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Clyde Engineering

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Clyde Engineering of Granville in Sydney

Advertising for a Clyde Plough in Feb 15, 1911 Pastoralists' Review

Advertising for Ritchie Bros of Auburn plows and scoops in Feb 15, 1911 Pastoralists' Review

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Table of Contents


Hudson Brothers, Ritchie Brothers and Clyde Engineering

Hudson Bros Maker Plate image © Steve Bower Hudson Brothers and Clyde Engineering

- 1846 William Henry Hudson with family arrives from New Zealand, Hudson works at various joinery works in and around Sydney
- 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- 1884 Hudson Bros amalgamates with the old established firm of Robert Ritchie (1836 - 1891) who originally made agricultural implements & machinery and later moved to Granville with his sons to manufacture railway rolling stock.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 Complex.
- 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 Westrail.
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, Sydney.

If any reader can provide additional information or images please make contact via the link below.

References: A.F.U.L.E. Webpage

"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).


Cast Iron Spanner marked "Hudson Bros Ltd / Clyde 13" This spanner must predate the closing of Hudson Bros & Co in 1898.
I have no access to Parts Lists for these companies, so can only guess that these spanners are for agricultural implements.
If any viewer can supply a parts list of extract thereof, please make contact on the link below.

Two Cast Iron spanners marked Hudson Bros & Hudson, the obverse marked Clyde 13 and Clyde VY 23

Cast Iron Spanner marked "The Clyde Eng'ng Coy Ltd / N.S.W. 13" this spanner must date sometime after Clyde Engineering came into being some time after late 1898"

Cast Iron Spanner marked "Clyde / NSW XXL7" - what do the letters XXL7 mean? © D Symons

Malleable Iron Spanner Marked "Clyde / B43"

Malleable Iron Spanner marked "C. W. 24" - pictured here because of its similarity to other Clyde spanners - no evidence that it is by Clyde it could also
possibly be attributed to Cohoe & Walster going on the markings. If any viewer can supply info, please make contact on the link below.

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