Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,813 pages of information and 211,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Greenwood and Batley, a large engineering manufacturer with a wide range of products, including armaments, electrical engineering, printing, of Albion Works, Armley Road, Leeds. Telephone: 20011. Telegraphic Address: "Greenwood, Leeds". (1937)
1856 Their first premises, the Albion Foundry, was taken over from T. W. Lord formerly Lord and Brooke. The foundry was located on East Street by the River Aire (Aire and Calder Navigation), however this quickly became too small for their needs.
1856 September. Mention as Greenwood and Batley of Leeds. 
1859 They constructed the Albion Works, Leeds.
1861 Employing 270 men and 112 boys 
1873 Thomas Greenwood died and the running of the company was taken over by his sons George Greenwood and Arthur Greenwood, his nephew Henry Greenwood and John Henry Wurtzburg their brother-in-law. 
1876 Members of the Iron and Steel Institute visited their machine and tool making works. 
1878 Built a tramway locomotive for Brussels tramways.
1881 Employing 670 hands 
1885 The company branched out into Flour and Oil Milling Machinery as a result of the acquisition of the business of Joseph Whitham and Son of the Perseverance Iron Works, Kirkstall Road, Leeds.
1888 July. Public company. The company was registered on 7 July, to take over the business of the firm of the same name, engineers and machine makers of Leeds. The four family members remain as managing Directors. Mentions John Batley but not in an active role.  
1888 The works covered eleven acres and employed around 1,600 men.
1888 May. The 'Leeds' dynamo with 100 volts at 180 amps for electric lighting. 
Late 1880s: Invited to the manufacture the torpedo that had been developed by Robert Whitehead, so as to supplement the resources of Woolwich Arsenal.
1889 'Immense' concrete boring machine for Creusot Works. 
1890 A rail connection with the Great Northern Railway was installed to bring in raw materials and to deliver finished products.
1891 Exhibited 14 in. torpedoes
1894 An early innovation was the installation of their own electricity generating station, completed in 1894. This allowed machine tools to be electrically driven rather than the traditional common shafts driven by steam. This development was to prove profitable in other ways, as the company was able to provide similar generator stations for both public supplies and industrial applications e.g. tramways, as one of its range of products.
1894 Royal Agricultural Show. Exhibitor of the 'Excel' pneumatic hammer. 
1896 A further acquisition saw Greenwood and Batley take over Smith, Beacock and Tannett, Victoria Foundry, Water Lane, Leeds. This company were the successors to the Round Foundry and were principally involved in the manufacture of Machine Tools.
Greenwood and Batley rapidly became a giant of a company, manufacturing an incredible range of products. Their primary business was military equipment both in terms of machinery to make armaments and the production of components such as bullets and shell cases.
By the turn of the century Greenwood and Batley offered the following products:-
Greenwood and Batley also manufactured a shaving machine and a splitting machine with fixed oscillating knife for the leather machinery trade.
1901 Moved the Explosives loading work to Abbey Wood, Woolwich, from Greenwich. The company held the UK rights for sale of the De Laval patent steam turbine, dynamos and pumps, for which demand was steadily increasing
1905 Advert for machine tools, oil mill machinery, dynamos and motors. 
1914 Manufacturers of Special and General Machinery for Arsenals, Mints, Bolt Factories, Oil Mills, Silk Mills; Electrical Machinery, Steam Turbines, Centrifugal Pumps, Torpedoes, Cartridges etc. Employees 1,500 to 2,000. 
WWI Produced some of the first tanks in the First World War.
1919 Advert for Shapers. 
1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.
1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. "Greenbat" 1½in. Hot Forging Machine. "Greenbat" 220 tons High-speed Screw Percussion Press. "Greenbat" ⅜in. Open Die Double Stroke Cold Header. "Greenbat" Screw Nicker. "Greenbat" ¼in. Solid Die Header. (Stand Nos. D.413 and D.314) 
1961 General engineers and tool and machine makers. 
1960s The company became part of the Fairbairn-Lawson Group in the late 1960’s, however trading conditions were not favourable and in April 1980 the receivers were called in and 480 employees made redundant. The company was bought by Hunslet Holdings for £1.65M who continued to use the Greenbat name for their battery locomotives.
By 1984 the work had been transferred to Jack Lane and the Albion Works were mothballed.
In 1987 the site was sold and the works demolished.
1876 The company built an experimental compressed air tramcar. The vehicle was supplied by a 100 cubic foot reservoir filled at 1000psi. The outcome of this work is not known but lack of evidence would indicate it was not a success.
1878 Similarly, a Loftus Perkins tramway locomotive built. This was fed by a water tube boiler nominally rated at 500psi. Again there is no evidence of its success.
1896 Leeds Corporation placed an order for 25 electric tramcars.
1897 The vehicles entered service, however this work was not repeated.
1901 Listed as Railway Plant Contractors of Albion Works, Leeds. 
1920 September. Exhibited at the Machine Tool and Engineering Exhibition at Olympia with 20 kW turbo-generator suitable for lighting ships. Also showed an electric truck to carry 2 tons. 
1927 Greenwood and Batley’s first successful venture into locomotive building occurred in July 1927 when five 4hp battery-electric narrow gauge locomotives were completed for Edmund Nuttall’s Mersey Tunnel contract. These locomotives proved very reliable and a total of 31 G and B locomotives were used on the Mersey Tunnel construction. Other work developed rapidly.
1928 Flameproof locomotive were built for the Royal Navy.
1929 The first export order was for seven, pantograph fitted locomotives for the Chinese Engineering and Mining Co Ltd.
1930 The first standard gauge locomotive was built for Luton Power Station. This was a 15hp design and was capable of hauling one hundred tons at 4 mph on the level. This locomotive is preserved at the Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds. A standard gauge passenger-carrying vehicle was constructed in 1933 for use by the Royal Navy at Gosport. This locomotive used two 10hp motors and could run at 20mph up a 1 in 137 gradient. Other products for which they were well known was coke car locomotive for Gas Works and Coking Plants.
1960 Advert for electric mining locomotives. 
In their short period of production, Greenwood and Batley built 1,367 electric locomotives which were exported around the world. This company deserves much better recognition for its achievements.
1988 Ceased trading after joining the Hunslet Group.
Engines are exhibited at Armley Mill Museum.