Hudson Brothers, Ritchie Brothers and Clyde Engineering
Hudson Brothers and Clyde Engineering
- 1846 William Henry Hudson with family
arrives from New Zealand, Hudson works at various joinery works in and
- 1855 William Henry Hudson, his son Robert and another
apprentice, open a large workshop to undertake construction work at Redfern
close to the then new Sydney-Parramatta rail line.
- 1863 Sons Henry & Robert join as partners –
now Hudson & Sons
- 1866 William Henry Hudson retires, Henry & Robert
take full control
- 1870 now known as Hudson Bros & Co.
- 1884 Hudson Bros amalgamates with the old established
firm of Robert Ritchie (1836 - 1891) who originally made
agricultural implements & machinery and later moved to Granville with
his sons to manufacture railway rolling stock.
- 1888 Ritchies’ Wickham branch is managed by Ritchie
sons – John & James Ritchie as part of the Hudson Brothers Engineering
- 1880’s During the 1880’s, Hudsons made
a large line of agricultural implements, Clyde windmills, ploughs, scarifiers,
cultivators, harrows, mowers, chaffcutters, corn shellers, elevators,
earth scoops, horse gears and farm and road wagons. But their main income
was from rolling stock for railways & tramways and allied works.
- 1893 By 1893, recession was settling on Sydney, government
rail orders had dried up, and the only thing keeping them going was the
agricultural implement side of things.
- 1893 Robert Ritchie died in 1891, and there was a bitter
dispute between the Ritchie Brothers and the Hudsons over the allocation
of profits of the Ritchie side of the company. The dispute went all the
way to the Privy Council and after protracted costly litigation, settlement
was awarded against the Hudsons with a costly payout.
- 1898 by 1898, Hudsons went into voluntary liquidation.
- 1898 – October - “The Clyde Engineering
Co Ltd” was registered (by a syndicate of W Noakes, Henry Hudson,
Thomas Irons, W Rigg, J Vance & Henry’s younger son –
Charles & DH Irons) and took over the liquidated assets of Hudson
Bros & Co. Clyde Engineering was established to build rolling stock
and steam locomotives. Noakes took over as MD with final say and also
brought the Fowles agency with him.
Some Clyde Engineering Locomotive Milestones:
1907 Clyde built their first steam locomotive - No.356
for New South Wales Government Railways.
1951 Clyde built their first diesel electric locomotive
- GMl for Commonwealth Railways.
1968 Clyde built their first 3000hp diesel electric locomotive
- L Class for Western Australian Government Railways.
1981 Clyde built their first high adhesion locomotive
- 81 Class for State Rail Authority of New South Wales.
1993 Clyde built their first 4000hp interstate diesel
electric locomotive - AN class for Australian National.
1997 Clyde built their first Radial Steering Bogies for
standard gauge and narrow gauge locomotives - Q Class and S Class for
1998 Clyde has a World First. We are building the first
AC traction 3000hp narrow gauge locomotive for Queensland Rail.
Robert Ritchie (1836 - 1891) and Ritchie Bros
RITCHIE, ROBERT ADAM (1836-1891), manufacturer and politician,
was born on 18 October 1836 at Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, son of
John Ritchie (d.1861), dyer, and his wife Barbara, née Henderson (d.1878).
In 1848 the family joined an elder brother John, a shipwright and engine-smith,
in Sydney. Robert worked for his brother and in 1849-51 at J. and W. Byrnes's
woollen mill at Parramatta where his father was manager. After eighteen
months at the Turon River diggings he was apprenticed to Joseph Whiting,
blacksmith, in Parramatta. In 1857 he took over Whiting's business in
Phillip Street and soon expanded it by making agricultural implements
including the celebrated 'Ritchie Plough'.
In the 1860s Ritchie moved to George Street, Parramatta. In 1876 he contracted
to supply the government with 150 railway trucks worth £70 each and next
year successfully tendered for the construction of first-class carriages.
In 1879 he opened a branch works at Wickham near Newcastle. By June 1880
Ritchie employed sixty men and was one of the biggest contractors for
government rolling stock: his works could make 200-300 railway wagons
a year and produced 300 ploughs and a wide variety of general engineering
and smithing annually. Ritchie's valuable railway contracts continued
and in 1883 he merged with Hudson Bros, becoming managing
director of their Clyde works. In 1884 he retired from the firm and became
a director of Mason Bros Ltd, merchants and importers, of Kent Street,
If any reader can provide additional information or images please make
contact via the link below.
"Their Work was Australian - The story of the Hudson Family"
by Bobbie Hardy 1970.
About Robert Ritchie - Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6,
Melbourne University Press, 1976, p. 32.
Spanners marked Clyde are predominately cast iron or malleable iron. We
think the ones pictured below are for agricultural machinery rather than
railway related - however,
in the absence of Parts Lists this is only guess work. Please make contact
if you have anyfurther information or images to add (see link below).