The records of the English Electric Company held at the NRM consist of photograph albums and Diesel manuals, neither of which is clearly dated.
Records of English Electric Company Limited
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The English Electric Company was formed in 1918 and over the following year acquired Dick, Kerr and Company of Preston, Willans and Robinson of Rugby, the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company of Bradford and the Stafford Works of Siemens Brothers. In 1930, as part of a wider rationalisation of their production, electrical equipment work was concentrated on Bradford, while the production of trams, buses and rolling stock was centred on Preston. In 1946 English Electric acquired Marconi and in 1955 went on to extend their railway interests with the acquisition of Vulcan Foundry and Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn Ltd. The company tried to take over The General Electric Company (GEC) in 1960, but failed. They acquired Elliott Automation in 1967 and the following year GEC took over English Electric, ending its independent existence.
With such a broad range of acquisitions it is not surprising that English Electric also had a wide range of products including: trams, aviation, electronics, computers, guided missiles, tanks and other military equipment, as well as its substantial commitment to the railway industry. In 1923 they supplied electric locomotives to New Zealand Railways and in the 1930s were substantially involved in the electrification of the Southern Railway in the UK. In 1936 they began production of diesel locomotives at Preston and were later involved in the production of the Deltic locomotive for British Rail, presaging the end of steam traction in the UK.
The original order of the archive has been difficult to ascertain. The archive has therefore been arranged into two main series reflecting the nature of the record.
- Photograph albums
- Diesel manuals
There may be additional series in due course.
Conditions Governing Access
Access is given in accordance with the NRM access policy. Material from this archive is available to researchers through the Search Engine reading room.
Search Engine is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 10.00-5.30. You don't need an appointment to use the library collection but you will need to book at least a week ahead if you wish to look at archival material.
To make a booking, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend you contact us at least one week before your visit.
Address: Search Engine, National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ. Email: email@example.com
Check full details on the website at: http://www.nrm.org.uk/ResearchAndArchive/enquiriesandvisiting.aspx
The archive originated from GEC Alsthom who inherited records of English Electric when it took over the company. The archive was split up and acquired by the NRM via separate routes. It was decided to reunite the collection at the NRM.
- Photograph albums of diesel and electric locomotives, components and traction equipment: Transferred from GEC Alsthom, Trafford park, Manchester, 1992.
- Maintenance manuals, operating manuals and parts catalogues: Transferred from GEC Alsthom, Preston 1994.
Other Finding Aids
There is an access database available to NRM staff that records locations of material.
Alternative Form Available
Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements
This archive consists of 25 hard backed volumes; E/1/20 and E/1/21 are bound together with archival tape, in addition 9 manuals that are in a fair condition.
The catalogue, inventory, administrative history and finding aids were compiled by Alison Kay, Visitor Services Assistant, April-September 2008.
Description created by Jane Ronson (Archives Hub team) using the Archives Hub EAD Editor, June 2015.
Conditions Governing Use
Copies may be supplied of items in the archive, provided that the copying process used does not damage the item or is not detrimental to its preservation. Copies will be supplied in accordance with the NRM’s terms and conditions for the supply and reproduction of copies, and the provisions of any relevant copyright legislation.
The archive has been appraised. Secondary material has been removed. NRM Correspondence, transcripts of private researchers and NRM library material has been placed in the NRM registry files and the library collections respectively.
No accruals are expected to this archive though further additions may be made to the catalogue of items specific to the English Electric Company as they become available through the progressive audit of the wider GEC-Alsthom collection.
Location of Originals
- Bradley, Rodger P. Power for the world's railways : GEC Traction and its predecessors - 1823 to the present day (Sparkford : Oxford Publishing, c1993)
- Siemens Brothers & Co. Ltd. Electricity in transport : over sixty years’ experience, 1883-1950 (London: English electric Ltd, 1951)
- Jennison, John The Book of the Deltic (Class 55 English Electric type 5 co-co) (Clophill, Irwell Press, 2008)
- Hayward, David The Class 40s (Appleby, Trans-Pennine Publishing, 2005)
- Glover, John English Electric Traction Album (London, Ian Allan, 1981)
- Preedy, Norman E. The English Electric Type 4s: a picture study (Gloucester, Peter Watts, 1977)
- Webb, Brian The English Electric Main Line Diesels of British Rail (Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1976)