Albion Motors

Albion Motors

Albion Motors
Industry Automotive industry
Fate acquired by Leyland Motors
Predecessor Albion Motor Car Company
Successor Leyland Motors (1951)
Leyland DAF (1987-1993)
American Axle & Manufacturing (1997)
Founded 1899
Founder Thomas Blackwood Murray, Norman Osborne Fulton,

John Francis Henderson.

Defunct marque defunct 1980
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Number of locations
Scotstoun, Bathgate
Products Commercial vehiclecomponents

albionmotors-1Albion Motors radiator badge

1901-albion-a2-bs-83001901 Albion A2 BS 83001902-albionAlbion 1902

1904-albion-16hp-wagonetteAlbion 16HP Wagonette 19041911-workers-at-albion-motors-in-1911Workers at Albion Motors in 1911albion-970

ALBION 970 Front of an earlier model

1949-albion-venturerAlbion Venturer 1949

heavy-duty-albion-cx24-recovery-truckHeavy-duty Albion CX24 recovery truck

1963-albion-reiver-1963Albion Reiver 1963

albion-lorriesAlbion Commercial Vehicles at Biggar Vintage Rally, August 20081919-albion-08-jacatra


1922 Albion Harvey Model 20 15-seater bus (12 passengers in the rear, 2 passengers in front, plus driver) C20 ES 51501924-albion-sb1924 Albion SB1927-albion-flatbed1927 Albion Flatbed1928-albion

1929-albion-3-21929 Albion Shell-mex1934-albion-kl1271934 Albion KL1271935-40-albion-model-126-1 1935-40-albion-model-126-159451935-40 Albion model 126 159451935-40-albion-model-126-15947 1935-40-albion-model-126-15948Albion model 1261936-albion-az1-bus-567-rogerson-mobile-home1936 Albion AZ1 BUS 567 Rogerson Mobile Home1937-albion-ks127-tippers-bell-brothers-newburgh-a1937 Albion KS127 tippers Bell Brothers, Newburgh1937-albion-ks127-tippers-bell-brothers-newburgh1937 Albion KS127 tippers Bell Brothers, Newburgh1938-albion-wd-ev1 1938-albion-2 1938-albion-by1-6x6 1938-albion-cx27-16607

1938 Albion cx27 166071938-albion-cx27 1938-albion-ft3-flat-bed1938 Albion FT3 Flat Bed1938-albion-gg 1939-albion-cx27-172681939 Albion cx27 17268 1939-cx27-16608

1943-albion-%d1%81%d1%85-22s-6x6 1944-albion-wd-cx22s-hat-engine-9085cc-6-cylinder 1945-albion-ft-15n-6x6 1946-albion-az5-n-yvs 1947-albion-az5n-after-refurb-sx-6215-mobile-shop-baf1947 Albion AZ5N After Refurb SX 6215 Mobile shop BAF 1947-albion-az5n-sx-6215

1948-52-albion-clydesdale-ft102s-caltex 1948-52-albion-clydesdale-ft102s-kerkrade-nl 1948-52-albion-clydesdale-ft102s1948-52 Albion Clydesdale FT102S

Albion Automotive of Scotstoun, Glasgow is a former Scottish automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer. It is currently involved in the manufacture and supply of Automotive component systems.

From WW1 to the 1950s, Albion had rivalled Foden for the reliability and ruggedness of their trucks. Albion was incorporated into Leyland Motors in 1951, and merely became a badge for their smaller lines. The badge was dropped by British Leyland in 1980.

Today the company is a subsidiary of American Axle & Manufacturing, and manufactures axles, driveline systems, chassis systems, crankshafts and chassis components. It is Scotland’s best known name in the motor industry. Albions were renowned for their slogan “Sure as the Sunrise”.


Originally known as Albion Motor Car Company Ltd, the company was founded in 1899 by Thomas Blackwood Murray and Norman Osborne Fulton (both of whom had previously been involved in Arrol-Johnston) they were joined a couple of years later by John F Henderson who provided additional capital. The factory was originally on the first floor of a building in Finnieston Street, Glasgow and had only seven employees. In 1903 the company moved to new premises in Scotstoun.

The Albion Motor Car Company Ltd was renamed Albion Motors in 1930.

In 1951, Leyland Motors took over. After the British Leyland Motor Corporation was founded in 1968, production continued with the Albion Chieftain, Clydesdale & Reiver trucks and the Albion Viking bus models. Production of these was then moved to the Leyland plant at Bathgate in 1980. In 1969, the company took over the neighbouring Coventry Ordnance Works on South Street, which it continues to operate from.

Leyland dropped the Albion name when the company name was changed to Leyland (Glasgow) and later to Leyland-DAF from 1987 when it became a subsidiary of that Dutch concern.

A management buy-out in 1993 brought Albion Automotive as it was thenceforth known back into Scottish ownership. A new owner, the American Axle & Manufacturing Company (AAM) of Detroit, Michigan, took over Albion in 1998.

Passenger car manufacturing

In 1900 they built their first motor car, a rustic-looking dogcart made of varnished wood and powered by a flat-twin 8hp engine with gear-change by “Patent Combination Clutches” and solid tyres.

In 1903 Albion introduced a 3115 cc 16 hp vertical-twin, followed in 1906 by a 24 hp four. One of the specialities the company offered was solid-tired shooting-brakes. The last private Albions were powered by a 15 hp monobloc four of 2492 cc.

Passenger car production ceased in 1915 but in 1920 the company announced that estate cars were available again based on a small bus chassis, it is not known if any were actually made.

Car models

  • Albion 8 (1900–1904) 2080 cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 12 (1900–1906) 2659 cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 16 (1905–1913) 3141 cc twin-cylinder
  • Albion 24/30 (1906–1912) 3164 cc 4-cylinder
  • Albion 15 (1912–1915) 2492 cc 4-cylinder

Commercial vehicle production

Although the manufacture of motor cars was the main industry in the first ten years of its existence, it was decided in 1909 to concentrate on the production of commercial vehicles. During World War 1 they built for the War Office large quantities of 3 ton trucks powered by a 32 hp engine using chain drive to the rear wheels. After the war many of these were converted for use as charabancs.

Trucks and buses (single and double deckers) were manufactured in the Scotstoun works until 1980 (1972 for complete vehicles). The buses were exported to Asia, East Africa, Australia, India and South Africa. Almost all Albion buses were given names beginning with “V”, these models being the Victor, Valiant, Viking, Valkyrie, and Venturer.

