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 127,938 pages of information and 202,086 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1938. Yard Dumper.
Designed to be dropped by parachute during WWII. Exhibit at Kev's Kollection.
Pay/ tool check for the company.
March 1946.
1969. Aveling Barford Dump Truck. Reg No: NJT 334H.
Trench Digger. Exhibit at Kev's Kollection.

of Invicta Works, Grantham. Road rollers, dumpers, graders, bulldozers, concrete mixers.


1932 AGE - Agricultural and General Engineers went into receivership and Aveling and Porter acquired the assets of Barford and Perkins

1934 They changed their name to Aveling-Barford.

Early in 1934 the business was transferred from Rochester to Grantham on a 36 acre site which was leased from Ruston and Hornsby, a Director of R & H based at the Ransomes subsidiary in Ipswich, and George Ruston Sharpley,

1937 Became a public company to raise £320,000 and on the board of directors were Edward James Barford, William Geoffrey Barford (from Barford and Perkins) and John Heinrich Wulff Pawlyn also a director of Ruston and Hornsby based at the Ransomes subsidiary in Ipswich and George Ruston Sharpley, the managing director of Ruston and Hornsby.

Without the financial assistance of Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln, both Aveling and Porter and Barford and Perkins would not have survived. Ruston and Hornsby funded the amalgamation of the two companies, and gave them part of their Grantham site. For many years all the vehicles were powered by R & H diesel engines. R & H had also previously made road rollers, but concentrated this all at Grantham.[1]

1937 The firm claim they make 75% of all rollers in the UK at present. [2]

1937 Road and aerodrome roller manufacturers. "Invicta" Rollers. "Pioneer" Rollers. [3]

WWII During the war the company built bren gun carriers for the army, shell fuse caps and various precision-made components for tanks and submarines.

1960 Advert for dumpers and graders. Linked to Goodwin Barsby and Co.

1960s Aveling-Barford continued to prosper in the immediate postwar period, but the 1960s and 1970s were difficult decades for the firm. The workforce was slashed and the company's range of products was dramatically reduced.

1961 Group manufacture road rollers, dumpers, motor graders, calfdozers, trench cutters, shovels, road, quarry, gravel and contractors' plant, diary sterilising and pasteurising equipment, agricultural, horticultural and drainage implements, concrete mixers, and small dumpers. [4]

The Dumptruck rights were given to Moxy, who were taken over by Doosan, and never made any of the A-B machines. Aveling Barford was never owned by the Thompson group, Moxy , Doosan,or anyone else, other than British Leyland from 1968 to 1983.

1967 it became part of British Leyland Motor Corporation. British Leyland engines were to be used as part of the deal, but there were reliability problems.

1983 Privatised from BL[5]

Aveling-Barford became part of Wordsworth Holdings, which bought the firm in 1988. ( Duncan Wordsworth bought and owned the company and did well to keep it going under limited resources until it sadly went into liquidation in 2010.)

Invictas Engineering occupy the old Aveling Barford site.

The records of Aveling-Barford include build records, product catalogues, photographs and engineering plans. Many of the records date from before the 1934 merger and therefore relate to the two constituent companies. Most of this information is now held by Lincolnshire Archives.


See Aveling-Barford: Rollers

Dump Trucks

See Aveling-Barford: Dump Trucks


See Aveling-Barford: Graders

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Times, Wednesday, Jun 30, 1937
  3. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  4. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  5. The Times, February 21, 1986
  • [1] Lincolnshire Archives
  • Mining Year Book 1960. Published by Walter E. Skinner. Advert p57
  • Steam Engine Builders of Lincolnshire by Ronald H. Clark. Published 1955 by Goose and Son