Hudswell Clarke

Hudswell, Clarke and Company Limited was an engineering and locomotive building company in Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

Slough Estates Nº3 of 1924, showing typically Hudswell Clarke style of saddle tank and bunker


Hudswell Clarke builder's plate from 0-6-0T Nunlow

The company was founded as Hudswell and Clarke in 1860. In 1870 the name was changed to Hudswell, Clarke and Rodgers. There was another change in 1881 to Hudswell, Clarke and Company. The firm became a limited company in 1899.

In 1862, soon after the company had been formed, they were given the initial design work on William Hamond Bartholomew's compartment boats for the Aire and Calder Navigation. The choice of the company may have been influenced by the fact that Bartholomew, the chief engineer for the Navigation, and William Clayton, one of the founders of Hudswell and Clarke, both lived on Spencer Place in Leeds. They produced at least one of the prototype Tom Pudding compartments, but did not get the main contract for their production once the design work had been done.[1]

As steam locomotive builders, like many of the smaller builders they specialised in small contractor's and industrial tank engines, and rarely built anything bigger than an 0-6-0T. They never built any locomotives with superheaters.[2]

The locomotive part of the business is now part of the Hunslet Engine Company. Locomotive-building was always only one part of a diverse product inventory that included underground diesel-powered mining locomotives, hydraulic pit-props and related mining equipment.

4-6-2 1931 Neptune at Scalby on the Scarborough North Bay Railway

In 1911 Hudswell Clarke entered into an agreement with Robert Hudson for the manufacture of narrow gauge locomotives. This arrangement produced sixteen standardised designs, designated 'A' to 'Q', which ranged from four-coupled (0-4-0) 5 hp engines to six-coupled (0-6-0) 55 hp models. The designs were sufficiently flexible to allow for the various track gauges in use. Over the years, 188 locomotives were supplied to these designs.

In the 1930s the company manufactured narrow gauge steam outline diesel-hydraulic locomotives for use at amusement parks around the country.[3] In 1931 4-6-2 Neptune was delivered to Scarborough North Bay Railway, followed a year later by 4-6-2 Triton, both being 20 inches (510 mm) gauge. In the same year they supplied a 4-6-4T Robin Hood to Golden Acre Park in Leeds followed by a 4-6-2 May Thompson in 1933.[4] They also supplied 4-6-2 Mary Louise and 4-6-4T Carol Jean to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for use on the 21 inches (530 mm) gauge Pleasure Beach Express in 1933. A fire in 1934 badly damaged Carol Jean so 4-6-2 Princess Royal was ordered as a replacement. They went on to build two more 4-6-2 class locomotives, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose[5] for Billy Butlin to use at the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow in 1938 which were then transferred to his holiday camp in Clacton when the exhibition closed.[6]

In later years, Hudswell Clarke designed and built diesel locomotives for both main-line and private company use, mainly for use on shunting operations.

Surviving locomotivesEdit

Steam locomotivesEdit

Year Type Wheel
Gauge Company Name or
Location Notes
402 1893 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) Lord Mayor Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
431 1895 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in 431 Chasewater Railway
496 1898 0-6-0ST 2 ft (610 mm) North Eton Mill 1 Privately owned, Near Numurkah, Victoria, Australia
498 1899 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) Østre Gasværk (Copenhagen, Denmark) Nr. 1