1949-albion-1-3 1949-albion-clydesdale-ft102s 1949-albion-ft103n-clansman-6x4-tanker-htw-876-t 1950-albion-clansman-ft103n 1950-albion-clansman 1950-albion-ft103n-clansman-6x4-machinery-55-bd-02 1951-albion-ft37l-chieftan-flatbed-engine-4000cc-registration-ohu-948 1951-albion-ft103n-clansman-6x4-machinery-ds-6538-2 1951-albion 1952-albion-ft103 1953-albion-kd23 1953-albion-peters-ice-cream 1953-albion-wd-hd-23s 1954-albion-chieftain-ft37ht 1954-albion-chieftain 1954-albion-wd-hd-23n-fv-11102-6x6 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-3-1 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-4 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-16868 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-shell 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-3-16867 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c-3t 1957-61-albion-caledonian-24c5-17013 1960-61-albion-caledonian-24c-5-1 1960-61-albion-caledonian-24c-5-17014 1960-61-albion-caledonian-24c5-17015 1960-61-albion-caledonian-24c5-17016 1961-albion-claymore 1963-albion-reiver-1963 1965-albion-lowlander-lr7-new-to-western-smt-preserved-in-the-colours-of-second-owner-highland-omnibuses-ltd 1966-albion-chieftain-grh 1966-albion-reiver-re25a 1966-albion-super-reiver-6-wheeler-flatbed-registered-fea-926-d 1967-albion-reiver 1968-albion-wpx135f 1968-73-albion-2-john-biesty 1969-albion-p1010043-carmichael-fire-water-tender 1970-albion-leyland-clydsdale-tractor-engine-6070cc-registered-lsx-906-h 1971-albion-super-reiver 1972-albion-reiver-concrete-mixer-registration-ffd-332

Lorry models

  • CX22S Heavy artillery tractor.
  • WD66N (only 9 built).
  • WD.CX24 Tank transporter
  • Chieftain (1948)
  • Clansman
  • Claymore (1954-1966)
  • Clydesdale
  • Reiver

Albion also made the Claymore with the 4 speed gearbox,The Reiver was a six wheeler. The Chieftain had a 6 speed gearbox, 6th being an overdrive gear, with a worm and wheel rear axle.

Bus production

The earliest buses were built on the A10 truck chassis with two being delivered to West Bromwich in 1914. Newcastle upon Tyne also took double deckers around this time, but Albion did not produce a purpose-built double deck chassis until 1931.

In 1923 the first dedicated bus chassis was announced derived from the one used on the 25 cwt truck but with better springing. Bodies seating from 12 to 23 passengers were available. A lower frame chassis, the Model 26, with 30/60 hp engine and wheelbases from 135 inches (3,400 mm) to 192 inches (4,900 mm) joined the range in 1925. All the early vehicles had been normal control, with the engine in front of the driver but in 1927 the first forward control with the engine alongside the driver was announced as the Viking allowing 32 seats to be fitted. Diesel engines, initially from Gardner, were available from 1933. The first double deck design was the Venturer of 1932 with up to 51 seats. The CX version of the chassis was launched in 1937 and on these the engine and gearbox were mounted together rather than joined by a separate drive shaft. Albion’s own range of diesel engines was also made available.

add-albion albion-1 albion-2 albion-az2-az8 albion-cx27 albion-dw1-dw3 albion-model-b-119-with-holland-coachcraft-body albion-model-b119-with-holland-coachcraft-body-a albion-model-b119-with-holland-coachcraft-body-b albion-wd-cx33 albion-1 albion-2-2 albion-2 albion-3 albion-04-5b-5d albion-4-2 albion-4a322a albion-5-2 albion-5 albion-5resd9io0 albion-6-wm-forrest-paisley albion-6 albion-6x4-with-dropside-tipper-body albion-7 albion-8-sheffield albion-8 albion-8w albion-8x4 albion-9 albion-9a albion-9b albion-9d

After World War 2 the range was progressively modernised and underfloor engined models were introduced with two prototypes in 1951 and production models from 1955 with the Nimbus.

With the Leyland take over the range was cut back. The last Albion double decker was the 1961 Lowlander and that was marketed in England as a Leyland, and the last design of all was the Viking, re-using an old name.

Bus models
  • Model 24 (1923–1924) First purpose built Albion bus chassis
  • Viking 24 (1924–1932) Various wheelbases from 10 feet 9 inches (3.28 m) to 16 feet 3 inches (4.95 m) Front wheel brakes from 1927. Six cylinder engines available in Viking Sixes.
  • Valkyrie (1930–1938) Forward control. 5 litre engine, 6.1 litre from 1933, 7.8 litre optional from 1935. Mainly sold as coaches.
  • Valiant (1931–1936) Mainly sold to the coach market.
  • Victor (1930–1939) Normal or forward control. 20 or 24 seater.
  • Venturer (1932–1939) Albions first double decker. 51, later 55 seats. 3 axle version, the Valorous made in 1932, only one produced.
  • Valkyrie CX (1937–1950) Engine and gearbox in-unit.
  • Venturer CX (1937–1951) Double decker.
  • Victor FT (1947–1959) Lightweight single decker
  • Valiant CX (1948–1951) Mostly sold to coach operators.
  • Viking CX (1948–1952) Mainly sold to the export market.
  • KP71NW (1951) Underfloor engined chassis with horizontally-opposed eight cylinder engine; 2 built.
  • Nimbus (1955–1963) Underfloor engine.
  • Aberdonian (1957–1960) Underfloor engine.
  • Royal Scot (1959) 15.2 litre underfloor engined 6×4 dirt-road bus. 20 built for South African Railways.
  • Victor VT (1959–1966) Front engined, derived from Chieftain truck chassis.
  • Clydesdale (1959–1978) Export model built on truck chassis.
  • Talisman TA (1959) 9.8 litre front engined 6×4 dirt-road bus. 5 built for Rhodesian Railways.
  • Lowlander (1961–1966) Double decker. 18 feet 6 inches (5.64 m) wheelbase. LR7 had air rear suspension.
  • Viking VK (1963-1984?) Mainly exported. Leyland O.370 O:400, O:401 engines. VK 41,55 were front engined; VK43,45,49,57,67 models were rear engined, Australian market had optional AEC AV505 engines.
  • Valiant VL (1967–72) Similar to rear-engined Vikings but with tropical cooling unit as on VK45 and axles from Clydesdale.

Automotive components production

A complete change of profile went on in 1980. Since then, only automotive components, such as rear axles, have been produced.

albion-9e albion-9f albion-9g albion-30 albion-053 albion-055 albion-127-sibley-b%26w albion-246eukc albion-301 albion-698 albion-4550-bc21-c12d albion-ad2 albion-adam albion-albatros-trio-1 albion-albatros-trio-2-nl albion-albatros albion-am-463-560 albion-am-463-ambulance-raf albion-art10-04 albion-autodrome albion-az9 albion-bastonblitz-001 albion-cameronian-ca81 albion-car-plant albion-ch-clreca-16975 albion-chclreca16977 albion-chieftain-kal albion-chieftains albion-cx3-with-kp-engine-1 albion-denmark albion-edinburgh-parcels-transport albion-factory albion-frans-plat albion-ft23 albion-ijnbgtr78 albion-jiioklhytfr675 albion-kd23-in-south-africa albion-ks126 albion-ld1 albion-linesman albion-mbb899-peter-jennings albion-nimbus-jnp-590c albion-race-transporter albion-reg-grh albion-reg-swf-707 albion-s-6x4 albion-unknown albion-veewagen-nl albion-victor-vt19n albion albion-add albion-adds albion-badged-atlantean albion-lorad albionmotors-1 bill-miller-creamery-albion bond-gate brs66-002 ch1 coaltruck d-west eda138 fed-breweries flour-milling-024 flour-milling-027 flour-milling-134 flour-milling-220 hda3 houston-bros-1 jnm03 kirkpatricks-1 loadedandready m-hayton-11 m-thom-1 maitland-3 mcmurdo-21 montgomery-9 nag-328-4 nb-albion ncb-1 ncb-4 oag-960-h pa vs01818 wilkies yard

Firearms production

During World War II, Albion Motors manufactured


Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers to aid the war effort. By 1945, 24,000 Enfield No 2 Mk I* revolvers were produced by Albion (and subsequently, Coventry Gauge & Tool Co.)

