earlestown Wagon Works 1853 - 1953|
|Written by Steven Dowd|
One hundred years ago on the ist March, 1853, the London & North Western Railway leased from Messrs. Jones S Potts a small Works known as the Viaduct Foundry, so named for its proximity to Stephenson's famous Viaduct over the St. Helens canal on the one time Liverpool Manchester Railway, and seven years later on the 11th May, 1860, they purchased the property outright for the sum of £15,000.
In this century of railway expansion and consolidation the Viaduct Works has undergone a number of changes, some major and some minor in character in keeping with the circumstances of the time and according to the general policy of its owners, but this history would not be complete without some reference to the 20 years before the LNWR took it over, since, as a factory it dates from 1833 and can therefore lay some claim to being the oldest factory on the London Midland Region of British Railways, as it came into being within three years of the opening of the first railway in the country operated as a passenger line.
The circunistances of the building by Stephenson of the Liverpool Manchester Railway and its ceremonial opening on 15th September 1830, with a procession of trains hauled by a number of locomotives, one of which was Stephenson's famous "Rocket", are too well known to require repetition here, but the fact that at Rainhill, a few miles from what is now Earlestown, the locomotive trials took place, and the first railway fatality, when Mr. Huskisson M.P. was knocked down and killed by the "Rocket" on the 15th September 1830, occurred close to what is now Newton-le-Willows station serves to illustrate that the Viaduct Works is situated in the very cradle of railway history, and has been closely connected with it from its earliest days.
The Viaduct Foundry was a small engineering works founded by Messrs. Jones Turner Evans in 1833, and amongst other products they built at least one locomotive named "Black Diamond" for use on one of the nearby Haydock Collieries, in which Evans had a proprietary interest, as well as pumping machinery for the mines. It had rail connections at the easterly end of the Sankey Viaduct, and it is asserted locally that the "Rocket" was serviced and watered in the Works; proof of this claim to fame is lacking, but recent excavations under the floor of the "Square Smithy", on the spot where the watering is said to have taken place have resealed a line of square stone blocks with cast iron rail chairs with chair bolts set in lead, presumably the early Liverpool Manchester permanent way, which lends colour to the story.
By 1853 the owners were Messrs. Jones Potts, and the Works covered about eight acres and included some 33 workers cottages, all of which were later demolished to make way for the development of the factory under railway management. The country lane giving access to the foundry was called "Pepper Alley Lane", which was later renamed Earle Street as a compliment to Mr. (later Sir) Hardmann Earle, the LNWR director under whose guidance the Company bought and developed tile Works, and whose name is also perpetuated in tile name of the township built by the LNWR close by the Works for the employees, viz., Earlestown.
Towards the end of 1852, the locomotive shops at Crewe were inadequate for the number of repairs currently required, and it was decided in January, 1853, that the Edge Hill shops, Liverpool, should concentrate wholly on locomotive work, and additional accommodation would have to be found for the operations of the Wagon Dept. of the Northern Division of the LNWR, and negotiations were entered into with Jones Potts, who were prepared to lease the foundry for two years at £650 per annum or for seven years at £600 per annum. It was stated that there was accommodation for building 1000 wagons and 50 engines per annum, and the premises to be let included "one 24 horse engine, one 18 horse engine, 40 Smiths' fires, one large hooping furnace, one foundry, three cupolas, one brass foundry, gas apparatus, one office and drawing room, warehouse, dining room for 200 men and stable for eight horses". The tenancy was approved on 12th February, 1853, and the lease of the property dates from ist March, 1853, At the end of seven years' lease the property was bought for £15,000, roughly equivalent to the cost of purchasing and installing a modern wagon wheel tyre turning lathe.
Before closing the chapter on pre-railway ownership, it is interesting to record a labour dispute which illustrates vividly the treatment meted out to the factory workers of 100 years and more ago, and serves to underline the progress in humane management and consultation with the staff which has taken place in the intervening years.
The recorded facts are that in November, 1846, Jones & Potts attempted to introduce into the Works a number of partly skilled workmen, with the intention that they should be trained by the craftsmen already in their employ, with a view to paying the newcomers when trained at a lower rate of pay than the craftsmen who had served an apprenticeship to their trade. The craftsmen who were members of a 'trade society' objected and served notices on the owners, refusing to work with the trainees and threatening to withdraw' their labour, and they also posted 'picquets' to prevent 'loyal' workmen from entering the Works.
