Ernest E. Baguley

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Ernest E. Baguley (1863–1948) was a British engineer.



Baguley served an apprenticeship with R & W Hawthorn Leslie, initially at their Tyneside shipyard and later at their Forth Bank, Newcastle, locomotive works. In 1890 he moved to Stafford and became Chief Draughtsman for W G Bagnall Ltd. While at Bagnalls, he invented the Baguley valve gear for steam locomotives.

Baguley became interested in motor vehicles and, in 1901, he joined the Ryknield Engine Co Ltd of Burton-on-Trent. This company failed in 1905 and Baguley became Manager of its successor, the Ryknield Motor Company. In 1907 Baguley moved to Birmingham as Manager of the newly formed Motor Division of the Birmingham Small Arms Company.

Baguley Cars Ltd[edit]

Baguley Cars Locomotive Rishra now resident at the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.
Share of the Baguley Cars Ltd, issued 29. January 1913

In 1911 he set up Baguley Cars Ltd which took over the assets of the (then defunct) Ryknield Motor Company at Shobnall Road Works, Burton-on-Trent. An agreement was drawn up with the Drewry Car Co. and Baguley began manufacturing railcars for Drewry from 1912. In 1915 Baguley Cars Ltd bought the firm of McEwan, Pratt & Co Ltd (which was in liquidation)[1] and thereby acquired some important orders for petrol locomotives.

Baguley served in the Territorial Army and became Second-in-Command, 6th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment. At some stage, he acquired the rank of Major. During World War I, he served in France from 1914 to 1915. Baguley Cars Ltd supplied (under the McEwan, Pratt name) a number of 10 hp petrol/paraffin locomotives to the War Department Light Railways.

They did not follow the 'normal' practice of building steam first and then diesel or petrol, but started in the opposite fashion, not building their first steam rail engine until 1920. But even this was almost an 'accident', as the locomotive was intended to be a petrol hydraulic machine but the transmission components were held up because of the 1914 - 18 war, so it was converted to a steam engine. Altogether the company built some 31 steam locos.

Baguley (Engineers) Ltd[edit]

After the war there was a decline in the production of road vehicles (probably due to competition from other manufacturers) and an increase in the production of railway equipment. Because of this, the name of the company was changed from Baguley Cars Ltd to Baguley (Engineers) Ltd on 10 April 1923.

During the 1920s there was some friction because Drewry complained that Baguley was failing to produce more modern designs of engine and chassis. Drewry began to move their business to the English Electric Company. Baguley (Engineers) Ltd went into decline and entered liquidation in 1931. Most of the plant and effects (including Major Baguley's own Baguley car) were sold at auction on 10 November 1931.

E. E. Baguley Ltd[edit]

Major Baguley was a great survivor and, together with his friends W. E. C. Souster and F. C. Souster (who were brothers), he set up a small repair business for Baguley products at Clarence Street, Burton-on-Trent. A new company, E. E. Baguley Ltd, was registered on 30 April 1932 and was soon building locomotives again. In 1934 E. E. Baguley Ltd moved to larger premises at Uxbridge Street, Burton-on-Trent. The company later became Baguley-Drewry Ltd.

Baguley Precision Engineers Limited

Baguley under new ownership and still based in Burton-on-Trent continue to manufacture new spare parts for classic locomotives along with the repair and refurbishment of locomotive wheel and axel assemblies


Ernest Baguley retired in 1946 and died on 14 November 1948.

Preserved locomotives[edit]


  • Baguley Locomotives 1914-1931 by Rodney Weaver, published by the Industrial Railway Society in 1975, ISBN 0-901096-22-9
  • The Railway Products of Baguley-Drewry Ltd by Alan Civil and Roy Etherington, published by the Industrial Railway Society in 2008, ISBN 978-1-901556-44-5


  1. ^ Quine, Dan (March 2017). "Baguley 774 and the Pennal Tramway". Industrial Railway Record. 

External links[edit]