William Asquith, machine tool makers, of Highroad Well Works, Halifax.
c.1865 Founded by William Asquith (1840-1901), a native of Halifax, who had spent time in the gold fields of Canada and California. Right from the start the company operated from the Highroad Well area of Halifax. The company became specialist manufacturers of radial drilling machines and one claim to fame was that they supplied 40 drilling machines used during the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1924.
This site expanded to service several branches of the Asquith business which included a foundry.
The company has had numerous changes of ownership and is now part of Asquith Butler. Although no longer operating from the Highroad Well site, there is still plenty of evidence of over 100 years of engineering by Asquith on this site.
1901 The Asquith was a short-lived English automobile manufactured from 1901 to 1902. The car originally had a front-mounted De Dion engine and belt-drive; this last was later replaced by a two-speed gearbox because the belts kept slipping disastrously. Probably only one car was built before the firm decided to concentrate on machinery. Used the name West End Motor Co.
1914 Directory: Listed as Drilling Machinery Makers and of Victoria Buildings, High Street, Stockton. 
1920 September. Exhibited at the Machine Tool and Engineering Exhibition at Olympia with several new types of radial drilling machines. 
c.1921 Public company incorporated
1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.
1937 Machine tool manufacturers. 
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers
1953 Acquired Drummond Brothers of Guildford
Sources of Information
- Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1914 p658
- The Engineer of 10th September 1920 p244
- 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
- The Times, Aug 20, 1954