Baguley-Drewry Ltd

Baguley Drewry

Drewry & Sons ran a motor and cycle repair business in Herne Hill, South London, and started building petrol-engined inspection railcars in 1902, which they claimed to be the first petrol-railcar in the world. A ready market was found in South America, Africa, and India.

The business morphed into the Drewry Car Co Ltd, which was registered on 27 November 1906. Strictly speaking, Drewry was a sales organisation for most of its life. Only at the start and the end of its life did it build its own products, relying on sub-contractors for the rest of its time.

In 1908 the engine division of the Birmingham Small Arms Company or ‘BSA’ (of motor-cycle fame) took over building the railcars at Small Heath, Birmingham, managed by the former W.G. Bagnall Chief Draughtsman Ernest E. Baguley (who had earlier in his career invented the Baguley Valve Gear).

In 1911 Baguley bought the defunct Ryknield Motor Company at Shobnall Road Works, Burton-on-Trent and Drewry Car Co. immediately transferred its business to the newly formed Baguley Cars Ltd.

In 1962 Drewry acquired a controlling interest in what had later become E.E. Baguley Ltd, and formed Baguley-Drewry Ltd in 1967, thus once again building its own products.

The last railcar ever built by Baguley-Drewry was a standard gauge personnel carrier for the MOD in 1976 - AD9150 (work number 3746). After a working life at Longtown, Cumbria it was regauged to 2ft 6in gauge and can now be found on the W&LLR as "The Wasp".

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