Manning, Wardle & Company

Manning Wardle side 1Manning Wardle side 2Manning Wardle side 3Manning Wardle side 4

Manning & Wardle purchased the business of E B Wilson and Company in 1858 when the later company foundered. Manning & Wardle thus acquired the designs and a large part of the works in Jack Lane in Hunslet.

In 1859 John Manning became a partner of Charles Wetherall Wardle and established the Boyne Engine Works. By 1881 the firm employed 390 workers.

Within the next few years a number of othe locomotive manufacturers set up in the same district of Leeds including the Hunslet Engine Company and Hudswell Clarke and Company.

There was a good deal of staff movement between the three firms, leading to similar designs leaving all three works. Whilst Hudswell Clarke and Hunslet Engine Company built a wide variety of locomotive types, Manning Wardle concentrated on specialised locomotives for contractor’s use, building up a range of locomotives suitable for all types of contracting work.

By 1900 the company had built more than 1500 locomotives.Many Manning Wardle locomotives – of standard gauge and various narrow gauges – were exported to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, Australasia  and South America.

The company employed traditional construction throughout its existence, and failed to take advantage of the more efficient mass production techniques becoming available. As a result, Manning Wardle became more uncompetitive. The company ceased trading in 1927, after producing more than 2,000 steam locomotives.

The last complete locomotive was No. 2047, a standard gauge 0-6-0ST delivered to Rugby Cement Works in August 1926.

This locomotive was preserved at Kidderminster Railway Museum on static display, but has now been moved to Bridgnorth to be dismantled and assessed for a return to working order. It will need a new boiler at least. Dismantling started in September 2011 and the old boiler is now in the SVR Boiler Shop so design work on a new boiler can begin.

Following the closure of the company the drawings, designs, equipment and customers were acquired by Kitsons who made twenty three locomotives of Manning Wardle designs until they also closed in 1938. The patterns were passed to Robert Stephenson and Hawthorne who built a further five locomotives of Manning Wardle design. The Manning Wardle designs are now owned by Hunslet-Barclay. The intellectual property rights for historic locomotive designs are held by the Hunslet Engine Company .

The trademark name Manning Wardle is owned by a company formed in 1999 to preserve the name for the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, which from 1898 to 1935 operated what have become some of the company’s most famous products, narrow gauge 2-6-2 Tank engines: Exe, Taw, Yeo and later Lew.

Works No Built Name Type Location
641 1877 No 4 Sharpthorn 0-6-0ST Bluebell Railway
865 1882 RAF No 111   Aldwyth 0-6-0ST Leeds Industrial Museum
1207 1890 The Welshman 0-6-0ST Foxfield Railway
1210 1891 Sir Berkeley 0-6-0ST Middleton Railway
1317 1895 Rhiwnant 0-6-0ST Unknown
1532 1901 Newcastle 0-6-0ST Beamish Museum
1601 1903 Matthew Murray 0-6-0ST Middleton Railway
1762 1910 Dolobran 0-6-0ST Great Central Railway – Nottingham
1795 1912 E B Wilson 0-4-0ST Dewent Valley Light Railway
1955 1917 14  Charwelton 0-6-0ST Kent & East Sussex Railway
2009 1921 Rhyl 0-6-0ST Great Central Railway – Nottingham
2010 1921 42  Rhondda 0-6-0ST Hill Family, Caister Castle
2015 1921 5 Abernant 0-6-0ST Great Central Railway – Nottingham
2018 1922 Littleton No 5 0-6-0ST Avon Valley Railway
2025 1923 Winston Churchill 0-6-0ST Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
2047 1926 Warwickshire 0-6-0ST Severn Valley Railway

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