Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,469 pages of information and 245,911 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.

George Forrester and Co

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1834. The Vauxhall built by George Forrester and Co for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

George Forrester and Company of Vauxhall Foundry, Liverpool

See George Forrester

1827-1890 Listed in Liverpool directories as ironfounders

1834 Commenced building locomotives but ceased in 1847

The works manager was Alexander Allan until 1840 when he left to take charge of the workshops of the Grand Junction Railway at Edge Hill.

1843 'THE NEW IRON STEAM-SHIP "HELEN MACGREGOR." We noticed the launching of this ship in our paper of the 18th of July, as one of a class that, though intended only for the merchant service, would add to the celebrity of Mr. Laird, iron ship builder, of our port, of whose construction, of the same approved material, she was the 45th vessel. She has since received her engines, and will shortly take her departure for her destination. She was built for Mr. Gee, an enterprising merchant and promoter of steam navigation in Hull, and is intended to run, with goods and passengers, between that port and Hamburgh. Her admeasurement is nearly 600 tons; her length of keel being 180 feet, her beam 26 feet, and her depth of hold 16 feet. She is of extraordinary strength throughout in her plates, ribs, and fastenings; and further secured by four water-tight bulkheads, dividing her into five compartments. In model she is quite equal to our best merchant steamers, and has already proved herself a very fast vessel. The engines, of 230 horse power, are upon a new principle, patented by our townsmen, Messrs. Geo. Forrester and Co., and which combines economy of fuel and reduction of weight beyond any plan yet adopted. She has four cylinders — to each engine — inverted; or, in other words, the cylinders are raised from the bottom of the vessel, and the piston-rods work from below. The four cylinders are placed in a line across the vessel, and a cross beam is connected with each respective pair of piston-rods (starboard and larboard), to the middle of which is attached the connecting rod, giving motion to the crank. The beams below are double, but light, and so contrived as permit the parallel motion of the several rods. The boilers are interiorly of the tubular kind, producing great generation of steam within a small space, and the whole is so compact as to afford much more room for cargo than the usual place will admit. ..... The healths of the chairman, of the East India Company, and his brother directors, of Mr. Gee, the enterprising owner of the vessel, of Mr. Laird and of Mr. Hicks, builder of the engines, were drunk with great cordiality. — Liverpool Standard.'[1]

1847 The largest locomotive order was for fifteen 2-4-0s for the South Eastern Railway. These were of the Stephenson "long boiler" pattern.

1849 Partnership change. '...the undersigned, at Liverpool, as Engineers and Ironfounders, under the firm of George Forrester and Company, is dissolved, as on and from the 1st day of May instant. All debts due to and by the concern will be received and paid by the undersigned, Walter Fergus Mc Gregor. Signed: Samuel Sandbach, Henry R. Sandbach, Walter F. MacGregor,...'[2]

1851 Cornish engine for Liverpool Waterworks (Green Lane Station)

1852 Oscillating marine engine of 45 hp

1857 Mention of 'Walter Fergus MacGregor, Andrew Wylie, and Anthony Bower, all of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, Engineers, carrying on business under the firm of George Forrester and Co.,'[3]

1866 Refitting the SS Great Eastern to provide first-class accommodation for 3500 passengers, and making new boilers, very similar to the old ones, but with better provision for cleaning. [4]

1867 Designed the steam-steering gear which was retrofitted to the SS Great Eastern[5]

1867 Built a steel steam launch for the SS Great Eastern[6]

1881 Made the hauling engine and triple reduction gearing for the Honolulu Marine Railway (a slipway for the repair of ships up to 1500 tons displacement and 180 ft long). Special chains with long links were made by Henry Wood and Co of Liverpool.[7]

1892 Liquidation of the company.[8]

Six-column beam engine at the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board workshops in Birkenhead, photographed by George Watkins in 1935.

Location of Vauxhall Foundry

The 1890 O.S. map[9] shows 'Vauxhall Foundry (Disused)' with its entrance on Vauxhall Road, and bounded on the north by Banastre Street, on the south by Midghall Street, and on the east by Stockdale Street and by low quality housing. A branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal terminated a short distance from the NE corner of the foundry. Everything of interest has been cleared, and only Midghall St. and Vauxhall Rd. remain.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Bolton Chronicle - Saturday 16 September 1843
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:25 May 1849 Issue:20981Page:1735
  3. [1] Gazette Issue 22065 published on the 20 November 1857.
  4. [2] Engineering, 16 Nov 1866, p.369
  5. The Engineer
  6. The Engineer 1867/03/08
  7. [3] 'Engineering' 27 Jan 1888 pp94-5
  8. [4] [5] Gazette Issue 26309 published on the 22 July 1892
  9. The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey Maps: Liverpool (North) 1890 Lancashire Sheet 106.10, '1893 Edition'
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • The Imperial Journal 1852 Vol I. p641
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  • 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 4: Wales, Cheshire & Shropshire', by George Watkins, Landmark Publishing Ltd
  • Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10