(The Turtle)*

Nordsjællands Veterantog, Græsted, Denmark Runs during the "Veterantog for børn" event (every second weekend of September). Is painted in red and black livery as delivered in 1899.
499 1899 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) Østre Gasværk (Copenhagen, Denmark) Nr. 2 Danmarks Tekniske Museum, Helsingør, Denmark On Static Display outside the museum. Can be seen on the corner of Støberivej and Industrivej. Is painted Black with Red Buffers. Is Technically identical to Nr.1
526 1899 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Hawarden Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
555 1900 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Port Talbot Railway 26 Severn Valley Railway Later Great Western Railway No 813, Backworth Colliery No 12 and NCB (Backworth Colliery) No 11. Restored as GWR 813.[7]
573 1900 0-4-0ST 3 ft (914 mm) Handyman National Railway Museum Built for the ironstone quarry at Burton Latimer and moved to the Cranford Ironstone Co in 1921. Purchased by the Scaldwell Tramway in 1936, it last worked there in 1961. Purchased in 1964 by three W&LLR volunteers: Gerald Rainbow, David Plant and Bob Harris. They sold her to Alan Keef in 2004, who in turn sold it to the NRM in July 2008. Some cosmetic restoration undertaken.[8] Currently in faded green but it is believed her original livery was grey with the name painted in red letters on the side tank.
639 1902 0-4-2ST 21+2132 in (550 mm) San Justo Privately owned by Peter Rampton
640 1902 0-4-2ST 21+2132 in Santa Ana Privately owned by Peter Rampton
646 1903 0-4-2ST 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Wallaroo Phosphate Co,
Australian Portland Cement
6 Bellarine Railway, Victoria, Australia
679 1903 Canal 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Manchester Ship Canal 31
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
680 1903 Canal 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Manchester Ship Canal 32
East Lancashire Railway
750 1906 14" cylinder, 20" stroke, 3' 3 1/2" wheels 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Skinner & Holford - Waleswood colliery and coking plant, Sheffield Waleswood Chasewater
895 1909 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Fife Coal Company
1026 1913 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons No 31 Fawley Hill Railway, Buckinghamshire
Recorded at Fawley Hill, 18 May 2013.
1067 1914 0-6-0 2 ft Colonial Sugar Refinery Homebush Sucrogen Victoria Mill, Ingham Delivered to CSR Homebush Mill Mackay, loco number 6. Transferred to CSR Victoria Mill 1922, named Homebush. Preserved in working order 1978.
1152 1919 0-4-0ST 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Guinness 3 Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
1223 1916 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Vesta Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum
1238 1916 0-6-0WT 2 ft Ashanti Goldfields Corporation No. 9 Moseley Railway Trust Delivered in 1916 to what is now Ghana for their forestry railway. Crashed into a swamp and killed the driver in 1948, recovered 1996, and returned to the UK in 2008 for restoration. The restoration progressed well and the loco was in steam again by mid 2014.
1243 1917 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Port of London Authority Richboro Aln Valley Railway[9]
1308 1918 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Rhos Rocks by Rail
1309 1917 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Henry de Lacy II Middleton Railway
1334 1918 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Oxfordshire Ironstone Company Sir Thomas Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
1366 1919 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Renishaw Iron Works No. 6 Tanfield Railway
1369 1919 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Manchester Ship Canal 67 Middleton Railway
1375 1919 0-6-0WT 600 mm (1 ft 11+58 in) War Department Light Railways 3205 Preserved as Pejao at the CP museum at Santarem, Portugal order sub-contracted from Robert Hudson Ltd Worked on the Pejoa Colliery system in Portugal with five O&K locos: Fojo, Pedamoura, Choupelo, Pedorido, Sao Domingos
1423 1922 0-4-0WT 2 ft Corrimal Colliery (originally built for National Portland Cement tramway, Tasmania)[10] 'Hudson' Campbelltown Steam & Machinery, Menangle, NSW, Australia
1435 1922 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Nellie Bradford Industrial Museum
1450 1922 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Gladiator Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Rebuilt as Thomas the Tank Engine with side tanks
1464 1921 Sweden 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Manchester Ship Canal 70 Swindon and Cricklade Railway
1539 1924 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Derek Crouch Nene Valley Railway
1542 1924 0-4-0ST 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. B10 Oamaru Steam and Rail Restoration Society, New Zealand
1544 1924 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Slough Estates Ltd. No. 3 Middleton Railway [11]
1555 1926 0-6-0 2 ft Goondi Mill 6 Allambi Private Railway, Strath Creek, Victoria, Australia
1559 1925 0-4-2ST 2 ft Pleystowe Mill 4 Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne, Australia
1582 1926 0-4-0ST 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Rotorua Ngongotaha Railway, New Zealand [12]
1631 1930 0-6-0WT 4 ft 8+12 in 5
1632 1929 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Patricia Bygones Museum, Torquay
1643 1930 0-6-0WT 2 ft Bronllwyd Statfold Barn Railway
1644 1930 0-8-0ST 1,000 mm Riga Sugar Mill, Bihar, India "Lilian" Rewari Steam Centre, India
1672 1937 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Irwell Tanfield Railway
1682 1937 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in British Sugar Corporation, Kelham, Newark, Nottinghamshire. 54
Great Central Railway under restoration
1700 1938 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Wissington North Norfolk Railway restored 7/2012
1704 1938 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Nunlow Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
1706 1939 0-6-0 2 ft Victoria Mill Cairns Illawarra Light Railway Museum, Albion Park Rail, New South Wales, Australia
1709 1939 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Slough Estates Ltd. No. 5 Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
1731 1942 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in 20
Aln Valley Railway
1737 1943 Austerity 0-6-0ST 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Nederlandse Spoorwegen 8811 Stoomstichting Nederland,
Rotterdam, Netherlands
ex WD 5080
1742 1946 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Millom Iron Works, Cumberland MILLOM Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
1776 1944 Austerity 0-6-0ST 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in National Coal Board Harry Horwich, Lancashire ex WD 1499
1782 1945 Austerity 0-6-0ST 0-6-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in War Department 118
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway ex WD 1505
1800 1947 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Thomas Nene Valley Railway Name given by creator Wilbert Awdry in 1971.
1821 1948 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in 140
1822 1949 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in S100 Chasewater Railway
1823 1949 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in 38 Tanfield Railway
1838 1950 0-6-0 2 ft Victoria Mill Sydney Privately owned, Mount Molloy, Queensland, Australia
1862 1952 0-6-0T 2 ft Macknade Mill 6 Privately owned Mandalong Valley Tramway, Mandalong, New South Wales, Australia
1863 1925 0-6-0 2 ft Macknade Mill 9 Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne, Australia
1882 1955 0-4-0ST 4 ft 8+12 in Mirvale Middleton Railway
1884/55 1944 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in Newmarket Colliery, Wakefield Cathryn Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Converted by the National Coal Board (NCB) to a gas production system which entailed it being provided with an underfeed stoker. This also required the conversion of the chimney to a characteristic conical design that Cathryn now carries. The underfeed stoker has been removed and will not be refitted to the locomotive when the locomotive has been fully restored to working condition.
1885 1955 0-6-0T 4 ft 8+12 in 1 Alston Mid-Suffolk Light Railway
0-6-0 4 ft 8+12 in 21 Anne Elizabeth Edaville Railroad, Carver, Massachusetts, USA