This is everything I could find about ALBION, a fascinational and remarkable Scottish Truck and other Vehicle making Cooperation on the World Wide Web. Enjoy the pictures with me, and when you have pictures or info that can make this blog more interesting I will appreciate this. Thanks and enjoy.


ALLEY and MACLELLAN – SENTINEL Shrewsbury Glasgow Scotland

Alley and MacLellan


of Sentinel Works, Polmadie, Glasgow and at Worcester

Alley and MacLellan was an engineering company in Glasgow, which used the Sentinel brand name, and was the developer of the Sentinel steam vehicle

logo Sentinel beeld

Logo Sentinel


1875 Stephen Alley and John MacLellan founded Alley and MacLellan in London Road, Glasgow.

1880 The company moved to the Sentinel Works at Polmadie, Glasgow.

1885 Started production of the Sentinel High Speed Steam Engine used for electricity generation, marine engines and for factory work. They also built boats at their own shipyard.

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the tonnage produced.

1894 Catalogue of fittings.

1903 Became public company. The company was registered on 3 June, to acquire the business of a firm of the same name, manufacturers of valves, air compressors, high speed engines, engine fittings, marine auxillary machinery etc.

1906 Took the rights to the development work on steam wagons carried out by Simpson and Bibby and Daniel Simpson retained by the company as a consultant for ten years.

1911 Manufacturer of Axle Boxes for the Railways.

1914 Engineers and shipbuilders (light-draught craft). Specialities: air compressors, steam motor wagons, steering gears and ships’ auxiliary machinery, light draught steamers and barges, valves for steam and water and waterworks fittings, high-speed steam engines, ash hoisting engines, capstans, feed water filters and heaters. Employees 900.

1917 Advert for ‘Sentinel’ Valves.

1918 Stephen Alley sold his shares in Alley and MacLellan to William Beardmore and Co; the Glasgow works were separated from the Sentinel Waggon Works which were concentrated at Shrewsbury.

1919 Advert for ‘Sentinel’ Valves.

1927 Advert for ‘Sentinel’ Valves (of Sentinel Valve Works, Worcester).

1937 Engineers and ironfounders.

1940 Advert for air Compressors (of Sentinel Works, Glasgow S2) and Valves (of Sentinel Valve Works, Worcester).

1945 Advert for ‘Sentinel’ air compressors. (of Sentinel Works, Glasgow, S2).

1945 Advert for ‘Sentinel’ steam traps and valves. (of Sentinel Valve Works, Worcester).

1951 Advert for Compressors and vacuum pumps. (of Polmadie, Glasgow).

1952 Was a fully owned subsidiary of Glenfield and Kennedy. Acquired Browett Lindley Ltd fromGeorge Cohen, Sons and Co[14]

1960 Advert for balanced opposed compressors. (of Polmadie).

1960 Advert for Valves. (of Worcester).

1960 The compressors business at Polmadie was transferred to G. and J. Weir. Fixed assets at Polmadie were sold to Davy and United Engineering Co who would use this facility to expand their works in the Glasgow area

1961 Engineers, manufacturing air and gas compressors, marine auxiliary, vacuum pumps and steam engines. 400 employees.

1880     80629E-West 1880 00102E-AlleyMac 1889 1213Eng-Alley2 1899  PEYB-Alley 1901  Eing-Alley 1901 Alley01 1901 EnV91-p642a 1901 EnV91-p642b 1901 EnV101-p246a 1902 Alley02 1903 Alley03 1906 EnV101-p618ee 1906EnV101-p247a 1906-ImEnV101-p618e 1907 0406MCJ-Alley 1907 Alley & Maclellan Lyd 1907 V103-p642ca 1907 V103-p642ddb 1907 V103-p642gb 1909 V107-p524 1909 V107-p524a 1913 Eing-Alley 1914 23GT-Sent-1914 1914 v118-p351 1918 AlleyMacLellandA 1918 AlleyMacLellandB 1918 MWYB-Alley1 1918 MWYB-Alley4 1926 EYB-Alley 1926 EYB-Alley2 1926 PR-AM 1926 PR-AM2

Sentinel sword

1931-built Sentinel DG4 1936 MWHB-Alley 1936 MWHB-Alley0 1936 MWHB-Alley2 1943 MWYB-Alley 1943 MWYB-Alley2 1943 MWYB-Alley3 1951 MWYB-Alley 1959 0220En-Alley2 1960 MWYB-Alley2 2011 06GTM-Alley 2011 06GTM-Alley2 2014 03QM-Alley2 2014 03QM-Ally Alley_ash_hoist01 Alley_compressor01 JD_Alley01

 1931-built Sentinel DG4

Preserved 1931-built Sentinel DG4.

1920 Sentinel no. 8714 Bus - Martha - KG 1132 at Cumbria 09

A Sentinel Steam Bus

 1924 Super Sentinel FA1803

1924 Super Sentinel FA1803

Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd was a British company based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire that made steam-powered lorries, railway locomotives, and later, diesel engined lorries and locomotives.


Alley & MacLellan, Sentinel Works, Jessie Street Glasgow

The company began life about 1875 as Alley & MacLellan based in Polmadie, Glasgow. They moved from Polmadie Road to the nearby Jessie Street where they continued in operation until the 1950s. Alley & MacLellan began producing steam road vehicles in 1906 when they introduced a5 ton vertical-boiler wagon, which featured a 2-cylinder undertype engine and chain drive. Around 1915 Alley & McLellan moved the steam wagon production to a new factory in England and it continued under a separate company (see below). However, Alley & MacLellan continued to operate in the original Sentinel Works in Jessie Street, Glasgow until the 1950s. They produced a wide range of engineering products including compressors, valves, etc. The ‘Sentinel’ name continued to be used for the products of the original Glasgow works until the mid 20th Century.

Perhaps the most surprising fact is that the Sentinel Works in Glasgow, though a significant distance from the River Clyde, produced almost 500 small ships and boats. The vast majority of these vessels were built as ‘knock downs’ – i.e. assembled at the Jessie Street works using nuts and bolts, then dismantled and shipped as parts in crates to their client destination where they were re-assembled using rivets. At least one Alley & McLellan ship still exists – the motor vessel (originally steam ship) Chauncy Maples built at Jessie Street in 1899 and reassembled on Lake Nyasa (now Lake Malawi) in 1901. Alley & MacLellan continued in operation, though owned firstly by Glenfield & Kennedy, Kilmarnock, then G & J Weir, Glasgow, until the 1950s.

The original Sentinel Works in Jessie Street, Glasgow is still in existence in 2009 though now in a very derelict condition. The design offices and pattern shop is listed category A as a building of significant national importance. It was the first steel-reinforced concrete building in Scotland.

Move to Shrewsbury

1928 LNER Sentinel-Cammell steam railcarLNER Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar

A new company Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd was formed when steam wagon production was switched to a new factory, opened at Shrewsbury in 1915. There were several other slight changes to the name over the company’s lifetime when further infusions of working capital were required to obviate financial problems.

Alley & MacLellan’s early wagon was so successful that it remained in production with relatively few updates until the launch of Sentinel’s famous Super in 1923. The company also produced steam railway locomotives and railcars, for railway companies and industrial customers.

In 1917, the company was bought by William Beardmore & Co., Ltd.

Sentinel Waggon Works (1920) Ltd

In 1920, after financial problems, the company was reorganised as Sentinel Waggon Works (1920) Ltd. The Sentinel ‘Super’ model that followed in 1923 was assembled in a radical new plant at Shrewsbury, with a flow line based on Henry Ford’s Model T factory at Highland Park, Michigan, with 1,550 vehicles produced.

