Wingrove & Rogers

Wingrove & Rogers Ltd of Kirkby, Liverpool, England, was formed in 1919 by Major Charles William Wingrove M.C. (1889-1976) and William Rogers (b1891) to manufacture control gear for electric vehicles. In the 1920s they diversified into variable capacitors, the components essential for tuning in the front end of radio receivers which they continued through the second world war during which they supplied the armed forces. In 1926 they amalgamated with British Electric Vehicles Ltd,[1] and moved the electric vehicle production from Southport to Liverpool where they made vehicles such as electrically motorised trolleys and electric locomotives (mainly narrow gauge), largely for use in factories, mines, and by tunnelling contractors.

Wingrove & Rogers battery-electric locomotive No. 4998 at Amberley Museum Railway.

The radio component part of the business was run under a subsidiary, Polar Ltd, formed in 1925. In mid-1928 they opened the Polar Works and they used the "Polar" trademark for the variable capacitors. The Polar business was sold off to Jackson Brothers (London) Ltd of Croydon at the end of 1980, having lost money in 8 of the previous 9 years.[2] The contents of the Polar Works were auctioned on 12th February 1981.[3]

Wingrove & Rogers sold their electric vehicle and locomotive business to Pikrose & Co Ltd in 1989, and then the company was put into voluntary liquidation.[4] Pikrose were a long established firm founded by Austin Hopkinson in the 1900s making equipment for the mining industry at their Delta works in Audenshaw, Manchester, and they continued the manufacture of the battery electric locomotives with surviving examples known from 1992 and 1993 - one is preserved at the Apedale Valley Light Railway. In 2006 Pikrose sold the B.E.V. business to Serminsa (of Peru) who have continued production of the locomotives.

ProductsEdit

William Rogers patented a controller for electric vehicles in June 1919,[5] and about the same time he teamed up with Charles William Wingrove to form Wingrove & Rogers Ltd. Their company manufactured the controller used on the electric vehicles manufactured by British Electric Vehicles of Southport.

In 1922 the company started patenting items associated with radio tuning such as variable condensers,[6] and this became an important part of the business, with several related patents until the advent of WW2, and production for the armed forces during the war.

After amalgamating with British Electric Vehicles in 1926 they produced electrically powered factory trolleys, and narrow gauge railway locomotives, used in factories and mines. In 1929 it was also reported that they marketed electric road vehicles made by Victor Electrics Ltd of Southport.[7] By the 1960s their range of products had extended to include fork lift trucks and pallet trucks.[8]

The locomotive type designations were based on weight :

  • 1.5ton Types WR5 and WR5L
  • 2 Ton Type WR8
  • 3-3.5 Ton Type WR18
  • 5 Ton Type W527
  • 7-8 Ton Type W128

Preserved VehiclesEdit

These simple battery locomotives were some of the last narrow gauge locomotives to be made, and some are still in industrial use. Their preservation largely came after the steam and internal combustion locomotives had been preserved with the realisation that they are also a part of the same story and need to be represented in collections.

 
Wingrove & Rogers 6092
Name Works
Number
Year
built
Type Gauge Previous Operator Notes
899 1935 22.5in At Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Pumsaint
1298 1938 2 ft (610 mm) Moseley Industrial NG Tramway & Museum
3492 1946 2 ft (610 mm) Sallet Hole Fluorspar Mine Wakebridge Station Tram Stop, Crich
3557 1946 W227 2 ft (610 mm) Force Crag Baryte Mine Preserved in 2007, at the Springfield Agricultural Railway
3805 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) RNAD Trecwn Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Lyness
4998 1953 2 ft (610 mm) Redland Brick Ltd, North Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey At Amberley Chalk Pits Museum
Lama 5033 1953 2 ft (610 mm) Ex Crowborough Brickworks At Great Bush Railway
5034 1953 2 ft (610 mm) Redland Brick Ltd, North Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey At Amberley Chalk Pits Museum
Mary 5665 1957 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
6092 1958 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) Beckermet Mining Co Preserved at the Statfold Barn Railway
Bertha 6298 1960 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
LM19 6502 1962 2 ft (610 mm) Originally Balfour Beatty Ltd, contractors, Blackwell, London Oswestry and District Narrow Gauge Group
6503 1962 2 ft (610 mm) Originally Balfour Beatty Ltd, contractors, Blackwell, London Oswestry and District Narrow Gauge Group
6504 1962 2 ft (610 mm) Originally Balfour Beatty Ltd, contractors, Blackwell, London Oswestry and District Narrow Gauge Group
6505 1962 2 ft (610 mm) Originally Balfour Beatty Ltd, contractors, Blackwell, London Oswestry and District Narrow Gauge Group
Cable Mill C6716 1963 2 ft (610 mm) Cable Street Rolling Mills, Wolverhampton Preserved at the Apedale Valley Light Railway
Billet C6717 1963 2 ft (610 mm) Cable Street Rolling Mills, Wolverhampton Preserved at the Apedale Valley Light Railway
C6766 1963 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
Ludo 6769 1964 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
William 6770 1964 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
Harewood D6800 1964 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
D6912 1964 2 ft (610 mm) Spondon Power Station, Derby Preserved at the Apedale Valley Light Railway
Charlotte G7124 1967 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
S259 George H7197 1968 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Morwellham & Tamar Valley Trust, Morwellham Quay
Titch M7535 1972 2 ft (610 mm) Ex Crowborough Brickworks At Great Bush Railway
M7550 1972 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Twyford Waterworks Trust
LM4 N7605 1973 WR8 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Lea Bailey Light Railway
N7606 1973 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Twyford Waterworks Trust
7617 1973 WR5L 18 in (457 mm) Preserved at the Lea Bailey Light Railway
P7624 1975 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum
7888R 1977 WR18 2 ft (610 mm) Preserved at the Lea Bailey Light Railway
7964 1977 WR18 2 ft (610 mm) Redburn flourspar mine Preserved at the Lea Bailey Light Railway
T8033 1979 2 ft (610 mm) Redland Brick Ltd, North Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey At Amberley Chalk Pits Museum
L1009 1979 WR5 2 ft (610 mm) Originally Concord Tin Mines, Truro, then Carnarvon Mining Co. Ltd., Clogau Gold Mine Preserved at the Lea Bailey Light Railway (stripped for repairs)
Diode L1021 1983 2 ft (610 mm) Moseley Industrial NG Tramway & Museum

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Industrial Amalgamation, Liverpool Journal of Commerce, 5 Oct 1926, p4
  2. ^ Business Briefing, Liverpool Echo, 31 December 1980, p9
  3. ^ Business Auctions, Liverpool Echo, 6 February 1981, p12
  4. ^ Legal Notices, Liverpool Echo, 27 July 1989, p46
  5. ^ GB 144021, William Rogers, "Improvements in or relating to electric vehicles", published 1920-06-10 
  6. ^ GB 209452, William Rogers & Charles William Wingrove, "Improvements in or relating to adjusting or regulating means or apparatus more particularly for use in connection with instrument work", published 1924-01-07 
  7. ^ An Electric Van, Commercial Motor, 17 Sep 1929
  8. ^ Wingrove & Rogers (advert), Birmingham Daily Post, 7 April 1964, p10