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 148,450 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bates and Scholes

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1920 Bates and Scholes gas engine at Anson Engine Museum
Dec 1921.

of Denton, Manchester.


The firm was first established under the name of W. J. Bates and Co in 1897 with a small capital, and was increased at different periods to about £70,000.

In 1919 Mr Scholes Senr., one of the founders and a Director of the National Gas Engine Co, Ashton-under-Lyne, purchased the business on the death of Mr. Bates.

Directors included: Walter Scholes (Chairman and Managing Director), Major Walter Neville Scholes (also a Managing Director), George Bleakley (Commercial Manager), William T. Hill, James Holt, George H. Roberts, Herbert F. Tattersall.

Major W. N. Scholes and Mr. G. Bleakley, the other two salaried Directors, were employed from their commencement in business with the National Gas Engine Co. Through the personal connections of the above, several well-established agents abroad were obtained whose united pre-war trade would necessitate a considerably larger works than was then existing, and for this reason and the favourable developments through the same means of the home trade, extensions to the works were commenced immediately on taking over, and were completed. A new design of engine was made entirely, and the works re-organised. The Capital spent on this, while increasing the assets of the Company had depleted the cash resources and caused financial unrest for the company by 1923.

1920 - Description of Victoria Ironworks. "The Works have not long been erected and are brick built, modern in design and layout, and comprise large lofty Machine and Erecting Shops with steel gantries for overhead cranes, Pattern Shop and Pattern Stores, General Stores, Brass Foundry and 3-Storey Block of General and Private Offices. The land forming the site of the Works is freehold, subject to chief rents amounting to £64. 19. 4 per annum. In addition to the Works Buildings, there are three cottages producing a gross annual Rental of £31.4.0. In arriving at our figure we have not included the land used as a yard for packing cases in Inman Street, this being held only on yearly tenancy. We value the foregoing land, buildings and cottages at the sum of £20,050." - F. S. Airey Entwistle and Co 12th January, 1920.

"The Works are laid out for the production of small and medium power gas and oil engines and semi-diesel engines. The Departments comprise large pattern shop, Pattern Stores, Machine, Erecting and testing shops, Tool room, Tool stores, small Iron Foundry, Brass Foundry, finishing shop, General and Drawing Offices, stores, etc." - F. S. Airey Entwistle and Co 15th April, 1920.

1921 Advertised a horizontal four-stroke engine from 2.5 to 30 hp. [1]

1923 The company had many agents abroad, and they were of exceptional value to the firm, being long established in this class of business, and many took over the agency through the personal connection with Mr. Scholes during his period with the National Gas Engine Co, their regular pre-war trade being very considerable. Previous to the present Management taking over this business, most of the Trade was shipping. In the last few years, although general depression has restricted the full development, many engines had been sold in important centres where their successful running "should bring further orders when business revives." Particularly in this the case with Gas Companies for Gas Engines. With regard to the semi-Diesel Engine, which since the reduction in the price of Oil seemed to have a great future at home, whereas in the past nearly all were shipped abroad, during the last 18 months, several engines were installed at home in good centres, and are running well.

List of Agents (1923)

London Office: - 122, Cannon Str E.C.4 - Manager Mr H. S. Russell (Late Chief Salesman of Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day for about 15 years).

Midlands: - J. P. Vaux, "Meadow Bank", Wellington Rd, Bromsgrove Wores. (Late, Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day).

Ireland: - Cork District: McKenzies, Camdon Quay, Cork; Dublin District: Dairy Engineering Co, 21-22 Bachelor's Walk, Dublin; Belfast District: J. Rea and Co, 23, Chichester Street, Belfast.

Scotland: - Barclay, Mackay and Co, 70, Wellington Street, Glasgow.

France: - R. de Prez-Crassier, 90, Rue d'Amsterdam, Paris. (Late Agent for National Gas Engine Co).

Belgium: - Usines de Keukelaere, 151, Rue de Bruxelles Gand.

Portugal: - Jayma da Costa, 16, Rua dos Correeiros, Lisbon.

Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia: - R. McHaffie, 110, Calea, Victoriel, Bucarest.

India: - J. E. Minnitt, 65-68, Great Western Buildings, Apollo Str, Bombay.

Burma: - Smith, Smith and Co, 104 West George Str, Glasgow.

Ceylon: - Eastern Produce and Estates Co, London address - Mincing Lane House, 59, Eastcheap, London, E. C. 3. and at Colombo.

Africa: - S. Sykes and Co - (Late Agents for Crossley Brothers).

Western Australia: - Frank R. Perrot, 883, Hay Street, Perth.

Australia (other states and New Zealand): - Armstrong-Holland, 4, Bridge Street, Sydney.

Malay States: - G. W. Wilson and Co, 110-112, Belfield St, Ipoh, Perak.

China: - Jardine, Matherson and Co, Hong Kong and 3, Lombard Street, London, EC3.

Argentina: - A. G. Pruden and Co, 333, Callo, Peru, Buenos Aires.

