Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Ardleigh Engineering

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Makers of governors for diesel engines, of Colchester

Soon after the Second World War the Board of Davey, Paxman and Co decided that the governing of high speed diesel engines was becoming a specialised function which no longer fitted with their engine and sub-assembly activities. A system for designing and assembling governors using components manufactured within the Paxman Works was devised. Production of governors outstripped company needs, with 12 months supply of governors being produced within three months.

It was decided to try to sell the surplus governors to Paxman competitors, such as W. H. Allen, Sons and Co, Mirrlees and Ruston and Hornsby. These companies were interested in purchasing the governors but only if the equipment did not carry Paxman's name.

1954 As a result a subsidiary Ardleigh Engineering was formed. A new location was found, away from Colchester, a disused hangar at nearby Boxted Aerodrome. This became the official address of the new business but it never actually transferred to Boxted. The hangar was used mainly as a storage facility for Paxman engine parts. Governor production continued at Standard Works in Colchester until it was transferred to Britannia Works in about 1956 or 1957.

During the period at Britannia Works the Company continued to update its governor designs and began to diversify into related products. These included thermostatically controlled by-pass valves, speed switches, overspeed trips and control systems. The latter were to become a large part of the Company's business in future years.

1962 Acquired the governor division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation of America, a principal competitor.

1962 The combined entity changed its name to Regulateurs Europa.

1965 the Colchester Works were brought together under one roof when governor production and office staff were moved from Britannia Works to the enlarged St Leonards Works.

Under GEC the business traded as Regulateurs Europa Limited in the UK, and as Regulateurs Europa BV in the Netherlands.

Following the formation of GEC ALSTHOM it became GEC ALSTHOM Regulateurs Europa Ltd.

1998 After the joint venture's flotation the Company traded as ALSTOM Engines Ltd, Regulateurs Europa in the UK, and as ALSTOM Netherlands, Regulateurs Europa in the Netherlands.

2000 The company was acquired, along with Paxman, by MAN B&W Diesel AG; the UK operation was renamed MAN B&W Diesel Ltd, Regulateurs Europa.

2005 the business was sold by MAN to the privately owned Heinzmann GmbH of Schönau, Germany.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Richard Carr's Paxman History Pages
  • Paxman History [2]