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Dutton & Co, Signal Engineers

DUTTON & CO LIMITED

formerly DUTTON & CO (until 29/6/1889)

Grid Reference: SO 553857

Dutton & Company was a partnership consisting of Stephen Telford Dutton and Sutton Geroge Cockran (REF: PRO). A news items in The Berrows Journal (12/1/1889) states that Dutton was a former employee of Mckenzie & Holland who had severed his thirty-year connection with that firm and started in business at the former West Central Wagon Co premises. The date Dutton & Co was founded can therefore be inferred as late 1888, which is in agreement with information on The Signal Box web site. As early as 21st March 1885 (Patent No.3885) Dutton had started to register inventions related to railway signalling equipment (REF: PRO).

In 1888 or 1889 (the date has been inferred from other documents) Dutton & Company signed a twenty-five (25) year lease, with the liquidators of The West Central Wagon Co Ltd in respect of the Worcester Engine Works. Although The West Central Wagon Co Ltd had gone out of business in 1875, it could not be wound-up because no buyer could be found for much of the site, despite two attempts to sell by auction. The lease has not been found but it is referred to in the schedule of items purchased by Dutton & Co Ltd (the second) in 1898 (REF: PRO).

On 25th June 1889 the partnership of Dutton and Company sold the business to Dutton & Company Ltd (the first), which had been formed with the express intention of taking over the business of the partnership of the same name. The nominal share capital of Dutton & Co Ltd was £60,000 consisting of 10,000 shares at £6 each (REF: PRO). One of the normal reasons for forming a limited company is to raise funds to purchase assets and it quite likely, although no evidence has been found, that the new Company used some of the money to purchase the freehold of the site.

On 17th October 1898 an Extraordinary General Meeting of (the first) Dutton & Co Ltd passed a resolution that the company be wound-up voluntarily and that the business be sold to a new Company (also called Dutton & Co Ltd). This resolution was confirmed on 3rd November 1898 (REF: PRO).

On 7th November 1898 the new Dutton & Co Ltd was registered formally to take over the business of the first Dutton & Co Ltd. This new entity had a nominal share capital of 21,000 shars of £1 each(REF: PRO).

On 23rd October 1899 (confirmed 23rd November 1899) an Extraordinary General Meeting of Dutton & Co Ltd (the second) resolved that the company go into voluntary liquidation. That meeting also confirmed an agreement made on 6th October 1899 to sell the business to J.F. Pease and Co Ltd of Middlesboro Ltd of Darlington (REF: PRO & The Times 7/10/1899).

The final winding-up meeting of the first Dutton & Co Ltd was on 23rd November 1899 and the second on 20th Auguat 1900 (REF: PRO).

In 1903, Pease sold the premises to Heenan & Froude Ltd (REF: Colliery Guardian.)

The records of the Industrial Railway do not list any locomotives as being used and it is likely that the internal works railway was horse-worked.

A map of the local area can be found here

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