Records and Correspondence of A. Ransome and Company Limited, Saw Mill Engineers and Iron Founders, Newark, Nottinghamshire, 1855-1931

Scope and Content

The collection represents the results of a rescue of surviving papers for the firm, and is lacking many of the core business records, including minute books and most series of accounts. It reflects a sampling of a large mass of disordered papers and correspondence. That which remains is mainly from the years 1912-1930, although some late 19th-century ledgers have survived. A large quantity of customer correspondence has survived and shows the company's involvement in engineering works throughout the world, particularly in the field of railway development in South America, the far East and eastern Europe.

Administrative / Biographical History

A. Ransome & Co. was established in Chelsea, London, in 1868. Its partners were Allan Ransome and Frederic Josselyn. A foundry was subsequently acquired in Battersea and was run, with Vincent Sydney Woods as an additional partner, as Ransome, Josselyn and Woods.

In 1893 the two businesses were amalgamated and became A. Ransome and Co. Ltd. In 1900 the Company, including the foundry, moved to Newark. A London office was maintained at Chancery Lane.

Shortly before the Second World War, A. Ransome and Co. Ltd, Newark, were taken over by the woodworking firm of John Pickles and Son of Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. That firm itself closed down in 1971 and its former premises at Mytholm Works, King Street, Hebden Bridge were acquired by the firm Fred Brown Engineering in the 1970s.


Material has been arranged according to form (invoices, purchase ledgers etc) and listed chronologically within these sections.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers

REPROGRAPHIC: Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, University of Nottingham Library: Typescript Catalogue, 12 pp
  • At the National Register of Archives, London: Typescript Catalogue, 12 pp

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email ). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

LANGUAGE: English.

Custodial History

The records of Pickles and Son were preserved in private hands, but the archives of A. Ransome and Co. Ltd (apparently transferred in their entirety from Newark to Hebden Bridge) were found in an old disused mill attached to the works. The West Yorkshire Archive office arranged for their transfer to Nottingham University Library, as they were entirely concerned with the firm's history on the Newark, Nottinghamshire site.