Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,500 pages of information and 244,521 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide


Sentinel Steam Wagon. 1906.


Fore Wheel and Steering Gear. 1906.


Rear Wheel and Locking Gea. 1906.


1914. Exhibit at Grampian Transport Museum.
The Sentinel works at Shrewsbury. Photographed in 2010.
The Sentinel works at Shrewsbury. Photographed in 2010.
The Sentinel works at Shrewsbury. Photographed in 2010.


Royal Navy Sentinel.
January 1920.
February 1922.
1922. All-Steel Trailer Wagon.
1924. Track-Laying Steam Tractor.
Sentinel steam locos at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron (Ironbridge Gorge Museums)
JD Sentinel02.jpg
March 1928.
1929. Steam tipping wagon.
May 1929.
December 1929.
1930. Wagon for distributing ready mixed concrete.
1933. Front Steering Bogie of Steam Wagon.
1933. Rigid Eight Wheeler Steam Wagon.
1934. Six Engined Steam Locomotive.
March 1948.
April 1948.
March 1949.
April 1951.
April 1951.
April 1951.
September 1954.
1955. Reg No: SND 584.
November 1957.
Reg No. YH 5763.
Reg No. YH 5763.
Sentinel Patent Compressor, used in the shale oil industry. Located at Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Livingstone, Scotland.
Cast nameplate - "Sentinel Patent Compressor."

Sentinel Waggon Works of Shrewsbury, were a manufacturer of commercial vehicles from 1906 to 1957.


1906 Alley and MacLellan of Polmadie in Scotland established the Sentinel Steam Waggon business.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Steam Motor Wagons, Tractors and Ploughs etc. see the 1917 Red Book. Maker of 'Sentinel'.

1915 The Sentinel Waggon Works was built on the outskirts of Shrewsbury and production of steam wagons was concentrated there with men being transferred from Glasgow.

1915 July. The first vehicle built at Shrewsbury was No 1102

WWI Around 200 steam vehicles were supplied for war use

1918 Stephen Evans Alley sold his shares in Alley and MacLellan to William Beardmore and Co; the Glasgow works were separated from the company that was formed as Sentinel Waggon Works with operations concentrated at Shrewsbury.

1919 Sold 600 vehicles

1920 Sold 900 vehicles

1923 Some 4,500 of the Standard Sentinel vehicles had been produced primarily for road transport from its introduction in 1906

1923 June. New range launched with Serial No 5001 and delivered to A. Brain and Co of Cardiff

Started the manufacture of steam railcars and around 850 were built up to 1957; many of the boilers were made by Abbott and Co.

"Sentinel-Cammell" railcars were built by Sentinel Waggon Works (who made the power unit and controls) and Cammell, Laird and Co who made the body and running gear.

1927 - April. The Sentinel Steam Waggon Co produced a steam rail coach of a new type that was put into railway service in the South of England. [1]

By 1930 more than 150 railcars were operated by railways in 23 countries; a gear-driven model fitted with a six-cylinder engine was in service on the L.N.E.R., Ceylon Government Railways and Newfoundland Railways.

1936 Public company. Name changed to Sentinel Waggon Works (1936) Ltd

WW2 Prominent in experiments to produce gas-producer trailers to overcome the fuel shortage.

1943 Metal Industries owned around 70% of the shares in Sentinel [2].

1946 Name changed.

1946 Produced a 4-wheel diesel powered vehicle.

1948 Sentinel exhibited the first underfloor-engined bus at the Commercial Motor Show. The model featured a four-cylinder 6 litre 90 bhp injection engine.

1949 The last order for steam wagons produced for an export order to Argentina.

1952 The company made machine tools, diesel engines and road vehicles[3]

1953 104 Sentinel PSVs had been built.

1956 The company was sold to Rolls-Royce who started making diesel engines at Shrewsbury.

1957 When Sentinel failed their main UK dealer, North Cheshire Motors, purchased the stock of vehicles and parts and continued production under the Transport Vehicles (TVW) name which ceased production in 1961 when stocks were depleted.

1961 Manufacturers of diesel shunting locomotives. 1,800 employees. [4]


Steam Locomotives

Sentinel made many steam railcars and also shunting locomotives of innovative design.

Some of the last shunting locomotives were 0-6-0s made for GKN and Dorman Long in the 1950s, and a large articulated 0-6-0+0-6-0 for Dorman Long, weighing 90 tons. Apart from steam leakage problems at the flexible pipe joints, it was considered to be a great success. It had a 'Woolnough' type boiler made by J. Samuel White and Co, working at 335 psi. Another unusual batch made for Dorman Long were fireless locomotives using steam superheated by means of a diesel-fuelled molten lead bath. The prototype proved very unpopular, and the others were not accepted. Although the 0-6-0+0-6-0 was still working in 1962, the rapid end of steam was heralded by the great success of the first Rolls-Royce Sentinel diesel bought by Dorman Long in 1959.[5]

Steam Vehicles

Models - Steam

  • Standard (1906-23)
  • Super (1923- )
  • DG4 (1926- ) 6/7 tons
  • DG6 ( - ) 12 tons
  • DG 8 (1929- )
  • S Type (1934- ) S4, S6 and S8

Models - IC Engines

  • DV44 (1948- )
  • DV46 (1950- ) six-wheeler
  • DV 66 (1952- ) Heavy six-wheeler

Machine Tools

Post WW2, Sentinel produced a variety of machine tools, often under licence. These included the 'CRI-DAN' single-point screw threading machines[6]. The CRI-DAN machines were made under licence from the French CRI-DAN company, incorporating features patented by, inter alia, Xavier Francois Castelli and Pierre Edouard Renoux[7][8]. (H. Ernault-Batignolles of France also produced the machines).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1927/04/15
  2. The Times, 14 August 1943
  3. The Times, Sep 04, 1952
  4. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  5. 'The Last Years of Industrial Steam Locomotive Building, Part 2' by Andrew Neale, Archive No. 81, March 2014
  6. [1] 'The Engineer' Supplement 19 Sept 1952 p.xii
  7. [2] US Patent US2265265 A
  8. [3] US Patent No. US2778037 A
  • British Lorries 1900-1992 by S. W. Stevens-Stratten. Pub. Ian Allen Publishing
  • Traction Engine Album by Malcolm Ranieri. Pub 2005
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • Ian Allan British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris