Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 129,286 pages of information and 204,290 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of the Railway Foundry, Leeds
of Grosvenor Works, Jack Lane, Leeds (1951)
An engineering and locomotive building company.
1866 Mr Rodgers joined the company.
1870 The company name was changed to Hudswell, Clarke and Rodgers.
1880 Rodgers left the company and the name changed to Hudswell, Clarke and Company.
1891 Advert. Locomotive engines and 'Rodgers' pulleys. 
1894 Etchell's 'Non-Drip' Shaft bearing. 
1895 Advert. 'Rodgers' pulleys. Non-drip shaft bearings. 
1899 Advert. 'Rodgers' pulleys. Non-drip shaft bearings. 
1899 The company was registered on 29 November, to take over the business of locomotive builders and general engineers of the firm of the same name. 
1900 Around 575 locomotives had been built since the company started.
1911 Manufacturer of Locomotives for the Railways.
1914 Locomotive engineers. Specialities: locomotive engines for main or branch lines, iron and steel works, collieries' contractors' work etc. Employees 400 to 500. 
1917 Advert. 'Rodgers' pulleys. Over 181,000 in use. 
1923 Private company.
1927 Around 1,600 locomotives had been completed since the company started.
1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.
1920s Increasingly the production of diesel locomotives gradually outstripped the steam locomotive.
During WW2 the company diversified into armaments, as did so many other engineering companies. In the post-war period Hudswell, Clarke and Co Ltd (its full title, and note the comma) was closely involved in many secret programmes, including the British nuclear weapon programme. The airframe for the first British nuclear bomb, Blue Danube was manufactured by Hudswell Clarke at its Roundhay Road, Leeds. The airframe for Red Beard, the second generation tactical nuclear bomb, followed with that for Violet Club, the Interim Megaton Weapon; and there were many other projects.
1960 Advert for underground diesel engines. 'Designers and builders of steam, diesel mechanical, diesel electric, electric and battery locomotives for all purposes'. 
1961 Steam, Diesel and diesel electric locomotive engineers, and packaging and mechanical handling engineers. 800 employees. 
1961 The last steam engine built and they had made 1,807 of these in the 101 years of the company's existence.
The locomotive part of the business is now part of the Hunslet Engine Co. Locomotive-building was always only one part of a diverse product inventory that included underground diesel-powered mining locomotives, hydraulic pit-props and related mining equipment.
All the bombs detonated at the Christmas Island H-bomb tests were contained in airframes designed and built by Hudswell Clarke. The company were also major contributors to other military projects, eg. the Centurion main battle tank conversion into an armoured bridge-layer, that served with the British Army for many years.
The contraction of defence manufacturing in the mid-1960s contributed to the sale and demise of the company.