Sentinel, along with Foden, dominated the steam market, but the 1930s saw the demise of both companies’ ranges as new legislation forced the development of lighter lorries, Sentinel surviving the longest.

In 1934 Sentinel launched a new and advanced steamer – the S type which had a single-acting 4-cylinder underfloor engine with longitudinal crankshaft and an overhead worm-drive axle. Their Sentinel Waggon Works’ design of 1935 led to the production of 3,750 Sentinel ‘Standards’ in the seventeen years that followed, the biggest selling steam lorry ever. It was lighter and featured a modernised driver’s cab with a set-back boiler and was available in four, six and eight-wheel form, designated S4, S6 and S8. In spite of its sophisticated design, however, it could not compete with contemporary diesel trucks for all-round convenience and payload capacity, and was phased out in the late 1930s. It was not the end of Sentinel’s involvement with steam, however; the company built about 100 “S” type vehicles for export to Argentina as late as 1950, for use by the Río Turbio coal mine. It has been stated that Sentinel were never paid for the last batch of the Río Turbio production run. At least two of the Río Turbio waggons survive in Argentina to this day.

In 1946 Thomas Hill’s signed an agency agreement with Sentinel for repair and maintenance of diesel vehicles. In 1947 Sentinel offered to extend the agreement for diesel vehicles to include the steam locomotives and an agency was accepted by Thomas Hill for sales and servicing.

Sentinel (Shrewsbury) Ltd

In 1947 the company became Sentinel (Shrewsbury) Ltd, and had developed a new range of diesel lorries. Despite Sentinel’s superbly engineered vehicles, sales diminished throughout the 1950s, and by 1956 the company was forced to cease lorry production. The factory was acquired by Rolls-Royce for diesel engine production, and the remaining stock of parts and vehicles was taken over by Sentinel’s chief dealer, North Cheshire Motors Ltd of Warrington, who formed a new company, Transport Vehicles (Warrington) Ltd, in 1957 to produce Sentinel-based designs under the TVW name.

In 1963 Thomas Hill’s decided to renew the loco agreement and relinquish the diesel vehicle agency, concentrating all efforts on the steam locomotive work.

Rolls-Royce agree to build diesel locomotives

Rolls-Royce Sentinel Cattewater, now at the East Somerset RailwayRolls-Royce Sentinel Cattewater, now at the East Somerset Railway

An 0-6-0 outside crank Sentinel Derwent at Lafarge Hope Cement Works in 2008An 0-6-0 outside crank Sentinel Derwent at Lafarge Hope Cement Works in 2008.

Despite the various interesting developments, Rolls Royce did not consider railway locomotives to be part of their core business. They had agreed to complete all steam locos on order, and four steam receiver locos ordered by Dorman Long in 1956, but only after much consideration did Rolls-Royce finally agree at the end of 1957 to design and build a diesel locomotive of similar weight and power to the 200 hp (150 kW) steam loco that had sold so well. Thomas Hill’s would assist in the design and development of these diesel machines and would be the Sole distributor.

Last steam locomotives

In 1958 the last two Sentinel steam locos were delivered marking the end of an era. Two of the newly developed steam receiver locos were delivered and proved very satisfactory in service, but Dorman Long were not happy. There had been a change of heart among their engineers as well as a change of circumstances, and they were now favouring diesel locomotives. The last two steam receiver locos were built but never delivered and ultimately all four were converted to diesel hydraulic.

Diesel production commences

The prototype Sentinel diesel locomotive was built and ready to commence trials on the former Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway (then under military control) early in 1959. It met with the approval and enthusiasm of the Company’s prospective customers and before the end of the year 17 locomotives had been sold and delivered. The company was ready to produce a maximum of four locomotives a month.

By 1963 four different Sentinel diesel models were being produced, commencing with the 34 ton chain drive 0-4-0 powered by the Rolls-Royce C6SFL six-cylinder engine of 233 bhp (174 kW) (gross) (later uprated to 255 bhp (190 kW)). This was followed within a year by a 48 ton 0-6-0 rod coupled machine, fitted with a Rolls-Royce C8SFL eight-cylinder engine of 311 bhp (232 kW) (gross) (later uprated to 325 bhp (242 kW)). Between 1963 and 1966 a fleet of these diesel locomotives, eventually numbering five 0-6-0s and 18 0-4-0s, was supplied to the Manchester Ship Canal Company for use on the navigation’s private railway network.

These Sentinels demonstrated their suitability for heavy work, but heavier and more powerful locos were called for, particularly by the steel industry, and before the end of 1963 a 74 ton 0-8-0 powered by 2 x C8SFL engines and a 40 ton 0-4-0 fitted with a C8SFL engine had been added to the range.

Sentinel Steelman

A shaft drive 600 hp (450 kW) 0-6-0 machine was now being developed at Shrewsbury to use the new DV8T engine. Considerable interest in this loco was expressed by Stewart and Lloyds mineral division at Corby who were operating more than 20 steam locos, mainly of the Austerity type. This new locomotive Steelman was eventually delivered to Corby in late 1967, about two years overdue. The prototype locomotive proved satisfactory and three more were ordered by Stewart and Lloyds and one by Richard Thomas and Baldwins, Scunthorpe. With Stewart and Lloyds’ programme to replace more than 20 steam locos over the next few years the future for Steelman looked good.

Unfortunately for the Company and Rolls-Royce, British Railways, seeing a potential for their Swindon-built class 14 diesel hydraulic locomotives made Stewart and Lloyds an offer of 26 locomotives around three years old at a fraction of their original cost. The Class 14 locomotive had proved rather a white elephant for B.R. but powered by a 650 hp (480 kW) Paxman, Voith Transmission, a rod coupled 0-6-0 capable of doing the work required, it was an offer that Stewart and Lloyds could hardly refuse. New locomotive sales were declining anyway, and the release of such locos onto the industrial market at such prices was disastrous, and regrettably no further “Steelman” locos were built at Shrewsbury.

This was not to be the end of the Steelman. Some 12 years later ICI Billingham wanted two heavy locomotives to replace their ageing Yorkshire Janus locomotives. Their stated wish was to buy the best and most up to date equipment available and in their efforts to achieve this aim, their engineers visited many industrial sites, and steelworks in particular. Their requirements were discussed with all UK locomotive manufacturers, and the final outcome of their investigations was an order for an updated version of the “Sentinel Steelman locomotive”. This order was subsequently increased to two machines which were delivered toward the end of 1981.

UK sales of Sentinel locos were now fewer than 10 per year, their only overseas success had been to license the assembly of 36 0-6-0 locomotives by Sorefame for the Portuguese Railways in 1965/6. These locomotives became the CP Class 1150.

