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 143,439 pages of information and 230,054 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Frank Ayton

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Possible confusion with Frederick Ayton

Works Director, Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd., Orwell Works, Ipswich, Suffolk.


  • Trained Siemens Brother, Ltd., Woolwich;
  • Assistant to Sir Alex. B. W. Kennedy, M.Inst.C.E., etc., F.R.S.;
  • Chief Engineer and Manager, Ipswich Corp. Electric Supply and Tramways.

Member of Council of British Engineers' Assoc.

Past President I.M.E.A.

Started and edited for some years "The Electric Vehicle."

1946 Retirement Announcement

"IT is announced by Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd., of Ipswich, that Mr. Frank Ayton, who for close upon twenty-five years has acted as joint managing director and works director of the firm, is retiring at his own request, on reaching the age of over seventy-four. For some time he will continue as an ordinary director of the firm, and will reside at Wadgate House, Livermere, near Bury St. Edmunds. He will be succeeded as works director by Mr. H. H. Dawson.

Mr. Ayton was born at Hexham, in Northumberland, and was educated at the Imperial Service College, Windsor, then known as St. Mark's School. He received his technical training with Siemens Brothers, Ltd., of Woolwich, and at the City and Guilds Technical College. After twelve years of service with the Siemens firm, Mr. Ayton joined the staff of the late Professor Alexander B. W. Kennedy, F .R.S., on consulting work, and was engaged on the design of various power station and electric traction projects. Among them was the electric supply and tramway undertaking for Ipswich, of which he had personal charge.

In 1902 he came to Ipswich to supervise the work of construction, and before it ended in 1903 the Corporation invited him to stay as its chief engineer. He was responsible for the system of electrical transport and modern trolleybus equipment, which has meant so much to the engineering industries of Ipswich. In 1921 Mr. Ayton accepted the invitation to join the board of Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd., a post he has continued to occupy with distinction.

He is a valued member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Institution of Production Engineers, and the British Engineers' Association, and was a founder of the Electrical Vehicle Committee of Great Britain, out of which grew the Electrical Vehicle Association of Great Britain and the journal Electric Vehicle, which Mr. Ayton edited. He is a Past-President of the [[Incorporated Municipal Electrical Association]], was President of the Executive Committee of the Engineering and Allied Employers East Anglian Association, and a member of the Grand Council of the Federation of British Industries. During the war he served as employer member of the Eastern Regional Board, and was Chairman of the Emergency Services Organisation and consultant to the Regional Commissioner in connection with industrial matters. We wish him many years of happy retirement."[1]

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