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Hudswell Clarke

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Hudswell Clarke

Hudswell Clarke builder's plate from 0-6-0T Nunlow

Hudswell, Clarke and Company Limited was an engineering and locomotive building company in Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.


The company was founded as Hudswell and Clarke in 1860. In 1870 the name was changed to Hudswell, Clarke and Rogers. There was another change in 1881 to Hudswell, Clarke and Company. The firm became a limited company in 1899.

In 1862, soon after the company had been formed, they were given the initial design work on William Hamond Bartholomew's compartment boats for the Aire and Calder Navigation. The choice of the company may have been influenced by the fact that Bartholomew, the chief engineer for the Navigation, and William Clayton, one of the founders of Hudswell and Clarke, both lived on Spencer Place in Leeds. They produced at least one of the prototype Tom Pudding compartments, but did not get the main contract for their production once the design work had been done.[1]

The locomotive part of the business is now part of the Hunslet Engine Company. Locomotive-building was always only one part of a diverse product inventory that included underground diesel-powered mining locomotives, hydraulic pit-props and related mining equipment.

A typical Hudswell Clarke Diesel Locomotive from the 1950s

In 1911 Hudswell Clarke entered into an agreement with Robert Hudson for the manufacture of narrow gauge locomotives. This arrangement produced sixteen standardised designs, designated 'A' to 'Q', which ranged from four-coupled (0-4-0) 5 hp engines to six-coupled (0-6-0) 55 hp models. The designs were sufficiently flexible to allow for the various track gauges in use. Over the years, 188 locomotives were supplied to these designs.

4-6-2 Triton at Scalby on the Scarborough North Bay Railway

In the 1930s the company manufactured narrow gauge steam outline diesel-hydraulic locomotives for use at amusement parks around the country.[2] In 1931 4-6-2 Neptune was delivered to Scarborough North Bay Railway, followed a year later by 4-6-2 Triton, both being 20 inches (510 mm) gauge. In the same year they supplied a 4-6-4T Robin Hood to Golden Acre Park in Leeds followed by a 4-6-2 May Thompson in 1933.[3] They also supplied 4-6-2 Mary Louise and 4-6-4T Carol Jean to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for use on the 21 inches (530 mm) gauge Pleasure Beach Express in 1933. A fire in 1934 badly damaged Carol Jean so 4-6-2 Princess Royal was ordered as a replacement. They went on to build two more 4-6-2 class locomotives, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose[4] for Billy Butlin to use at the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow in 1938 which were then transferred to his holiday camp in Clacton when the exhibition closed.[5]

  • 1931 4-6-2 Neptune (for Scarborough North Bay Railway)
  • 1932 4-6-2 Triton (for Scarborough North Bay Railway)
  • 1932 4-6-4T Robin Hood (for Golden Acre Park, Leeds)
  • 1933 4-6–2 May Thompson (for Golden Acre Park, Leeds, renamed Poseiden in 2007)
  • 1933 4-6-2 Mary Louise (for Blackpool Pleasure Beach Express)
  • 1933 4-6-4T Carol Jean (for Blackpool Pleasure Beach Express)
  • 1934 4-6-2 Princess Royal (for Blackpool Pleasure Beach Express)
  • 1937 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth (for Billy Butlin, Glasgow then Clacton when the exhibition closed)
  • 1937 4-6-2 Princess Margaret Rose (for Billy Butlin, Glasgow then Clacton when the exhibition closed)

In later years, Hudswell Clarke designed and built diesel locomotives for both main-line and private company use, mainly for use on shunting operations.