Road vehicles

1934-built S4 dropside in steamPreserved 1934-built S4 dropside in steam

Steam waggons

1929 0515Loco-Sent 1951 Sentinel-Cammell Steam Railcar No 5208 Egypt 1951-built articulated Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar, no. 5208, at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Sentinal Cammell Steam Rail Car Sentinel 0-4-0 No. 6515 Isebrook at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Sentinel 0-4-0 No. 9537 Susan at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Sentinel 040 No 6515 Isebrook

Diesel lorries

1951 Sentinel Flat Trucks by colinfpickett 1951 Sentinel 1954 Sentinel 1955 Im20110805PK-c043 1955 Sentinel DV 4-6T Tipper 1959 Im2012WESES-Sentinel1 6820663472_17cd149255 BRS Sentinel DV-1 Flavel's Sentinel DV44 by Mike Jeffries images Sentinel 008SFEC VINTAGE-VEHICLES Sentinel A30 Sentinel DV 6-6 Flatbed lorry Sentinel lorry Sentinel no 9074 (Proctors Pride) reg BEV 466 Sentinel Trucks

Diesel buses

1939 Sentinel HSG-Cowieson 1949 Sentinel rood 1950 Sentinel STC4, GUJ608 1950 Sentinel STC4 1950 Sentinel STC4-40 with a Sentinel B40F body  zzhaw180 1950 Sentinel STC4-40, GUJ457, with Sentinel B40F body operating for Morgan, Armthorpe (Blue Line) 1950's Sentinel Coach Chassis 1951 0420CM-Senit 1951 non-standard Sentinel Midland Red single-decker 4846, HAW578 mr4846 1951 Sentinel Adv 1951 Sentinel rechthoekige ramen 1951 Sentinel SLC4 with Beadle body converted from a centre-entrance coach to a front-entrance bus by the operator 1954 CMS-Sentinel 1954 Sentinel SLC6 30 with Whitson C40C body zz657cmt 1955 Sentinel Duple PXE-761 1955 Sentinel SLC6 with Burlingham B44F body 1955 Sentinel SLC6-30 with a Burlingham Seagull C41C bodyzzowu772 1955 Sentinel STC6 1955 Sentinel STC6-44 Sentinel B44F seats 1955 Sentinel-Camplejohn 28-2b.HPTG 1955 Sentinel-SLC6-30-Camplejohn33-d.HPTG Sentinel B009 Sentinel HAW373 zz Sentinel queen of the road NHY637 Sentinel STC4-Beadle Sentinel STC6 model ytc130cbarnsleyexcamblejohnbros.J.Law_2

Railway vehicles

1957 Sentinel chain-drive shunterSentinel chain-drive shunter of 1957

1959 4wDH (Sentinel 1959) Dunaskin Shed, BCOE

The locomotives and railcars (with a few exceptions) used the standard steam lorry boilers and engine units.

CE Class

Centre Engine

BE Class

LMS Sentinel 7164

Balanced Engine

DE Class

Double Engine

100 hp Steam Locomotives

Works no. 6515/1926, Isham Quarries, Northamptonshire, (ex-GWR No. 12)

Works no. 6520/1926, “Toby” 0-4-0VG; Port of Par, Cornwall. (Replaced 1876 Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST “Punch”. Replaced by Bagnall 0-4-0ST “Alfred” and “Judy”).

Works no. 6807/1928, “Gervase”; rebuilt as a vertical-boilered geared locomotive from 1900 Manning Wardle. (Moved to Kent & East Sussex Railway in 1972, and to the Elsecar Steam Railway in 2008.)

Works no. 7026/1928, British Quarrying Co., Criggion, Montgomeryshire

Works no. 7299/1928, Corby Quarries, Rockingham Forest, (ex-Phoenix Tube Works)

Works no. 9365/1945, “Belvedere”; Isham Quarries, Northamptonshire, (ex-Thomas Hill, Rotherham): preserved at Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust

Works no. 9369/1946, “Musketeer”; Isham Quarries, Northamptonshire, (ex-Williams & Williams, Hooton): preserved at Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust

Works no. 9615/1956, Oxfordshire Ironstone Quarries, Banbury

LMS Sentinels 7160-3

LNER Class Y1

LNER Class Y3

200 hp Steam Locomotives

LNER Class Y10

S&DJR Sentinels

Works no. 7109/1927, Croydon Gasworks No. 37 “Joyce”, preserved at Midsomer Norton railway station


1951-built articulated Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar, no. 5208, at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre1951-built articulated Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar, no. 5208, at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

In 1925 the New Zealand Railways Department bought one Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar which became part of its RM class.

Between 1925 and 1932 the London and North Eastern Railway bought 80 Sentinel steam railcars and four were supplied to the LNER-controlled Cheshire Lines Committee.

In 1928 Palestine Railways bought two Sentinel-Cammell articulated steam railcars for local services. Each unit had two cars articulated over three bogies. Palestine Railways found the railcar format inflexible, as if passenger numbers exceeded the capacity of a train it was not practical to couple up an extra coach. In 1945 PR removed the Sentinel engines and converted the railcars to ordinary coaching stock.

In 1933 the Southern Railway bought a Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar for use on the Devil’s Dyke branch, in East Sussex. Although operationally successful, the single railcar was not large enough to meet the needs of this line. It was transferred away from the line in March 1936 and tried in other areas, but was withdrawn in 1940.

In 1951 Egyptian National Railways bought 10 articulated steam railcars. Each had three carriage bodies articulated over four bogies. One is preserved by the Quainton Railway Society at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, England.


The Doble Shunter

LMS Sentinel 7192 – so-called as it was fitted with an Abner Doble boiler

The Double Locomotive

A special locomotive was produced at Sentinel, for Dorman Long and named “Princess”. It consisted of 2 x 0-6-0 chassis coupled together to articulate. One unit carried the cab, a 5 drum oil-fired Woolnough boiler and two 100 hp (75 kW) engines. The other unit housed the water and fuel tanks and also two more 100 hp (75 kW) engines providing a total of 400 hp (300 kW). It was considered a magnificent machine by the staff but unfortunately was the only one of its kind ever built.

The Gyro locomotive

Another special was the NCB Gyro or Electrogyro Locomotive. Based on a 200 hp (150 kW) 4-wheeled 0-4-0 frame fitted with two “gyro units” (see Flywheel energy storage) made byMaschinenfabrik Oerlikon of Switzerland. The gyros were principally a 3 ton horizontal flywheel enclosed in a vessel filled with low pressure hydrogen. A vertically mounted three-phase squirrel-cage electric motor/generator was directly coupled to each flywheel shaft. The motor took its power from a side-mounted supply at static posts via a four-contact swinging arm extended or retracted pneumatically by the driver. Power could only be taken whilst the loco was stationary alongside one of these posts. When the gyros had reached the required speed, the driver would retract the contact arm, switch the motor to generation and controlled the locomotive in a similar way to a diesel-electric loco. Charging posts had to be strategically placed around the site. A contact arm was provided on each side of the locomotive, although it is not clear if posts were installed on one or both sides of the track. Each gyro operated between 3,000 rpm when fully ‘charged;’ and 1,800 rpm before recharging. Recharging took 212 minutes and the locomotive could work for around 30 minutes before recharging. It weighed 34 tons and had a maximum speed of 15 mph (24 km/h).

This machine was specially built for the National Coal Board (NCB) at Seaton Delaval. The intention was to investigate the use of gyroscopic storage as a potential method for a flameproof and emissions-free underground locomotive. It operated very satisfactorily but was eventually taken out of service because of site development and its restricted field of operation. In April 1965 it was converted for the NCB to a diesel hydraulic machine.

The Receiver Locomotives

The Receiver Locomotives were another special type built just for Dorman Long and were based on the idea of a Fireless locomotive.

Steam locomotives used by UK Main Line Companies


Road vehicles

A number of Sentinel steam waggons and tractors exist in preservation in the UK—about 117 as of 2008. For example, Preserved Sentinel Super steam wagon No. 5676. They are often shown at steam fairs in the UK. For more information see the Sentinel Drivers Club website. A number also exist in Australia and other countries.

Railway locomotives

United Kingdom

There are several surviving steam locomotives located at various heritage railways around the UK, including: the Elsecar Heritage Railway, the Middleton Railway, the Foxfield Light Railway and the Chasewater Railway.