Police action followed and on the 26th Noveniber "about a dozen mechanics, between 12:0 and 2:0 am, were taken in custody at Newton-in Makerfield (Newton-le-Willows). They were residing in different cottages and the greater number were in bed. They were all of them peaceable and quiet men and of good character. A summons would have brought them at once, but it was thought best to take them by warrant. They were handcuffed and packed in omnibuses and taken to Warrington."
The case, which included 26 indictments, was heard at the South Lancashire Assizes on the 2nd April, 1847, more than four months after their arrest, when nine were found guilty and the remainder not guilty. Unfortunately there is no record of the sentences inflicted.
LNWR PERIOD 1853--1923
Turning now to the 100 years of railway ownership, and reviewing the growth of the Works and the activities carried on within its walls, there are three distinct phases which can clearly be discerned -
From 1853 to date there have been ten Works Superintendents and one Works Manager, as the post of the Officer in charge of the Works is now designated as under -
It is appropriate to deal in greater detail with the principal activities which took place during the periods of the successive Superintendents related to the three phases referred to previously.
When the foundry was taken over by the LNWR Co. in 1853, and additional staff was transferred from Ordsall Lane, Manchester, the expansion 'began, and apart from the additional Shops which were constructed, it was necessary to provide housing accommodation adjacent to the Works, and so the township now known as Earlestown in the Urban District of Newton-le Willows began to take shape.
The development of the Works under the three owners since 1853 is clearly shown on the inside back cover, the over-all increase to date being from 8 acres in 1853 to a total of 36 acres in 1953, of which 14 acres is covered shop area, while the Institute recreational grounds opposite the main frontage of the Works accounts for another six acres. Much of the ground on which the Works now stands is built up; the southerly boundaries are the Liverpool and Manchester main line and the Warrington and St. Helens canal at the foot of the tip, and Earle Street on the north.
The rapid expansion of the Works under L&NW Rly ownership was begun by Mr. Owen Owens and continued by Mr. Emmett, under whom practically three quarters of the Shops in existence to-day were built, although some of them have been put to several uses since that time. In this connection it is of interest to note that the main Wagon Shops as built by Mr. Emmett proved adaptable in later years, when modern progressive systems of manufacture and repair were introduced to increase production without any major alteration beipg necessary in their construction. As soon as Mr. Owen Owens took over the Works orders for new wagons were placed on the Works, the first being for " 300 wagons to be built with spring buffers on the last improved principle".
To accommodate the work a new wagon shed was authorised early in 1854, additional land already having been purchased adjacent to the long Smithy, and land was also purchased for the future erection of 200 cottages for the men employed at Newton Wagon Works as it was then called.
It is on record that the majority of the personnel transferred from Ordsall Lane were Wesleyan Methodists who found no place of worship available near the Works and had perforce to attend religious services at Burtonwood, a small village two miles to the south west. The difficulty was overcome for a time by Mr. Owen Owens making available a room in the factory for Sunday worship, and this continued for a period until alterations in the Works made it impossible to continue, and alternative accommodation was found until the present Wesleyan Church was built at Earlestown in 1867, of which Mr. Owen Owens is recorded as "one of the foundation stones", and in which he took an active interest in the Sunday School.
In April 1854 the purchase of fire engines was first proposed, and in June of that year the erection of the house which later became known as Earle Cottage was approved as a residence for Mr. Owen Owens; also in the same month it is interesting to note that an instruction was given that in all renewals wagons were to be fitted with spring buffers.
and for the second half of the year
A total of 1552 rail vehicles and ii road vehicles.
The production of new vehicles varied with the orders placed on the Works which were also at that time engaged on heavy repairs to wagons, and the manufacture of wheels, iron and brass castings and wrot iron parts, not only for use in the Works but for dispatch to the repair depots and out-stations in the northern district which, at that time, came under the jurisdiction of the Works Superintendent, who was responsible to the Board of Directors, through the Locomotive Engineering Committee, at whose meetings he attended, and which met regularly at Crewe, Wolverton and Earlestown in rotation. This system of control continued until the Grouping in 1923.
The full extent of the activities at Earlestown and district are clearly indicated in the first half-yearly report for 1865, which was as follows -
Later in the year a proposal to fill in the ground to the canal and so permit the size of the Works to be doubled was considered.
