Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,127 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Cooke and Ferguson

From Graces Guide
1944.
1944. Welding Manipulator.
April 1945.
May 1945.
June 1945.
1945.
November 1945.
December 1945.
August 1946.
November 1946.
November 1946.
December 1946.
1946. Circuit Breaker Type E5
1946. Circuit Breaker Type OE 6
1948. 11kV Circuit Breaker Type OD-2
1948. 33kV Circuit Breaker Type OE-3
1949. Circuit Breaker Type FTE-5
Brass plate - located in Russia.

of Victoria Street, Openshaw, Manchester.

1937 C. J. Cooke and Co became Cooke and Ferguson.

1947 Acquired by Crompton Parkinson.[1]

1948 Demonstrated Nelson stud welding system[2]

1958 The factories were reorganised; work was concentrated at the Victoria Works; the Saxon Works would be sold.[3]

c.1962 Openshaw factory closed, production transferred to the Crompton Parkinson works at Chelmsford.

1965 Company put into liquidation[4]

Is it possible this firm is connected with Ferguson Pailin, also of Openshaw?


From a correspondent in 2022.[5]

I noticed on your C&F page the question was asked "Is it possible this firm is connected with Ferguson Pailin, also of Openshaw?". The answer (the little that I know) is both Yes and No.

I was told that Sam Ferguson (while still a director of FP) formed a partnership with Mr Cooke 'around 1940' (your info suggests 1937). The former left FP in 1942, apparently due to some conflict of interest arising from his continued involvement with both firms. These details were passed on to me by Alan Maude, who started his career at FP in 1948 and continued through the AEI, GEC and Alsthom 'rebrandings' until the factory was closed (2003...?). Although the events in question occurred a little before Alan's time, it is likely that they were still fairly common knowledge among FP employees when he started.

I don't know whether there was any official collaboration between FP and C&F (I would suspect not, but can't be sure), but I can vouch for the fact that some small features of 33kV metal-clad switchgear of both makes were nearly identical - I have practical experience of operating FP VSRP32 (made 1937) and C&F FE5 (made 1951-52) 33kV metal-clad switchgear. In particular, the circuit-breaker isolating plug contact sizes were identical between the two types (both of 400A rating), such that portable earthing equipment supplied for one type could be used with the other. When the FP VSRP32 switchgear was decommissioned in 1998, I took all of the FP portable earthing equipment to the substation where the C&F switchgear was/is installed, where it has continued to be used to this day. The C&F switchgear is programmed for decommissioning during the next year or two.

I have some photographs of C&F switchgear which may be of interest for your C&F page. Some of them can be seen in a book I compiled in 2011, starting on Page 411 (Page 432 of the PDF document): View Book

The photographs were supplied with assorted C&F tender documents and also taken at various Sydney County Council sites. If any of them would be of interest, I can send them as separate images.

I was interested to learn that the take-over by Crompton Parkinson occurred much earlier than I had initially thought. I had previously found some correspondence from May 1950 which said that C&F "...is part of a large English electrical manufacturing combine, adequately capitalised to ensure financial backing of the three-year guarantee period...", but it did not elaborate on the name or ownership of this combine - it now seems likely that it was Crompton Parkinson. My approximate year of 1960 now seems likely to be just the time that the Openshaw factory was closed, after manufacture had been moved to Chelmsford (and also the time that C&F representation in Australia changed from ACElec to Noyes Bros).


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Bradford Observer - 17 January 1948
  2. Commercial Motor Archive [1]
  3. The Times, Dec 04, 1958
  4. The London Gazette - 9 April 1965
  5. 2022/10/23 JP