1004 16Be-Sent1 1906 Sentinel 23GT-Sent-1914 1911 Early Sentinel Steam Wagon Alley & McLellan 1912 Sentinel Standard 1915 Vital-Sentinel1915 1917 Sentinel Steam Bus 1920 0127Com-Sentinel 1920 Sentinel no. 8714 Bus - Martha - KG 1132 at Cumbria 09 1920-56 Sentinel Waggons (Shrewsbury) 1922  0707-p12 1922 0228CM-Sent 1923 EnV136-p019a 1923 EnV136-p020 1923 SEntinel V136-p019 1923 SEntinel V136-p612 1924 EnV137-p284a 1924 sEntinel V137-p284b 1924 Super Sentinel FA1803 1925 EnV139-p432 1925 EnV139-p436 1928 0317CMC-Sent 1928 LNER Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar 1928 Sentinel Steam lorry s-n 7651 1929 0515Loco-Sent 1929 Tarmac liveried Sentinel DG8 1929 v148-p037b 1930 v149-p584 1931-built Sentinel DG4 1933 EnV156-p487 1933 EnV156-p487b 1934 Sentinel S8 steam wagon 'The Shewsbury Flier' 1934 v157-p606 1934-built S4 dropside in steam 1939 Sentinel HSG-Cowieson 1949 03CV-Sent 1949 Sentinel rood 1950 Sentinel STC4, GUJ608 1950 Sentinel STC4 1950 Sentinel STC4-40 with a Sentinel B40F body  zzhaw180 1950 Sentinel STC4-40, GUJ457, with Sentinel B40F body operating for Morgan, Armthorpe (Blue Line) 1950's Sentinel Coach Chassis 1951 0420CM-Seni 1951 0420CM-Senit 1951 0420CM-Sentinel 1951 non-standard Sentinel Midland Red single-decker 4846, HAW578 mr4846 1951 Sentinel Adv 1951 Sentinel Flat Trucks by colinfpickett 1951 Sentinel rechthoekige ramen 1951 Sentinel SLC4 with Beadle body converted from a centre-entrance coach to a front-entrance bus by the operator 1951 Sentinel 1951 Sentinel-Cammell Steam Railcar No 5208 Egypt 1951-built articulated Sentinel-Cammell steam railcar, no. 5208, at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre 1954 CMS-Sentinel 1954 Sentinel SLC6 30 with Whitson C40C body zz657cmt 1954 Sentinel 1955 Im20110805PK-c043 1955 Sentinel Duple PXE-761 1955 Sentinel DV 4-6T Tipper 1955 Sentinel SLC6 with Burlingham B44F body 1955 Sentinel SLC6-30 with a Burlingham Seagull C41C bodyzzowu772 1955 Sentinel STC6 1955 Sentinel STC6-44 Sentinel B44F seats 1955 Sentinel-Camplejohn 28-2b.HPTG 1955 Sentinel-SLC6-30-Camplejohn33-d.HPTG 1956 Sentinel S-6 steam truck 1957 1127AE-Sent 1957 Sentinel chain-drive shunter 1959 4wDH (Sentinel 1959) Dunaskin Shed, BCOE 1959 Im2012WESES-Sentinel 1959 Im2012WESES-Sentinel1 1976 1022 'Western Sentinel' at Fairwood Road Junction 2009 Camborne-Sentinel2 2010 Sentinel Shrewsbury0829-Sent2 6820663472_17cd149255 An 0-6-0 outside crank Sentinel Derwent at Lafarge Hope Cement Works in 2008 BRS Sentinel DV-1 Flavel's Sentinel DV44 by Mike Jeffries GreatCentralRailwayNeepsendNo.2 images Rolls-Royce Sentinel Cattewater, now at the East Somerset Railway Royal Navy Sentinel Ruthemeyer De Puftukker Sentiel registration WV 4705 Sentinal Cammell Steam Rail Car Sentinel 0-4-0 No. 6515 Isebrook at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Sentinel 0-4-0 No. 9537 Susan at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Sentinel 4wVBTG at NRM York Sentinel 008SFEC VINTAGE-VEHICLES Sentinel 040 No 6515 Isebrook Sentinel 040 No 9537 Susan Sentinel 69 Sentinel A19 Sentinel A30 Sentinel B009 Sentinel Derwent at Lafarge Hope Cement Works Sentinel DG4 registration KF 6482 Sentinel DV 6-6 Flatbed lorry Sentinel HAW373 zz Sentinel i163925 Sentinel lorry Sentinel no 7966 Nippy reg UW 2522 at Bloxham 09 Sentinel no 9074 (Proctors Pride) reg BEV 466 Sentinel no. 8122 Tar wagon - OF 5783 at Onslow Park 09 Sentinel no. 8393 - waggon - HMS Sultan Sentinel no. 8448 - UX 8724 at Tinkers Park 2010 Sentinel no. 8945 - RG 4187 at Tinkers Park 2010 Sentinel oneofourdinosaursismissgf5.9652 Sentinel oneofourdinosaursismissqj0.7562 Sentinel queen of the road NHY637 Sentinel Restored Diesel Locomotive - - 1059726 Sentinel STC4-Beadle Sentinel STC6 model ytc130cbarnsleyexcamblejohnbros.J.Law_2 SENTINEL STEAM BUS (2) Sentinel Steam Bus atFairford Steam Rally  Nigel Butchers Sentinel Steam Bus Sentinel Steam Loco 7109 August 2013 Sentinel Steam Truck GF 8655 and Foden Steam Wagon Sentinel Steam truck picture Sentinel Steam Truck Tanker sentinel steam waggons vol2 ph13 Sentinel sword Sentinel The Elephant r Sentinel Trucks Sentinel works at Shrewsbury Sentinel SentinelWeb-Large steam-tracks-14

BEARDMORE Cars and Taxis Glasgow Scotland


Cars and Taxis

William Beardmore and Company

William Beardmore and Company, Ltd.
Former type Limited company
Industry Steelmaking, heavy engineering, shipbuilding, locomotive building, ordnance manufacture, automotive, aviation
Fate dissolved
Founded 1887
Defunct 1983 (Closure of Parkhead Forge)
Headquarters Parkhead, Glasgow
Dalmuir, Clydebank
Key people William Beardmore
Products Castings, Forgings, Oil Tankers, Naval ships, Steam locomotives, Fixed-wing aircraft, Airships, AutomobilesMotorcycles

William Beardmore and Company was a Scottish engineering and shipbuilding conglomerate based in Glasgow and the surrounding Clydeside area. It was active from 1886 to the mid-1930s and at its peak employed about 40,000 people. It was founded and owned by William Beardmore, later Lord Invernairn, after whom the Beardmore Glacier was named.


Forged steel castings, armour plate and naval guns

The Parkhead Forge, in the east end of Glasgow, would become the core of the company. It was established by Reoch Brothers & Co in 1837 and was later acquired by Robert Napier in 1841 to make forgings and iron plates for his new shipyard in Govan. Napier was given the contract to build HMS Black Prince, sister ship to the Royal Navy‘s first true ironclad warshipHMS Warrior. Parkead was contracted to make the armour for her, but failed, so the manager, William Rigby called in William Beardmore Snr, who at the time was superintendent of the General Steam Navigation Company in Deptford, to help. Beardmore became a partner in the business and, moving to Glasgow was joined by his brother Isaac and son, William Jr. On the premature death of William Snr, Isaac retired and William Jnr became sole partner. He founded William Beardmore & Co in 1886. By 1896 the works covered an area of 25 acres (10 ha) and was the largest steelworks in Scotland, specialising in the manufacture of steel forgings for the shipbuilding industry of the River Clyde, By this time they had begun the manufacture of steel armour plate and later diversified into the manufacture of heavy naval guns, such as the BL 9.2 inch gun Mk IX–X and BL 15 inch Mk I naval gun.