A serious fire occurred in the Stores in July 1866, causing damage estimated at £1000 - £1500, which was attributed to the spontaneous combustion of oily waste, and the sum of £45 was distributed to the staff who assisted in extinguishing it as some recognition of their services.
Mr. J . Watson Emmett now came on the scene in succession to Mr. Owen Owens, and alniost the first thing he was faced with was a wholesale reduction in the building programme which resulted in 124 of the staff being discharged. Fortunately this phase was not of long duration, and by January iS6g, orders had been received to build 1560 wagons.
In the interim the triangular Smithy was found to have an unsafe roof, and on Mr. Emmett's recommendation in December, 1867, it was decided to pull the building down to give more yard space, and at the same time he recommended the addition of one bay to be added to the foundry as an additional Smithy.
The pace at which the Works began to develop under Mr. Emmett is shewn by the following extracts from the Minutes of the Northern Section of the Locomotive Engineering Committee -
By this time the personnel employed in the Works had appreciably increased, and the 6o cottages so far built with two families housed in each were insufficient to meet the housing requirements and another 50 were authorised.
The growing community and the need for some local centre for relaxation and recreation was recognised, and in June, 1873, plans were approved for a two storied building to serve as a dining room for the staff on the ground floor, and a library and reading rooni on the upper floor, to be built close to the Works. This building was opened late in 1877, when the Viaduct Institute came into being, and an arrangement was made for the whole of the personnel in the Works to make a small weekly contribution from their wages; 1d per week for workmen rated over 10/- per week and 1/2d per week for those under, as a membership fee which entitled them to enjoy the anienities provided. This same building was also used as an early technical school for apprentices employed in the Works until the Modern Technical School at Newton-le-Willows was built.
Certain items of interest technically occurred during the period of Mr. Emmett's Superintendence.
In April 1870, it is recorded that Mr. Emnniett recommended that hollow axles on wagons be replaced at once due to the number of accidents.
In July 1875, Mr. Emmett proposed that a 'lip' should be rolled on tyres as an additional means of securing them to the wheel centres and to relieve the strain on the rivits. He was instructed to confer with Mr. Webb, Superintendent at Crewe, and in August, 1875, authority was given for a machine, costing £645 to be purchased for the new method of fastening wheels.
In December, 1882 the Gedge type of coupling for wagons was tried out on 20 wagons built at Earlestown Works, and four months later full licence to use the coupling on LNWR wagon stock was agreed.
The importance of Earlestown Works as the principal wagon constructing and repairing works on the LNWR was recognised in 1895, when the Works was visited by the International Railway Congress on the 28th June 1895, and the extract below of the leaflet printed for the occasion gives a clear picture of the factory as it then was.
The Luncheon was provided in the upper room of the Institute which was suitably garnished for the occasion.
The personnel employed in the Works in 1901 was approximately 2,000, and the capacity at this time is reported to have been 4,000 new wagons per annum, 13,000 heavy repairs, 200 - 300 new horse drawn vehicles of various types for the cartage department as well as the production of new and repaired details in the forges and foundries for use in the factory and at the outstations attached to Earlestown.
The principal Shops were spacious and well lit in accordance with the standards of the time. The steam driven machinery was beginning to be replaced by electrically operated machines at this period and two Willan's Triple Expansion engines driving dynamos for shop lighting and the operation of some of the machines such as lathes, drills, punching machines and wagon traversers (moving platforms for moving wagons to the shops) were already at work.
Mr. Emmett retired in 1903 after a reign of 36 years at Earlestown, and it is largely owing to his foresight, ability and energy that the Viaduct Works, as it is known locally, achieved such an importance in the railway world and has since been able to adapt itself so readily to the changing needs of the times.
Before turning to twentieth century Earlestown, some account should be given of a social event of great importance to the locality, which used to take place in the 80's and 90's at irregular intervals to commemorate some outstanding happening. This was known as the Viaduct Ball, and considerable dislocation must have resulted in the Works on these occasions as it was the custom to convert one of the wagon shops, the present 'C' Shop, into a ballroom by laying a dance floor, erecting a dais for the band and retiring rooms for the guests, as well as a refreshment buffet. One account of these festivities says the shop was gaily decorated with bunting, flags, coats of arms and pictures of the Company's directors.
A relic of these times is a Lady's ticket to a "Grand Soiree" to be held in the Viaduct Works on Friday, 26th March, 1886, to mark the occasion of the presentation of prizes to successful students of the Science Art Classes by G. Whale Esq, J.P., Mayor of Crewe. The ticket is priced at 1/-.
