Hatcham Iron Works

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

The Hatcham Iron Works in South London was founded by George England probably around 1840. The works started by making lifting equipment and was listed in the 1846 edition of the Post Office Directories as 'England, George & Co, Engineers and patent screw jack manufacturers'. The first locomotive was built in 1849 for the Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen Railway. The first three locos for the FR were built there in 1863,with a fourth in 1864. Two more were built in 1867 and then the seventh, a double Fairlie Little Wonder in August 1869. In September 1869 on George England's retirement the firm became the Fairlie Engine and Steam Carriage Company. This business gave up manufacturing in 1870 with the death of George England junior. The Works was sold in 1872, and the company removed to Victoria St as the Fairlie Engine and Rolling Stock Company. The Hatcham Iron Works continued under various names and still exists as Maybrey Reliance at Belvedere. The original site in Hatcham was demolished in 1982 although England's house, Hatcham Lodge, and his workers' houses in Kender Street still exist.

There is a brief article on the demolition of the works and a photo on P3 of FRM 99.

A comprehensive history of the works and the companies which succeeded George England is to be found in "George England and the Hatcham Iron Works" published by the Reliance Foundry in 2001. This is a private publication and was never on sale to the public. The Reliance Foundry claims to be the direct descendant of the Hatcham Iron Works and is still in business in Belvedere.

Another source of information is an article "The Hatcham Ironworks, New Cross" in London's Industrial Archaeology No.3 published in 1984 by the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society. The Reliance Foundry booklet draws heavily on this article.

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