Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,952 pages of information and 210,198 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Waterside Works, Ipswich, and 32 Victoria St, London
Engineers and makers of machinery for railways and all kinds of public works.
1869 Formed as branch of Ransomes, Sims and Head to concentrate on the railway side of the business and other heavy works. Four engineers, J. A. Ransome, R. J. Ransome, R. C. Rapier and A. A. Bennett, left the company by agreement to establish the new company on a site on the River Orwell. The original partners were Allen Ransome, his son Robert James Ransome and Richard Christopher Rapier. Chairs, points and rails were made. They also built steam and breakdown cranes; portable and stationary engines.
1875 James Allen Ransome died.
1876 Three small locomotives made and exported to China.
After 1880 acquired the patent rights to sluices invented by Francis Goold Morony Stoney in 1874, and thus became concerned with hydraulic engineering and water management projects.
These sluices were erected on the Manchester Ship Canal; Wilfrid Stokes improved their design, notably by protecting the rollers from scour when the sluice was open, and by making them completely watertight, and by preventing vibration of the rollers. These sluices were subsequently used for the Aswan Dam on the Nile and for the Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile.
1887 Stoney joined the company as a manager
1890 All-Round Titan Railway Crane. Illustrations and article in 'The Engineer'. 
1896 Became a public limited company. The company was registered on 17 April, to acquire the business of engineers of the firm of the same name. 
1897 Wilfrid Stokes appointed MD
1897 Two 30-ton travelling steam cranes for construction of Vera Cruz Harbour 
1904 Installed 5 sets of the largest hydraulic buffer stops at Kings Cross station, London, and another 5 sets at the Central Station, Glasgow.
1914 Engineers and Ironfounders. Manufacturers of hand, steam, petrol and electric cranes, traversers and turntables, capstans, tanks, water cranes and pumps, bridges, hydraulic buffer stops, castings, contractors' and railway plant, "Stoney" sluices, ice and refrigerating plants, concrete mixers etc. 
1937 Engineers and ironfounders. 
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers.
1960 Advert for Walking Draglines for mining. 
1961 Engineers and ironfounders, specialising in contractors' plant, mobile cranes, excavators, walking draglines, railway plant and equipment, sluice gates and water control machinery. 2,000 employees. 
1965 Ceased making walking drag lines because of the rise of oil and reduction in use of coal
1972 Newton, Chambers and Co planned to close Ransome and Rapiers and move the business to Thorncliffe but the group was taken over by industrial holding company Central and Sheerwood who kept Ipswich open.
1976 Ransomes returned to making walking drag lines in view of the increased use of coal
Descriptions and illustrations of many Ransomes and Rapier railway breakdown cranes may be found in 'Railway Breakdown Cranes' by Peter Tatlow.
In addition to Peter Tatlow's book Volume 1 there is also - Volume 2 Published January 1st 2013 by Noodle Books ISBN 1906419973 (ISBN13: 9781906419974) - (Shortly to be published Volume 3 which will be on Railway Steam Cranes as apposed to Breakdown Cranes.)
Also:- Railway Steam Cranes - Brownlie John S. ISBN 10: 0950296503 / ISBN 13: 9780950296500 Published privately by John S. Brownlie, Glasgow, 1973