The period 1903 - 1923 was not remarkable for great changes, but nevertheless steady improvement took place in keeping with production requirements, particularly in the gradual changeover from steam to electric power, and the new wagon shop, known as the White Shop, at the extreme easterly end of the Works the last extensions to the Machine & Fitting Shop and the Brass Foundry were added in 1913/14, In reinforced concrete and steel which was a departure from tradition as the remainder of the Works is built in dull red brick.
The provision of the "White" Shop equipped with two 20 ton and two 6 ton overhead travelling cranes enabled the repair of Goods Brake Vans, bogie wagons and special vehicles to be concentrated in the Shop. Also the narrow open space between the New Wagon Shop (now 'F' Shop) and the Timber Shed (now 'D' Shop) was covered over to form additional Shop space for the repair of covered goods wagons; the Shop is now known as the Arcade.
Mr. W. H. Warneford was the last Superintendent under LNWR ownership with direct responsibility in the Board, and before turning to the next phase in the history of these Works, it is fitting to comment on the great strides that had been made in the recreational facilities made available to the Works employees through the medium of the Viaduct Institute which was initiated by Mr. Emmett in 1877 when the Library and Reading Room was built.
The Institute had increased its activities during the intervening years and embraced all forms of sport, indoors and out, although football has never been played on the ground, and a pitch elsewhere in the town is used. The recreation ground of 6 acres, comprising three howling greens, three tennis courts (one grass and two hard), a first class cricket field which is also used for important athletic meetings, provides a very welcome place in which the members, and their wives and families, can relax and enjoy whatever activities may be in progress. A number of small buildings, and pavilions, allocated to the various section provide adequate amenities.
An outstanding feature of the Institute's activites is the pensioners' section, which was provided with an excellent pavilion in 1923 named "Warneford Hall", for their exclusive use which contains billiards and domino tables and plenty of chairs where those who have spent their working life in the Works can enjoy the evening of their days in the pleasant company of their contemporaries, and at the same time take an active interest in all things concerning Earlestown Works. The Works Manager is the President of the Institute and the Managing Committee formed of representatives elected by the Works personnel is under the Chairmanship of the Assistant Works Manager. The Institute continued unchanged under LMS ownership and remains a very live body and contributes in no small nieasure to the social life of the town.
GROUPING AND NATIONALISATION
Under the grouping of Main Line Railways the LNWR became one of the constituent companies forming the London Midland Sc Scottish Railway.
The full impact on the Works at Earlestown was not felt for another nine years when the rationalisation of workshop capacity which aimed at concentrating certain work at factories considered best suitet for them, and in accordance with LMS policy, resulted in all manufacture of freight rolling stock being transferred to other factories and the discontinuance of ancillary processes such as the iron and brass foundries, wheel making, stamping and rolling mill. Instead the Works became the principal LMS factory for heavy repairs to wagons and the manufacture and repair of door to door containers of all types. The repair of road vehicles, horse drawn and motor, was maintained and the manufacture of wagon laminated springs and three link couplings for the whole system was concentrated at Earlestown.
The Works itself came tinder new Management shortly after the grouping and Mr. (later Sir) Ernest Lemon became Superintendent of both Earlestown Works and Newton Heath Works, Manchester, an important carriage and wagon works hitherto owned by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.
Mr. Lemon introduced new methods in the construction of wagons at Earlestown, and standard wood framed open goods wagons were produced by mass production methods on a Prodtiction Line system. This entailed a much faster use of timber, to facilitate which the inadequate single short run overhead crane in the timber yard, adjacent to 'D' Shop, was replaced by two 10-ton overhead cranes which traversed the full length of the stack and greatly speeded up the handling of timber. He also converted the "Arcade" into a wheel assembly and wheel dismantling shop.
To provide space for the new mass production layout, the east wall of the timber shed was filled in and one length of track laid through the Shop, displacing a large quantity of stacked timber which was completely cleared at a later stage when a second road was laid in the shop. The mass production of new wagons continued for seven years, during which time 19,540 standard wood frame wagons were built.