Diesel locomotivesEdit

A typical Hudswell Clarke Diesel Locomotive from the 1950s
Standard gauge (4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm))
2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge
2 ft (610 mm) gauge

Steam-outline diesel locomotivesEdit

20-inch (510 mm) gauge
21-inch (530 mm) gauge

Military engineeringEdit

A Blue Danube bomb

During the Second World War the company was one of many engineering firms that diversified into armaments. After the War, Hudswell Clarke was closely involved in various secret programmes, including the British nuclear weapon programme. The airframe (casing) for the first British nuclear bomb, Blue Danube, was manufactured by Hudswell Clarke at its Roundhay Road plant in Leeds.[20] The Blue Danube was 24 ft long x 62 inches diameter. It was known to the RAF as "Bomb, Aircraft, HE 10,000 lb MC". Released from 45,000 ft at 500 knots (930 km/h) its maximum velocity was 2480 ft/s (Mach 2.2). It bears a likeness to the Tallboy and Grand Slam "earthquake" bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Wallis was a consultant on the design of Blue Danube.

A Red Beard bomb on its bomb trolley awaiting loading into a Canberra bomber

The airframe for Red Beard, the second generation tactical nuclear bomb was also built by Hudswell, Clarke. This tactical atomic bomb had perforated baffles to reduce bomb bay buffeting when dropped from a Canberra bomber; they were not needed on other aircraft. Red Beard was known to the RAF as "Bomb, Aircraft, HE 2'000 lb MC", although its actual weight was 1650 lb. It was deployed on a wide variety of aircraft of the RAF and Royal Navy, being stockpiled in the UK, Cyprus, Singapore and afloat on carriers.

Hudswell, Clarke also worked on Violet Club, the Interim Megaton Weapon. All the bombs detonated at the Christmas Island H-bomb tests were contained in airframes designed and built by Hudswell Clarke. The company were also major contributors to other military projects, including the Centurion main battle tank conversion into an armoured bridgelayer, that served with the British Army for many years. The contraction of defence manufacturing in the mid-1960s contributed to the sale and demise of the company.


Locations of preserved Hudswell Clarke locomotives include:

United Kingdom

New Zealand


United States

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Crabtree, Harold (1993). Mike Clarke (ed.). Railway on the Water. The Sobriety Project. p. 24. ISBN 0-9522592-0-6.
  2. ^ Atkins (1999), p. 105.
  3. ^ "Scarborough North Bay Railway - about us". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Parklife - Golden Acre Park". 18 January 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Colin Peake examines the larger gauges in the miniature railway sphere". 31 May 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  6. ^ Scott, Peter (2001). A History of the Butlin's Railways: The Story of Billy Butlin's Amusement Park and Holiday Camp Miniature Railways, Including Other Associated Railways and Transport Systems. Peter Scott. ISBN 1-902368-09-6.
  7. ^ "GWR 813 Saddle Tank - SVR Wiki".
  8. ^ Quine, Dan (2016). Four East Midlands Ironstone Tramways Part Four: Scaldwell. Vol. 112. Garndolbenmaen: Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review.
  9. ^ "Welcome to the Aln Valley Railway". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  10. ^ McCarthy, K (April 1978). "The Corrimal Colliery Railway". Light Railways (60): 23–26.
  11. ^ Slough Estates Ltd, No.3
  12. ^ Maciulaitis, David. "Preserved Industrial Steam Locomotives".
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Industrial Locomotives: including preserved and minor railway locomotives. Vol. 15EL. Melton Mowbray: Industrial Railway Society. 2009. ISBN 978-1-901556-53-7.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Ribble Steam Railway - Hudswell Clarke 1031/1956 'Margaret'". Archived from the original on 10 March 2015.
  18. ^ Photo of Elland No.1 Archived 1 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust - 21" Gauge restoration". Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  20. ^ Cocroft, Wane. "Fort Halstead, Dunton Green Sevenoaks, Kent: A brief assessment of the role of Fort Halstead in Britain's early rocket programmes and the atomic bomb project". English Heritage. p. 15. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  • Atkins, P. (1999). The Golden Age of Steam Locomotive Building. Atlantic. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0906899878.

Various public domain files declassified by:

now archived in the Public Record Office, London.

External linksEdit