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British Industrial History

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Hackworth and Downing

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Hackworth and Downing of Soho Works, Shildon

1833 Timothy Hackworth entered into a new contract with the Stockton and Darlington Railway in which he became responsible for the working of the locomotives and workshops but remained free to operate his own business as a builder of locomotives and stationary engines. He opened new workshops, foundry and built houses for workers[1]. The business was conducted from new workshops at New Shildon, where locomotive, marine, and industrial engines and boilers were built. He placed his brother Thomas in charge along with Nicholas Downing and the business was initially called Hackworth and Downing and built locomotive, marine, and industrial engines and boilers. This was known as the Phoenix Iron Works.

1835-49 between 40 and 50 locomotives were made

1838 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership lately subsisting-between us the undersigned, Thomas Hackworth, of Soho Works, Shildon, in the county of Durham, and Nicholas Downing, of the same place, as Iron-Founders, at Shildon aforesaid, under the style and firm of Hackworth and Downing, was, on the 30th day of November now last past, dissolved by mutual consent...'[2]

After Downing had dropped out, Thomas remained until 1840 when Timothy took over the whole works.

1846 Timothy Hackworth began to build engines for the London and Brighton Railway where John Gray was locomotive superintendent. Gray designed a class of express passenger locomotives and the whole of this class (12 engines) was built by Timothy Hackworth at Soho 1846-1848.

1850 Shortly after the death of Timothy, the Soho Works were untenanted and remained so for 5 years[3]

1855 the Stockton and Darlington Railway bought the Soho Works to become part of its Shildon and Darlington Works.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Biography of Timothy Hackworth [1]
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:2 May 1837 Issue:19489 Page:1108
  3. The Engineer 1876/09/29
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816