The system is based on the adequate supply of prepared details to prearranged stages, in the course of production each vehicule under construction passing forward through the stages until it is complete, as opposed to the older method of one gang of men building the wagon completely on one site. An interesting commentary on these totally different methods is illustrated in the old photograph below, which shows a low side open wagon with a single side hand brake of the wood brake block type, which was built in 1 hr. 41 mins. on the 8th March, 1878, by the men pictured standing in the wagon.
The repairing of wagons continued on the old lines during this period, and it was not until both Mr. Lemon and his successor Mr. Smalley had gone and Mr. Anthony took over in 191, that the repair of wagons on progressive lines was begun. Mr. Anthony became Works Superintendent late in iqi, and on him fell the task of reorganising the works so that it could absorb the wagon, lorry and road motor body repair transferred from Newton Heath, which took the place of the new work lost to Earlestown.
The progressive system was applied throughout necessitating the introduction of many power-operated hand tools, both electric and compressed air, and the building of suitable staging to enable the operations to be carried out as expeditiously as possible.
The use of electric power increased greatly, and the internal movement of wagons into the Shops was carried out by shunting tractors which replaced electric capstans. The whole of the the works shunting is now done by these tractors except the placing of cripple wagons into the Yard at the east end and the removal of repaired wagons in train loads twice daily, and the shunting of the "White" Shop which is a by a steam shunting locomotive.
By 1934 the reorganisation was virtually complete, and the allocation of the various types of wagons to particular shops for repairs was as follows : -
The few steel wagon repairs were executed in the old forge or 'B' Shop at the cast end of the works, while the container construction and repair was concentrated in two shops at the west end, viz., the old foundry and boilerhouse "P' and "P1". The breaking up of wagons under the condemnation programme was also dealt with by progressive methods in a new timber and steel building, 'R' Shop, erected at the south-west end overlooking the tip and Earle cottage. By this time the Stamping Shop, Bolt Shop, Forge, Rolling Mill and the Iron and Brass Foundries had been abolished, although the names indicative of their one time activities persist to this day.
Progressive methods of manufacture were also applied in the Spring Shop where an oil fired rotary furnace accommodating eight sets of spring plates heated the plates already punched, sheared and nibbled in the 'Pels' machine, and which were then shaped hot under a hydraulic press, hardened and then tempered in another oil fired furnace, the whole operation being facilitated by gravity operated rollers. Finally, the buckling operation was carried out under a hydraulic press. The manufacture of one plate standard wagon spring under the best conditions occupied approximately five minutes after heating, and the output of this shop was and still is sufficient to meet the wagon spring requirements of the whole system.
In October, 1943, the old method of manufacturing 3-link wagon couplings by hand forging was discontinued and an electric flash-butt welding process was brought into use. The whole of the wagon coupling requirdnlents for the London Midland Region, for new wagons as well as replacements on wagons already in service, are manufactured on this plant, the average weekly output being of the order of 1000 complete couplings.
The main sawmill and sawmill extension supplied the needs of the factory and the outstations in milled timber of all descriptions, the sawmill extension being notable for two mass production layouts, one for floor and quarter boards arid the other for timber main members with all the necessary holes bored and morticed and tenons milled ready for fitting to the wagons in the repair shop.
The year 1946 saw Mr. Anthony's retirement and the appointment of Mr. A. E. Bates who rimade a number of important changes in the Shop Layouts, so that the large numbers of wagons which were standing idle waiting repair, due to the after effects of war, as well as the increasing number of steel frame and all steel wagons could be dealt with more expeditiously. Summarised, the changes consisted of converting the old L&Y progressive layout in the Paint Shop to enable standard steel framed open goods to be repaired in their place, thus raising the output of this type of wagon from 5 to 25 per week. The L&Y wagons so displaced were accommodated in 'C' Shop which had previously been the main stores, now transferred to the large ex-wagon shop opposite. The number of these wagons in service was falling owing to obsolescence so it was not considered necessary to create a progressive layout for them in E' Shop.
Next an additional road was laid in 'E' Shop to accommodate some of the old L&Y wagons, and also the LNWR Open Goods which had been displaced from the 'White' Shop to make way for all steel wagons, and the Covered Goods 'Layout' in 'D' Shop was doubled. The result was that the over-all output was raised from an average of 224 per week to 310, and the concentration of repairs to timber framed wagons at the west, or New Works end, of the Works, and the steel framed and all steel wagons at the east end.
