Beclawat is a trademark used by the British firm Beckett, Laycock and Watkinson Ltd, a British manufacturer of openable windows and other fittings for a wide range of transport applications including marine, rail, bus, aviation, etc. The company was established in 1912 in Harlesden, London NW10. It later set up companies in Australia and Canada and the latter is still in business as Beclawat Manufacturing, Inc. By 1983 the British company had moved to Newport Pagnell as Beclawat PLC, and later moved to Elland, West Yorkshire, but had closed down (as Beclawat Ltd) in 2005.
A widely-used style of window they produced had horizontally-sliding panes openable for ventilation above a larger fixed pane. The glass is mounted in a rounded metal frame, usually aluminium, and most importantly, there is a rubber seal to stop leaks and rattles when the window is closed. This style of Beclawat window opens inside its frame, so that when it is "fully" open, the opening cannot be more than half the width of the frame.
Sydney, New South Wales[edit source]
The original steel single deck electric trains in Sydney, NSW, c1926, had windows which opened upwards. An additional problem was that these windows allow rain water to get in and cause problems with rust. Around 1970s, the old windows started to be replaced by Beclawat windows, which reduced the rust problems.
British Railways[edit source]
Beclawat produced windows with sliding ventilators for many British Railways standard coaches of Mark 1 and early Mark 2 builds, also diesel railcars, until airconditioning became standard and passenger-openable windows in saloons were not required. Beclawat also supplied the drop windows in doors of Mark 1, 2 and 3 stock. These lowered into the hollow doors and were balanced by a sprung 'Lazy-tongs' mechanism inside the door. To release the window catch one pressed the chromed bar at the top of the window. On this bar the name 'Beclawat' was stamped.
Festiniog Railway[edit source]
Beclawat windows with top ventilators are fitted to at least the following FR carriages:
- Carriage 111
- Carriage 116 - Rebuilt 1982 with new doors and "Beclawat" windows.
- Carriage 117 (1977) - Refitted 1989/90 under INCA programme. Pattern 88 bogies, "Beclawat" windows, and heating.
- Carriage 121 (1981) - Refitted 1988/90 under INCA programme with Pattern 88 bogies, "Beclawat" windows and gas fired heating.
The above carriages also have 'Beclawat' drop wndows in the doors similar to the BR pattern, as have the other Tin Cars 118-120. These three cars also have the same style of drop windows in the saloons, alternating with fixed lights. It is believed some of these drop windows may have come from scrapped BR diesel railcars. (confirmation required)
The Beclawat windows in Sydney had a problem in that the overall rubber seal allowed vandals to push out the whole window. To counter this, the window frame was secured with flush mounted nuts and bolts.