1921 British Enterprise

British Enterprise, built by Beardmore in 1921

In 1900, Beardmore took over the shipyard of Robert Napier in Govan, a logical diversification from the company’s core steel forgings business. In 1900, Beardmore also began construction of what would become The Naval Construction Yard, at Dalmuir in west Clydebank; the largest and most advanced shipyard in the United Kingdom at the time. HMS Agamemnon was the yard’s first order to complete, in 1906. Beardmore eventually sold the company’s Govan shipyard to Harland and Wolff in 1912. Other notable warships produced by Beardmores at Dalmuir include the Dreadnoughts,HMS Conqueror (1911), HMS Benbow (1913) and HMS Ramillies (1917). In 1917 Beardmore completed the aircraft carrier HMS Argus, the first carrier to have a full-length flight deck. Beardmore expanded the activities at Dalmuir to include the manufacture of all sorts or arms and armaments, the site employing 13,000 people at its peak.

The post war recession hit the firm hard, and the shipyard was forced to close in 1930. Part of the site and some of the existing buildings later became incorporated into ROF Dalmuir, part was used by the General Post Office for their cable-laying ships.

Merchant ships

Beardmore also built oil tankers, including:

  • British Commerce, Red Ensign British Tanker Company, (1922)
  • British Enterprise, Red Ensign British Tanker Company, (1921)
  • British Merchant, Red Ensign British Tanker Company, (1922)
  • British Trader, Red Ensign British Tanker Company, (1921)

Railway locomotives

An attempt was made during the 1920s to diversify into the manufacture of railway locomotives at Dalmuir. Twenty 4-6-0 tender locomotives were built for the Great Eastern Railway as part of their class S69. Ninety London and North Western Railway Prince of Wales class locomotive were built between 1921 and 1922, along with an extra exhibition locomotive for the LNWR’s successor, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1924. They also built 90 ‘Jinty’ tank engine for the LMS between 1928 and 1929. Beardmore’s locomotive production was small compared with the established competition.

In concert with US and Canadian Westinghouse, diesel engines were developed and installed for railway self-propelled car use. Canadian National Railways had two articulated cars powered with Beardmore 320 hp engines, eight cars with 185 hp engines, and seven cars with 300 hp engines. Several American railroads had self-propelled cars fitted with Westinghouse engines derived from Beardmore designs.


Sopwith Camel at the Imperial War Museum

 N6812, a preserved, Sopwith Camel, built under licence by Beardmore

The company first became involved in aviation in 1913, when it acquired British manufacturing rights for Austro-Daimler aero-engines  and later those for D.F.W. aircraft.

It later built Sopwith Pup aircraft at Dalmuir under licence. Later, a shipborne version of the Pup,the Beardmore W.B.III, was designed by the company. A hundred of these aircraft were produced and delivered to the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The company built and ran the Inchinnan Airship Constructional Station at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire. It produced the airships R27, R32, R34 and R36.

In 1924, the company acquired a licence for stressed skin construction using the Rohrbach principles. An order for two flying boats using this construction idea was placed with Beardmore. It had the first aircraft built for it by the Rohrbach Metal Aeroplane Company in Copenhagen, building the second itself and they were delivered to the RAF as the Beardmore Inverness. In addition, a large, experimental, all-metal trimotortransport aircraft was designed and built at Dalmuir and delivered to the Royal Air Force as the Beardmore Inflexible. Beardmore produced a line of aircraft engines, including the Cyclone, Meteor, Simoon, Tornado (used in the R101 airship), Typhoon and Whirlwind.

1929 Beardmore Inflexible a 1929 Beardmore Inflexible Norwich 1929 Beardmore Inflexible

 The Beardmore Inflexible at the Norwich Air Display, RAF Mousehold Heath, May 1929


Own designs
Licensed designs
Aircraft Engine


Road vehicles

1925 Beardmore Precision advertentie

 Beardmore–Precision motorcycle advertisement, 1925

In 1917, Beardmore bought Sentinel Waggon Works, a manufacturer of steam-powered railway locomotives, railcars and road vehicles. In 1919 a range of cars was announced, to be made by a subsidiary company, Beardmore Motors Ltd, based in factories in Glasgow and the surrounding area;Anniesland, Coatbridge and Paisley.

Cars and taxis

After the Great War, Beardmore manufactured cars and London-type taxis under their own name. The first car was the 1486cc, four-cylinder 11.4, which had a 4-cylinder overhead camshaft (OHC) engine. It was manufactured at Anniesland, Glasgow and introduced at Olympia in 1919. The shaft drive to the camshaft proved to be unreliable and it was replaced by a chain. The engine was increased in capacity to 1854cc and the car, renamed as the 12/30 was introduced in June 1923. This new engine was used, in 1923 in the new Super Sports. It was priced at £750 and each car came with a certificate that guaranteed that it had been driven around Brooklands track at 70 mph (110 km/h). A highly modified version of the Super Sports, with a 2-litre engine broke the course record at the Shelsley Walsh hill climb in 1924.

Beardmore Mk7 Paramount Taxicab
1966 Beardmore Paramount Mk.VII

Beardmore Mk7 Paramount taxi, 4-door model
Manufacturer Beardmore Motors
Model years 1954–66
Assembly Windovers Ltd. Hendon, North London; Weymann, Addlestone, Surrey; MCW, Washwood Heath, Birmingham, later Adderley Park, Birmingham
Body and chassis
Body style London taxi, fixed head
Layout Limousine
Engine Ford Consul (1508cc or 1703cc) or Zephyr 4 (1703cc) 4-cylinder ohv petrol or Perkins 4-cylinder ohv diesel (99cu in or 108 cu in)
Transmission Ford 3-speed or 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 8ft 8in
Length 13ft 10 1/2in
Width 5ft 6in
Predecessor Beardmore Mk6 taxi
Beardmore 12/30 Tourer, 1925
1925 Beardmore 12-30 with standard tourer body by Kelly

Beardmore 12/30 Tourer, 1925
Manufacturer Beardmore Motors
Model years 1924–25
Assembly Anniesland, Glasgow
Engine Beardmore sohc 4-cylinder petrol, 1589cc, 12HP
Transmission 4-speed manual
Predecessor Beardmore 11hp

The Anniesland factory was closed by 1925 and car production was moved to the taxi factory at Paisley, where a new model, the 14.40, with a sidevalve engine of 2297cc with an aluminium cylinder head was introduced. The engine was increased to 2391cc in 1925 and the car redesignated the 16.40. Two standard bodies were offered, the Stewart saloon and the Lomond limousine. A large car, the four cylinder 4072cc Thirty was made at Coatbridge in 1920 but it was unsuccessful and was discontinued.

Production of the Beardmore Taxi began at Paisley in 1919 with what became known retrospectively as the Mk1. This was designed to meet the Metropolitan Police Conditions of Fitness for London Taxis. It was a very tough and reliable vehicle and it earned itself the name of ‘The Rolls-Royce of taxicabs’. A car version, the Country and Colonial model was also made, as was a light van. It was replaced in 1923 by the Mk2, which had an all-new chassis, which it shared with a new range of light trucks and buses. Following a change in the Conditions of Fitness, Beardmore introduced a new model, the Mk3 ‘Hyper’. This had a smaller, 2-litre sidevalve engine and was lighter and more economical to run.

