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 163,138 pages of information and 245,599 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.

Yorkshire Engine Co

From Graces Guide


1926. Oil Burning Engine for the Central Railway of Peru.
1931. Pannier Tank Engine No.8743 for the Great Western Railway.
1961. Name Plate for No 2855.

of Meadow Hall Works, Sheffield.

1864 Company registered[1]

Alfred Louis Sacre was engaged as works manager, and subsequently rose to the positions of manager and managing director.

1866 The works were built for the manufacture of locomotive engines on a large scale.

1872 Under the management of Mr. E. Sacre and Mr. Hunt, the works built the first of 15 large locomotives to Fairlie's patents for the Mexican Railway[2]. Engineers who witnessed the first trials of this locomotive included:

  • the Duke of Sutherland
  • His Excellency Nicholas Novoselky, Mayor of Odessa
  • Mr. Charles Sacre, engineer in chief of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway
  • Mr. Underdown, the general manager of the M,S,L&R
  • Mr. Bradley, the traffic superintendent of the M,S,L&R
  • Mr. Lasenby, district superintendent of the M,S,L&R
  • Mr. Sharp, assistant locomotive superintendent of the M,S,L&R
  • Mr. Illimoff, of St. Petersburg
  • Mr Price Williams
  • Mr Samuel
  • Mr Perkins
  • Mr Crossley
  • Mr Hunt
  • Mr E. Sacre
  • Mr A. Sacre
  • Mr Fairlie

Later diversified into making stationary engines, torpedo engines, and boilers.

1884 The company was registered on 18 March.

1901 Boiler makers. [3]

1906-1908 Produced the 'Y.E.C.' car. Fifty built.[4]

1908 The company is also engaged in motor-car construction. [5]

1948 The United Steel Companies Ltd needed new locomotives following the end of World War II; when the opportunity arose to purchase the Yorkshire Engine company, United Steel acquired it at a good price, with a view also to centralising the engineering workshops which would serve their steelworks at Templeborough (Rotherham) and Stocksbridge.

1951 One of the companies nationalised as part of the nationalisation of the iron and steel industry[6]

1954 One of the United Steel companies returned to private ownership[7]

From 'Short Histories of Famous Firms' by Ernest Leopold Ahrons [8]

The Yorkshire Engine Company, Ltd., Meadow Hill Works, Sheffield.

"The origin of the Yorkshire Engine Company, Limited, is stated to have been a suggestion thrown out by the late Mr. Archibald Sturrock, then (1865) the chief locomotive superintendent of the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster. Mr. Sturrock drew the attention of a number of gentlemen interested in the Sheffield and Manchester engineering and iron trades to the growing and successful competition of the Glasgow locomotive builders, who were capturing large locomotive orders on the English railways. Not only had the well-known firm of Messrs. Neilson and Co secured important locomotive contracts for several of the principal main lines on this side of the border, but the competing firm of Messrs. Dubs and Co had also just been founded by Mr Henry Dubs and had started operations in Glasgow.

Mr Sturrock's suggestion, which was probably in the nature of a prophetic hint, and duly considered, and a meeting was called at 64, Cross-street, Manchester, at which it was determined to form a new company with a capital of £200,000, and Mr Alfred Sacre of Peterborough was appointed the first managing director. The works were founded at Meadow Hall, Wincobank, near Sheffield, and Mr. Alfred Sacre was responsible for the layout and equipment of the buildings and plant. The situation of the works was at that time outside the Sheffield boundary, and the facilities for housing workmen were so poor that the company found it necessary to build a number of cottages at Wincobank, which it still retains..."

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 24, 1877
  2. The Engineer 1872/02/09
  3. White's Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1901 p849
  4. Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile
  5. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  6. The Edinburgh Gazette 23 February 1951
  7. The Edinburgh Gazette 26 March 1954
  8. The Engineer 1922/08/18