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.
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.
|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|
|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||Barrow Hill Roundhouse|
|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||LCP Properties, Shut End|
|2047||1926||Warwickshire||0-6-0ST||Severn Valley Railway|