Following the removal of William Beardmore from the board of his company in 1929, Beardmore Motors was bought out by its directors, and taxi production was moved from Scotland to Hendon, North London. Here in 1932 a new model, the Mk4 Paramount was introduced, which was essentially an updated Mk3 with a 2-litre Commer engine and gearbox. In 1935, the Mk5 Paramount Ace, with a new, longer wheelbase chassis was introduced, with the same engine. It was followed in 1938 by the Mk6 Ace, which had detail refinements. The 1930s Beardmore became known as the ‘greengrocer’s barrow’, because ‘all the best things were in front’!

After the Second World War, Beardmore Motors sold and serviced the new Nuffield Oxford cab, until the newly formed British Motor Corporation axed it in favour of their own Austin FX3. Beardmore Motors then returned to making their own cabs. The model they introduced, in 1954 was the Mk7 Paramount, which had a traditional style coachbuilt body, of aluminium panels over an ash frame, built by Windover. The engine was from a Mk1 Ford Consul, (later, a Mk2 Consul and finally a Ford Zephyr 4) but a Perkins 4.99 diesel was offered from 1956. In the same year, body production was taken over by Weymann at Addlestone. Production of the entire cab was soon moved there. In 1966, when Metropolitan-Cammell bought Weymann, taxi production was moved to MCW’s factory at Washwood Heath, Birmingham, where it ended in late 1966. Final production of the Mk7 amounted to just over 650 cabs.


1922 Beardmore Precision 500
1922 Beardmore Precision 500

Between 1921 and 1924 Beardmore took over building the Precision range of motorcycles that had been developed by Frank Baker, selling them as “Beardmore Precision”. Engine sizes ranged from 250 cc to 600 cc. They also supplied the engines to several cyclecar manufacturers. After Beardmore stopped manufacture, Baker set up his own company again and restarted production.

Diesel Engines

Although heavy oil engines had been built from the early years of the century for power-generation purposes, a range of automotive diesels was under development at the time of the financial crisis; the Bank of England commissioned consulting engineer Harry Ricardo to assess these and he gave a mostly favourable report, the largest customer for the Dalmuir-built Beardmore Engine was Glasgow Corporation who took 30 6-cylinder 90 bhp engines in Albion Venturer M81 chassis during 1934, but reliability was so poor that by five years later all had been replaced by Leyland 8.6 litre units.

Decline and demise

Beardmore’s various companies became unprofitable in the post-war slump, resulting in the company facing bankruptcy. Financial aid initially came from Vickers Limited, which took a 60% stake in Beardmores, before pulling out in the late 1920s. Beardmore himself was removed from executive control of his company by the Bank of England. Most of Beardmore’s various businesses were wound down over the next few years until Beardmore’s retirement and death in 1936, although some persisted.

Dalmuir Shipyard

The crisis in the British shipbuilding industry after the First World War resulted in the formation of a company with the purpose of taking control of and eliminating loss-making shipyards to reduce capacity and competition; National Shipbuilders Securities Ltd, under Sir James Lithgow of shipbuilding giant Lithgows, Limited. The former bought Beardmore’s Dalmuir yard in 1930 and the yard was closed and its facilities dismantled, although various maritime engineering works persisted on the site until 1936. The Dalmuir site was re-established as ROF Dalmuir in 1939 however and was later sold to Babcock and Wilcox in 1957, who continued to operate there until moving to a new site in Renfrew in 1969. During the 1970s the site was converted into the Clydebank Industrial Estate and in recent years has also formed the location of the Golden Jubilee Hospital and the Beardmore Hotel.

Parkhead Forge

Sir James Lithgow purchased Beardmore debentures from the Bank of England on favourable terms in 1934, taking control of Beardmore’s iron and steel assets including – the former centrepiece of the Beardmore empire – the Parkhead Forge. It was at Parkhead Forge that James spotted young engineering manager Ian MacGregor who broke a strike by driving a crane himself for two weeks. James accelerated his career and MacGregor went on himself to be a major industrial figure.

After Parkhead Forge was nationalised by the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain between 1951 and 1954, it was acquired by Sheffield-based Firth Brown Steels in 1957, before the Forge was finally closed in 1983, with Firth Brown consolidating its operations in Sheffield. The land later became the The Forge Shopping Centre, which opened in 1988.


The archives of William Beardmore and Company are maintained by the Archives of the University of Glasgow (GUAS).

See also

1912 Ry-Beard 1914 Beardmore-AustroDaimler-1914-1 1915 Gun leaving Beardmore munitions factory in Parkhead, Glasgow 1916 Beardmore Mark I 1917 RACHbk-Beardmore 1917-Beardmore-Company-1919-1 1919 Beardmore Taxi MkI 1919 beardmore2v.4877 1920 0127Com-Beard5 1920 0127Com-Beardmore 1920 Beardmore locomotive indiatales12012 1920 beardmore 1920 EnV130-p148aa 1921 British Enterprise 1922 Beardmore Precision 500 1922 Beardmore-Precision with sleeve-valve Barr+Stroud engine (350cc) and full leaf-springing front and rear - plus that fabulous 'trout' sidecar in . 1922 Motorcycle and sidecar made by Beardmore Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, 1922 1922 v134-p522 1923 Beardmore 12HP Sports Skiff 1923 Beardmore advertisement Brasseys 1923 Beardmore Precision powered by a Precision 500cc sidevalve 1923 Beardmore-Precision-1923-7 1924 Beardmore Precision Model C 1924 Beardmore Precision Pictures a 1924 Beardmore Precision Pictures 1924 Beardmore Precision 1924 Beardmore-Company-1924-1 1925 Beardmore 12-30 with standard tourer body by Kelly 1925 Beardmore Precision 500cc 1925 Beardmore Precision advertentie 1925 Beardmore Precision 1926 EYB-Beard1 1929 Beardmore Inflexible a 1929 Beardmore Inflexible Norwich 1929 Beardmore Inflexible Beardmore 1932 1932 Beardmore MK III - Hyper Taxi 1932 Beardmore Mk3 Hyper Taxi 1935 Beardmore Taxi 1935 beardmore 1938 Beardmore Multiwheeler Python a 1938 Beardmore Multiwheeler Python 1955 Beardmore mark VII Taxi 1956 Beardmore mark VII Taxi 1956 Beardmore Paramount Mk.VII 1959 Beardmore Mk VII Taxi Chassis no. BM71529D 1959 Beardmore Paramount Mark VII London Taxi 1959 Beardmore Paramount Mk.VII 1960 Beardmore mark VII Taxi 1961 Beardmore mark VII Taxi OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1964 Beardmore mark VII Taxi 1965 Beardmore 'London' Taxi 1966 Beardmore Paramount Mk.VII Beardmore Sculpture 03-L Beardmore Social Profiles beardmore1 Beardmore-Precision beardmore-tornado-powered-r101 cab-3 IMG 3537 precision logo Sopwith Camel at the Imperial War Museum Southern Pacific 1229 Roseburg The_Beardmore_News_1 Two generations of Beardmore taxis. On the left a Mark 1 built in 1923 at the company's works in Paisley, Scotland. On the right a Mark 1V Paramount WEngineer8 William Beardsmore & Co marine boiler Dalmuir