Surviving locomotives

Steam locomotives

Year Type Wheel
Gauge Company Name or
Location Notes
402 1893 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) Lord Mayor
431 1895 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in 431 Chasewater Railway
496 1898 0-6-0ST 2 ft (610 mm) North Eton Mill 1 Privately owned, Echuca, Victoria, Australia
526 1899 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Hawarden Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
555 1900 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Great Western Railway 813 Severn Valley Railway
ex-Port Talbot Railway 26
573 1900 0-4-0ST 3 ft (914 mm) Handyman
639 1902 0-4-2ST 21 2132 in (550 mm) Phyllis Rampton Trust
640 1902 0-4-2ST 21 2132 in Phyllis Rampton Trust
646 1903 0-4-2ST 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Wallaroo Phosphate Co,
Australian Portland Cement
6 Bellarine Railway, Victoria, Australia
679 1903 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Manchester Ship Canal 31
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
680 1903 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Manchester Ship Canal 32
East Lancashire Railway
750 1906 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Waleswood
895 1909 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Fife Coal Company
1026 1913 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons No 31 Fawley Hill Railway, Buckinghamshire
Recorded at Fawley Hill, 18 May 2013.
1067 1914 0-6-0 2 ft Colonial Sugar Refinery Homebush Sucrogen Victoria Mill, Ingham Delivered to CSR Homebush Mill Mackay, loco number 6. Transferred to CSR Victoria Mill 1922, named Homebush. Preserved in working order 1978.
1152 1919 0-4-0ST 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Guinness 3 Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
1223 1916 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Vesta Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
1238 1916 0-6-0WT 2 ft Ashanti Goldfields Corporation No. 9 Moseley Railway Trust Delivered in 1916 to what is now Ghana for their forestry railway. Crashed into a swamp and killed the driver in 1948, recovered 1996, and returned to the UK in 2008 for restoration. Restoration is now well-progressed and the loco should steam again by mid 2014
1243 1917 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Port of London Authority Richboro Aln Valley Railway[6]
1308 1918 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Rhos Rocks by Rail
1309 1917 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Henry de Lacy II Middleton Railway
1334 1918 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Sir Thomas
1366 1919 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Renishaw Iron Works No. 6 Tanfield Railway
1375 1919 0-6-0WT 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) War Department Light Railways 3205 Preserved as Pejao at the CP museum at Santarem, Portugal order sub-contracted from Robert Hudson Ltd Worked on the Pejoa Colliery system in Portugal with five O&K locos: Fojo, Pedamoura, Choupelo, Pedorido, Sao Domingos
1397 1919 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Manchester Ship Canal 67 Middleton Railway
1423 1922 0-4-0WT 2 ft Corrimal Colliery (National Portland Cement) 'Hudson' Campbelltown Steam & Machinery, Menangle, NSW, Australia
1435 1922 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Nellie Bradford Industrial Museum
1450 1922 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Gladiator
1464 1921 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in 70 Swindon and Cricklade Railway
Hudswell Clarke Steam Locomotive at Avon Riverside Station, Avon Valley Railway
1539 1924 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Derek Crouch Nene Valley Railway
1544 1924 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Slough Estates Ltd. No. 3 Middleton Railway
1555 1926 0-6-0 2 ft Goondi Mill 6 Allambi Private Railway, Strath Creek, Victoria, Australia
1559 1925 0-4-2ST 2 ft Pleystowe Mill 4 Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne, Australia
1582 1926 0-4-0ST 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Rotorua Ngongotaha Railway, New Zealand [8]
1631 1930 0-6-0WT 4 ft 8 12 in 5
1643 1930 0-6-0WT 2 ft Bronllwyd Statfold Barn Railway
1672 1937 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Irwell Tanfield Railway
1682 1937 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in British Sugar Corporation, Kelham, Newark, Nottinghamshire. 54
Great Central Railway under restoration
1700 1938 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Wissington North Norfolk Railway restored 7/2012
1704 1938 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Nunlow Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
1706 1939 0-6-0 2 ft Victoria Mill Cairns Illawarra Light Railway Museum, Albion Park Rail, New South Wales, Australia
1709 1939 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Slough Estates Ltd. No. 5 Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
1731 1942 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in 20
1737 1943 Austerity 0-6-0T 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Nederlandse Spoorwegen 8811 Stoomstichting Nederland,
Rotterdam, Netherlands
ex WD 5080
1742 1946 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Millom Iron Works, Cumberland MILLOM Buckingham Railway Centre
1776 1944 Austerity 0-6-0T 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in National Coal Board Harry Horwich, Lancashire ex WD 1499
1782 1945 Austerity 0-6-0T 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in War Department 118
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway ex WD 1505
1800 1947 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in Thomas
1821 1948 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in 140
1822 1949 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in S100 Chasewater Railway
1823 1949 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in 38 Tanfield Railway
1838 1950 0-6-0 2 ft Victoria Mill Sydney Privately owned, Mount Molloy, Queensland, Australia
1862 1952 0-6-0T 2 ft Macknade Mill 6 Timbertown, Wauchope, New South Wales, Australia
1863 1925 0-6-0 2 ft Macknade Mill 9 Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne, Australia
1882 1955 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8 12 in Mirvale Middleton Railway
1885 1955 0-6-0T 4 ft 8 12 in 1 Alston Mid-Suffolk Light Railway
0-6-0 4 ft 8 12 in 21 Anne Elizabeth Edaville Railroad, Carver, Massachusetts, USA

Diesel locomotives

Standard gauge (4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm))
2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge
2 ft (610 mm) gauge

Steam-outline diesel locomotives

20 inches (510 mm) gauge
21 inches (530 mm) gauge

Military engineering

A Blue Danube bomb at 24 ft long x 62 inches diameter. It was known to the RAF as Bomb, Aircraft, HE 10,000 lb MC. Released from 45,000 ft at 500 knots (930 km/h) its max velocity reached 2480 ft/s (Mach 2.2). It bears a likeness to the Tallboy and Grand Slam earthquake bombs of the Second World War designed by Barnes Wallis, and that is not surprising since archives show that Wallis was retained as a consultant on the design of Blue Danube
A Red Beard tactical atomic bomb on its bomb trolley awaiting loading into a Canberra bomber. The perforated baffles were a feature to reduce bomb bay buffetting when the Canberra bomb doors opened, and were not needed on other aircraft. Red Beard was known to the RAF as Bomb, Aircraft, HE 2'000 lb MC, although its actual weight was 1650 lb. It was deployed on a wide variety of aircraft of the RAF and Royal Navy, being stockpiled in the UK, Cyprus, Singapore and afloat on carriers.

During the Second World War the company diversified into armaments, as did so many other engineering companies. In the post-war period Hudswell, Clarke and Co Ltd was closely involved in various secret programmes, including the British nuclear weapon programme. The airframe for the first British nuclear bomb, Blue Danube was manufactured by Hudswell Clarke at its Roundhay Road, Leeds, plant. The airframe for Red Beard, the second generation tactical nuclear bomb, followed with that for Violet Club, the Interim Megaton Weapon; and there were many other projects. All the bombs detonated at the Christmas Island H-bomb tests were contained in airframes designed and built by Hudswell Clarke. The company were also major contributors to other military projects, e.g. the Centurion main battle tank conversion into an armoured bridgelayer, that served with the British Army for many years. The contraction of defence manufacturing in the mid-1960s contributed to the sale and demise of the company.


Locations of preserved Hudswell Clarke locomotives include:

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Slough Estates Ltd, No.3
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Handbook 15EL, Industrial Railway Society 2009, ISBN 978-1-901556-53-7
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ Elland No.1Photo of
  14. ^

Various public domain files declassified by:

now archived in the Public Record Office, London.

External links

  • Huwood-Hudswell Diesel Mines Locomotives
  • Manchester Ship Canal locomotive 67
  • Oamaru Steam and Rail
  • [4]
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