An extract on #brush
In 1865, Henry Hughes, who was a timber merchant engineer, began building horse-drawn tramcars and railway rolling stock at the Falcon Works in Loughborough. His first company was known as the Hughes's Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works Ltd. Records are very sparse, but it seems that he began producing steam locomotives about 1867 for the Paris Exhibition. His main business, however, was tram engines, lightweight steam engines (usually with condensers) which drew passenger cars, made possible by the Tramways Act 1870. Among these was "The Pioneer" for the Swansea and Mumbles Railway. These were distinct from those tramcars where the boiler and mechanism was integral with the passenger car. Amongst the first steam locomotives built there was "Belmont", which ran on the Snailbeach District Railways, and three 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) gauge 0-4-0STs for the Corris Railway supplied in 1878. The Corris locomotives are said to have been works numbers 322, 323 and 324, implying that the tram vehicles and steam locomotives were included in a single numerical sequence.
In 1881 Hughes' built two 3 ft (914 mm) gauge 0-4-0STs for the Liverpool Corporation Water Committee for use in the construction of the waterworks at Lake Vyrnwy in Wales. In 1881 the company ran into legal problems and in 1882 it was in receivership. Hughes departed, soon after, for New Zealand, where in collaboration with local engineer E.W Mills, he built small tramway engines.
Late in 1882 the company reformed as the Falcon Engine & Car Works Ltd. and supplied three more locomotives of the same design for the railways at Vyrnwy. Again there are few records, but the factory remained busy with both railway and tramway locomotives and rolling stock. Among these were tank locomotives for Ireland, Spain and the Azores. Some were subcontracts from other firms, such as Kerr Stuart, at that time in Glasgow.
In 1889 the assets were taken over by the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation, which had been set up as the British arm of Charles Francis Brush's Brush Electric Company in America. It then became known as the Brush Electrical Engineering Company.
Between 1901 and 1905 the Brushmobile electric car was developed using a Vauxhall Motors engine, although only six were built. One of these six featured in the film Carry on Screaming. Nearly 100 buses, plus some lorries were built using French engines until 1907.
Brush Electrical Engineering also built some carriages that were used in the 1900s on the Central London Railway and the City and South London Railway, the respective forerunners of London Underground's Central and Northern lines.
In all, about 250 steam locomotives were built in addition to the tram engines. Production finished after World War I and the company concentrated on transport-related electrical equipment, including tramcars, trolleybuses and battery-operated vehicles.
In World War II Brush Coachworks diversified into aircraft production, building 335 de Havilland Dominies for the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm. Wing sections were built for Lancaster bombers and Hampden fuselages were overhauled.
The coachworks continued after the war with omnibus bodies mounted on Daimler chassis using Gardner five-cylinder diesel engines and Daimler preselector gearboxes as well as AEC and BMMO Chassis for Midland Red and 100 Leyland Titans for Birmingham City Transport as well as bodies to the design of the British Electric Traction group on Leyland Royal Tigers. In 1952 the coachworks was closed and the goodwill and patents were bought by neighbouring Willowbrook.