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British Industrial History

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William Gordon Bagnall

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William Gordon Bagnall (1852-1907) was a British mechanical engineer, of W. G. Bagnall

1852 Born in Tamworth, Staffordshire, son of Richard and Julia Bagnall, proprietor of mines[1]

1871 Richard Bagnall 61, coal master, lived in Walsall, with Richard Bagnall 25, James T Bagnall 21, Julia Bagnall 19, William G Bagnall 18, clerk in bank, Louisa Bagnall 14, Robert H Bagnall 12, Reginald Bagnall 10, George Bagnall 8[2]

Worked at John Bagnall and Sons of West Bromwich

1875 Acquired Massey and Hill's millwrights of Stafford, where he founded the locomotive manufacturing company of W. G. Bagnall

1881 Julia Bagnall 57, widow, lived in Upton on Severn, with William G. Bagnall 28, engineer, employing 68 men, John Bagnall 27, George Bagnall 18, Jessie Bagnall 17, Gertrude M. Bagnall 15, Norah Bagnall 13[3]

1891 William G Bagnall 38, engineer, employer, lived in Stafford with Jessie Bagnall 26, Harold G Bagnall 7, Richard G Bagnall 5[4]

1901 Wm Bagnall 48, engineer (railway), employer, lived in Stafford with Jessie Bagnall 36, Jessica Bagnall 9[5]

1907 July 19th. Died


Obituary 1907 [6]

WE regret to have to announce the death of Mr. William Gordon Bagnall, managing director of the firm of W. G. Bagnall, Limited, Castle Engine Works, Stafford. Mr. Bagnall, who was only in his fifty-third year, died at his house at Stafford on the morning of the 19th inst.

He was born at Cliff Hall, Tamworth, and was educated privately. His business career commenced in a bank, but engineering instinct caused him to leave this calling at the end of two years, when he entered the works of Messrs. John Bagnall and Sons, of West Bromwicb, of which he eventually became a director. In 1876 he went to Stafford, and took over what was then a small millwright's business, carried on under the style of Massey and Hill. Mr. Bagnall then commenced the manufacture of small locomotives, and he also took orders for any other engineering work. It soon became evident to him, however, that to be successful he must specialise, and this he did, with the result that the business quickly developed , and the small works, which originally employed less than thirty hands, rapidly increased in size until at the present time some 300 hands are constantly employed. In the building of narrow-gauge light railways Mr. Bagnall was particularly successful , and it will be remembered that the light railway of Spezia Harbour, which was difficult on account of its gradients and curves, was designed and carried out by him. The building of locomotives at the Castle Engineering Works has met with no less success, and a special design of locomotive brought out by Mr. Bagnall, adapted to the difficulties of narrow-gauge railways, has been supplied by the firm in large numbers.

Mr. Bagnall was always popular with his workpeople, and five years ago they presented him with a photograph of himself and Mrs. Bagnall, with an illuminated address, as a mark of respect and esteem. He devoted a considerable amount of time to public matters, and from 1882 to 1895 he served on the Stafford Town Council, acting for part of the time as chairman of the Sewerage Committee of that body.



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 census
  2. 1871 census
  3. 1881 census
  4. 1891 census
  5. 1901 census
  6. The Engineer 1907/07/26