Located AtStaffordshire Record Office
LevelCollection
Alt Ref NoD1288, D3142, D4442, D4469, D4523, D4819, D5115, D5150, D5172, D5505, D6292, D6625, 7446
TitleRecords of the Horseley-Piggott Group
Administrative HistoryAdministrative History
Horseley Bridge and Engineering Company of Tipton amalgamated with Thomas Piggott and Company Limited of Spring Hill, Birmingham, in 1933, and the records cover both the parent firms as well as the combined firm Horseley Bridge & Thomas Piggott.
Horseley Bridge originated as the mining company of Dixon, Amphlett and Bedford, in 1792. Iron furnaces were built in 1808 and 1809. Aaron Manby joined the firm in 1813 and developed the engineering side and the company built the first iron steamship, `Aaron Manby', in 1822 and the Galton Canal Bridge at Smethwick for Telford in 1829. Under Isaac Dodds, the firm built locomotive engines, and in the course of the nineteenth century diversified into steel building of various types. The firm of P. D. Bennett, of Spon Lane Iron Works was taken over in 1878.
Thomas Piggott and Company was founded in 1822, and built iron canal barges. During the century they diversified into gas plant, particularly gasholders, lifeboats, piping, especially for waterworks, and pressed steel tanks.
The amalgamation of 1933 was followed by the transference of the Piggott works to Tipton. Among later works may be mentioned the Lamella roofing system, which enabled the erection of large curved roof spans, and in particular the Dome of Discovery for the Festival of Britain, 1951.
By 1968, the Horseley Group included associated companies Carter-Horseley (Engineers) Ltd., Horseley-Piggott (Process Engineers) Ltd., Horseley-Piggott (Coatings) Ltd., Mechans Ltd., George M Carter (Agencies) Ltd., and GH Whitehouse & Son Ltd.
There was a ("generally friendly") takeover by the John Thompson Group of Wolverhampton, and the company became known as Thompson-Horseley.
By 1972, a group was set up called Clarke Chapman Ltd. of Gateshead, which bought some companies including International Combustion of Derby and Thompson-Horseley, in an "unfriendly" merger, with some asset-stripping although a Horseley Division was maintained at Tipton under the company name Clarke Chapman-John Thompson Ltd., by 1975 called only Clarke Chapman Ltd.
By 1984 this became part of NEI Thompson Ltd. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (Northern Engineering Industries) locally based at Ettingshall, Wolverhampton. The group also incorporated Peebles Electrical Group, Parsons of Gateshead and Rolls Royce Engineering.
That company closed in 1992. The current successor company is presumed to be Rolls-Royce Engineering of Derby (information given by Mr John Allen in 2015).
ArrangementArrangement
The Horseley-Piggott documents deposited include:-
A. Records of Thomas Piggott and Co. Ltd.
B. Records of Horseley Bridge and Engineering Co.
C. Records of Horseley Bridge and Thomas Piggott Ltd.
D. Records of companies taken over by Horseley Bridge and Thomas Piggott Ltd.
E. Miscellaneous
D3142. Plans by Wm Dempsey of Westminster
D4442, D4523, D5505 - John Thompson Ltd., Wolverhampton.
D4469, D4819, D5150 - Horseley - Piggott Ltd.
D5172 - Horseley Company Ltd., and its successors.
Date1845-1968
Extent13 Sections
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Access ConditionsD1288 - Minimum of two working days advance notice is required for production
D5115 - Advance notice is required for access to documents in the uncatalogued accession D5115, which includes microfilm images of original plans, mainly for the later era of Horseley Bridge & Thomas Piggott up to 1975; annual customer indexes to the early 1980s including one of the earlier companies, not yet identified); drawing registers mainly 1950s; further publicity material including for the Festival of Britain; title deeds; rolls of drawings; papers relating to the Ince B power station
Related MaterialSee history of Horseley by JS Allen held at William Salt Library: "A History of Horseley, Tipton: Two centuries of Engineering Progress", 1993
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