Description of Bates and Scholes Engines

The following is a description of the company's engines by the company itself stated in 1923:

"The general work is the production of high-class Gas and Oil Engines. They compete favourably in design with the best maker, say Crossley's National and Ruston Hornsby's which is proved by the fact that we general obtain prices equal to these makers." (1923)

Gas Engines

The general design of our Gas Engine apart from the general clean design, we claim has the following advantages:-

  1. Complete Scavenging - Note the dropped exhaust valve and small clearance behind valves.
  2. Constant compression at all loads - resulting in perfect combustion down to no load, and consequent economy. This is obtained by the constant opening of the main inlet valve, and governing on the quantity of gas above.
  3. Liner joints - superior to any other make. The rubber joint ring at the front can be replaced on all engines without withdrawing the liner. At the back end, the explosion joint is a metal to metal joint made with separate bolts from the water joint, which in turn has its own bolts.. No bolts pass through the water.
  4. Safety Disc or Breech Plate (patented) - This avoids the danger of any extraordinary explosion or heavy pre-ignition doing any harm by immediately releasing any excessive pressures. (No other makers fit similar device).
  5. Safety Govenor (patented) - A subsidiary safety govenor is fitted to prevent the engine racing away in the event of the regular govenor failing from any cause.
  6. Diaphragm Plate for Exhaust - By this device, the centre of the combustion chamber is free to breathe and expand, necessitated by the difference in temperatures of the internal and external metal, thereby saving cracked breech-ends.

Diesel Engines Main advantages included: Complete Scavenging and System of Governing.

  • Pump (patented) - Oil is injected at constant pressure, the bye-pass valve being always definitely closed at the moment of injection, the time of opening being varied, and not the amount of opening as in other designs.
  • Atomiser (patented) - is packingless, and the principal contributor to the success of our Semi-Diesel Engine.

"We have recently introduced a cold starting semi-diesel engine, in conformity with more recent practise. We already have a few of these running in England. They are doing well, and promise to give improved results particularly with reference to easy starting and low fuel consumption." (1923)

Paraffin Engines

These are of the general Vapouriser type, built on the same lines as our other engines, and also the Electric Ignition Paraffin Engine.

A Few Users of the Engines Supplied of the New "B&S" Type
Company Name Company Address Engine Type Supplied
Leicester Corporation Sewage Works Desford 2-140.BHP Semi-Diesel Engines
C. R. Smith and Sons Britannia Flour Mills, Portslade-by-sea, Brighton 140. BHP do
Frodingham Ironstone Mines Scunthorpe 120 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Gavan Electric Light and Power Co Gavan, Ireland 120. BHP do / 50. BHP do
E. McCreanor and Sons (Brickmakers) Newton Heath, Manchester 130 BHP do/8 BHP Gas Engine/10 BHP do
Holmfirth Electricity Works Holmfirth 120 BHP Gas Engine
Southport Crystal Ice Co Virginia Street, Southport 110 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine
F. Tempest Creft Shed, Sutten-in-Craven, nr Keighley 120 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Kendal Handle Co Timber Turners County Mills, Kendal 105 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Harrison and Sons Joiners Square Mills, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent 84 BHP Gas Engine
Swan Engineering Works Barry Dock 80 BHP Gas Engine
Osmond Brothers Quarry Owners, Ely, near Cardiff 70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
D. Jenkins and Sons Ship Owners Port Talbot 70 BHP Gas Engine
Ashton-u-Lyne Sewage Works Dukinfield 70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
N. C. Joseph St. Eloi Works Stratford-on-Avon 50 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Greenhalg and Co Ashley Street, Burnley 70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Morris and Sons Welsh Flannel Mfgs, Llanidloes 70 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Fife Laundry 39, Southville, London, SW 70 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine
Abel Lees and Sons Wheatfield Ironworks, Bardsley nr. Ashton-u-Lyne 60 BHP Gas Engine
J. Helme and Co Halton Hills, Halton, nr Lancaster 55 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine
A. Malkin and Sons Standon Hill, Eccleshall, Staffs. 65 BHP do.
T. Poulter and Sons Globe Works, Rupert St, Whitechapel, London 50 BHP do
Apex Inflator Co Thapex Works, Aldridge Rd, Perry Barr, Birmingham 44 BHP Gas Engine
Shaw, Sons and Co (Linthwaite) Lees and Grosvenor Mills, Linthwaite 44 BHP do.
W. Murphy and Sons New Street, Bantry 42 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
Kilmurry Co-operative Society Kilmurry, Ireland 40 BHP do
Westrup-Ayling and Young Roydon Mills, Essex 40 BHP Semi-Diesel Engine
Middleton Brothers Hague Quarries, Broadbottom 40 BHP do
Desborough Shoe Co Desborough 36 BHP Gas Engine
P. W. Spencer Giggleswick Lime Works, Giggleswick, Nr Settle 36 BHP Gas Engine and Plant
J. Rogers and Co Virgil Street, Cornbrook 36 BHP Gas Engine
National Glove Co Matlock, Bath 34 BHP do

List of Gasworks Supplied

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  • Letter from Bates and Scholes to an unnamed addressee regarding the raising of £70,000 by debentures - dated 4th December 1923 - kindly donated by D. Frost.