The English Electric Co. was formed in 1918. During that year 1919,it acquired control of Dick, Kerr & Co., of Preston, Willans and Robinson of Rugby and the Phoenix Dynamo Co. of Bradford. It also purchased the Stafford Dynamo Works Ltd. of Siemens Brothers. Later acquisitions included Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., and subsidiaries, D. Napier and Son Ltd., and John Inglis Co., Canada.
In the 1950’s it took over the locomotive builders Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn and Vulcan Foundry´. English Electric itself disappeared as a separate entity in 1965 , when merged with the General Electric Company. By this time it had diversified in many different fields including computers, aircraft and domestic appliances puzzled me as a child that according to the “EAGLE” comic, the “Vampire” jet fighter was built by the same company that made our electric cooker. Surely the same concern could not be experts in both fields?
It was by virtue of the absorbed and purchased companies activities, that English Electric could claim experience of electric traction dating back to 1883 – the hydro powered Giant’s Causeway tramway in Ireland. This was the first use of electricity for rail transport in the British Isles. Subsequent firsts included locomotives for London’s first Tube in 1890, motors and control equipment or the Liverpool Overhead Railway in 1893, motors and control gear for the Waterloo and City in 1898, followed by five complete motor coaches the next year, and 40 four motor coach equipments for the Lancashire and Yorkshire’s Liverpool – Southport electrification in1904 There were further orders from the L&Y in 1919 and 1915, from the Midland for the Morecambe – Lancaster – Heysham scheme in1908, and from the North Eastern for the Shildon – Newport freight line also in 1915.
The organisation and subsideries was active in exports to the Empire, to South America and to some European countries.
This book is a pretty comprehensive review of English Electric’s transport activites, up to 1950.