In 1870 two gentlemen called Massey and Hill founded a general engineering company and by 1875 had a plant in Castletown, Stafford. In that year William Gordon Bagnall joined the company and by the year's end it was known as Hill and Bagnall, Mr Massey having moved on. The following year Mr. Hill also left leaving Bagnall in sole charge, the company's premises becoming known as the Castle Engine works.
1876 also saw Bagnall produce their first steam locomotive, an 0-4-0 saddle tank which was sold to the Duke of Buckingham for use on his Wotton Tramway (which started from what is now Quainton's platform 3). Locomotive building, along with the manufacture of other railway equipment, was to become the company's main trade and eventually W. G. Bagnall Ltd were able to supply a complete railway system should they be asked. The firm did not become W. G. Bagnall Ltd until 1887, and about the same time Mr Samuel Price joined the company, followed in 1891 by a certain E. E. Baguley, who went on to found Baguley Cars Ltd.
Bagnalls did well and overcame the death of their founder, all the company's share being purchased by Mr W. S. Edwards. An association with Brush Group of Companies came about in 1951 with the formation of a separate company, Brush Bagnall Traction Ltd.
W. G. Bagnall was eventually taken over by English Electric Ltd who stopped production of locomotives at the Castle Works in 1961. Further engines of Bagnall design were built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn until the following year.
Further Reading: Baker, A. C. & Civil, T. D. A. - Bagnalls of Stafford, Locomotive Works List - Industrial Locomotive Society - 1984
Examples at Quainton
|Bagnall 0-4-0ST No. 2469|
Text © Quainton Railway
Page first published in QRS publication "A Century on Rails" 1985.
Page Updated: 17 October 2012