Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,516 pages of information and 233,947 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Andrew Barclay, Sons and Co

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1862. Model of Traction Engine at the IMechE.
1898. Pumping engines, Glasgow Docks.
February 1901.
1901. Glasgow Exhibition - Side tank locomotive.
Winding engine at Kidwelly Industrial Museum
January 1902.
1904. Gas Works Locomotives.
1905. Six wheel coupled bogie tank engine.
December 1907.
July 1908.
1914. Fireless locomotive.
1924. Fireless 0-4-0 locomotive. No 1815. Exhibit at the Snibston Discovery Museum.
1942. No 2126.
1948. 6-ton crane locomotive.
1956. Fireless Steam Locomotive No. 2373. Exhibit at the Shildon Locomotion Museum.
1956. Exhibit at the Shildon Locomotion Museum.
Curling stone lathe, ex-Andrew Kay and Co, on display at the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life.
Curling stone grinding machine, ex-Andrew Kay and Co, on display at the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life.

A. Barclay, Sons and Co of Caledonia Engine Works, Kilmarnock was a steam and later diesel locomotive builder.

Born in 1814 Andrew Barclay was 25 years old when he set up a partnership with Thomas McCulloch in the manufacturer of mill shafts in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland. A couple of years later that he branched out on his own in the manufacture of his patented gas lamps.

1840 He set up workshops specializing in the manufacture of winding engines for the local coal mining industry, however the money from the gas lamp patent sale was never paid and the company and sequestration came the following year.

1859 Barclay recovered from this set back and his newly formed company produced its first locomotive the beginning of a long series four coupled saddle tanks.

Sometime around 1871 Andrew Barclay set up a second locomotive building business which was known as Barclays and Co for his younger brother, John, and his four sons, this business remaining closely associated with that of Andrew Barclay. Again not all went well and the companies were declared bankrupt in 1874 and 1882 respectively (??).

1888 Merged Barclays and Co in to the parent company.

Four years after this last collapse Andrew Barclay’s business was relaunched as Andrew Barclay, Sons and Co. Barclays and Co was being revived.

1892 Problems were not over, however, but the firm took on limited liability as Andrew Barclay, Sons and Co.

1894 Just two years later Andrew was removed from control of the company which bore his name by its shareholders. Barclay sued the company for unpaid wages, a matter which was settled out of court 5 years later.

c1896 Supplied inverted vertical single-cylinder winding engine for Elliott Colliery near New Tredegar.

1900 on 20th April Andrew Barclay died. Obituary in The Engineer. [1]

1905 Andrew Barclay winding engine at Morlais Colliery, South Wales. It ran from 1905 to 1981 without breakdown. Now at Kidwelly Industrial Museum

1907 Drift mine haulage engine for Morlais Colliery.

1911 Compound tandem steam pumping engine. Two sets made for the War Department.

1914 Mechanical Engineers and Locomotive Builders. Specialities: Locomotives, Pumps, Winding and Hauling Engines, Oddie-Barclay High Speed Ram Pumps etc. Employees 600 to 700. [2]

1925 The Company severed ties with Barclays and Co, in liquidation.[3]

1927 See Aberconway Chapter XV for information on the company and its history.

In 1930 the company bought the business of John Cochrane engine makers.

In 1963 it acquired the goodwill of the North British Locomotive Co in Glasgow.

In 1972 it was acquired by the Hunslet Group of companies.

1989 Its name was changed to Hunslet-Barclay

The company was noted for constructing simple robust locomotives and many of its products survive in use on heritage railways. It was the largest builder of fireless locomotives in Britain, building 114 of them between 1913 and 1961.

The estimated number of steam locomotives built is 2,052.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978/9. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  1. The Engineer of 27th April 1900 p437
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  3. The Engineer 1925/03/20