Plans were niade for the Old Forge to be converted into the Plate Shop for the preparation of details for the repair of steel wagons by the transfer from other parts of the factory of punching, drilling and shearing machines, the purchase of a plate folding machine and a 'shadow line' plate shears for dealing with large sizes of plates for the flooring and sides of steel wagons. This transfer of machines was begun under Mr. Stanley and completed under Mr. Kemp.
Two other activities new to the Works were started by Mr. Bates, i.e. the weaving of standard lubricating pads by female labour, whose output now averages 2,000 lubricating pads per week, and the erection of a firelighter factory at the west end of the works, where a battery of machines operated originally by lads and now by women, convert waste timber, sawn and chopped to size, and shavings into firelighters, which are dipped into a hot naphthaline bath and allowed to cool. These firelighters are used at motive power depots for lighting engine boiler fires and production commenced in June 1946, and is now approximately 650 gross per week.
Mr. Bates's stay was relatively short and he was succeeded by Mr. E. Stanley who became the first Superintendent at Earlestown under nationalisation.
The wagon availability situation, due to the large number of vehicles awaiting repair, was still very serious, aggravated by certain shortages of materials, so that considerable ingenuity was required, not only to keep up the output of wagons, but to increase it, and many expedients were adopted to achieve this end, notably by greatly increasing the use of electric welding in the fabrication of metal parts, etc.
In 1949 /50 large numbers of British designed all steel mineral wagons which had been built for use on French Railways, after the liberation, were bought by the Railway Executive to assist the mineral wagon situation, but before they could be used modifications were necessary to suit British Railways regulations and large numbers were dealt with at Earlestown.
Two other developments occurred during Mr. Stanley's regime, viz., the inroduction of a progressive repair layout for 'Scamniell' trailers used in connection with 3 wheeled motor "mechanical horses" and the reintroduction into Earlestown Works of the building of new rolling stock of the non-passenger carrying coaching stock type, beginning with 30 motor car vans which were built in the White Shop. This new trend, of considerable importance to Earlestown as it provides a greater variety of work for the staff and encourages new trades, has continued under the present Works Manager, 25 Prize Cattle Vans having been built in 1952, and an order for 100 Horse Boxes of ex-LNER design has been placed on Earlestown for building in 1953/54 at the rate of two per week.
The construction of new containers of all types is also increasing and a record order for 1954 has already been placed on the Works comprising 2510 in all.
Other major activities which have been authorised and are already in their initial stages are the provision of a new layout for the repair of all steel wagons which will displace the existing steel frame layout, which will be absorbed in 'E' Shop, and the extension of the testing plant for vacuum brakes details.
An Apprentices' Training School, similar in general principles to those already operating at Derby Locomotive Works and Derby Carriage Wagon Works and authorised for Wolverton and Crewe, has been authorised for Earlestown, and work on it will commence shortly. The introduction of an Apprentices' Training School through which all new entrants from school will pass before going into the shops is an important step forward in youth training, and it should prevent "square pegs from getting into round holes", as each lad's qualities and potentialities will be known by the time he has finished his twelve months course, and it will be possible to direct boys to the trades for which they show the most aptitude. When the school is in full operation and working in conjunction with the Apprentices' Training Scheme in the shops, the number of boys passing through the school each year will be 4.
Mention must also be made of the excellent Ambulance Room which was opened in 1952, which is a converted Pay Office modified to plans drawn up in the first instance under Mr. Stanley's guidance. This Ambulance Room, presided over by a State Registered Nurse, is equipped with everything necessary for such an establishment, and is on the most modern lines.
In conclusion it will riot be out of place to record the output of the Works' principal activities in 1952, which compares favourably with any in the past. The total personnel employed in the works being approximately 1900 of which more than 1700 are actually in the Shops.
This streamlined account of the activities at the Viaduct Works, Earlestown, past and present, shews it is adaptable to the everchanging need,and can look forward to the future with the confidence based on a century and more of useful service.
This article is from an original pamphlet printed by the Wagon Works in celebration of their 100 year centenary, sections of text and information contained in this pamphlet are already included in this website elsewhere, most particulally in an article which was transcribed 3 years ago, from an original copy of the August 1953 edition of The Railway magazine, the centenary pamphlet above is most definatly the source of the content which was printed in the 1953 magazine article, previously the author of the article was unknown, It seems now that the article in 1953 was probably submitted to the Railway Magazine by the Wagon Works publicity dept, to advertise their centenary. The information in this, the source pamphlet a complete more detailed history, and has been included in full.
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