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Glamorgan Archives
Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd and Powell Duffryn Wagon Co. Ltd records

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DCWW

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd and Powell Duffryn Wagon Co. Ltd records

Short Title: Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd and Powell Duffryn Wagon Co. Ltd records

Creation date(s): 1895-1975

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.36 cubic metres (19 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd; Cambrian Wagon and Engineering Co. Ltd; Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd; Cardiff and South Wales Wagon Co. Ltd; Central Wagon Co. Ltd; Maindy Wagon Co. Ltd; P.D. Equipment Ltd; Pipeweld Ltd; Powell Duffryn Engineering Co. Ltd; Powell Duffryn Ltd; Powell Duffryn Wagon Co. Ltd; Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd; Welsh Wagon Works Ltd


Administrative/Biographical history: The Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd was registered in 1906, and took over the works at East Moors, Cardiff, Glamorgan, of the bankrupt Cardiff Rolling Stock Company, originally registered in 1888. The company was initially concerned with building railway wagons, but in 1919 it also began repair of wagons (mainly for the Cambrian Colliery Group) when Consolidated Cambrian Ltd acquired a half-interest in the company. In 1926, the Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd took over the Cardiff and South Wales Wagon Co. Ltd, established in 1877, also based at East Moors, Cardiff. In 1931, Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd and Central Wagon Co. used a company called the Welsh Wagon Works Ltd to take over the works of Hall, Lewis & Co. (in liquidation) at Maindy, Cardiff, and elsewhere. The company subsequently became part of the firm Gueret, Llewellyn and Merrett, then of Welsh Associated Collieries. In 1934, the Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd bought out the Central Wagon Co's shares in the Welsh Wagon Company, but in 1935 both the Cambrian Wagon Co. Ltd and the Welsh Wagon Works were put into voluntary liquidation and a new company, the Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd, was set up as part of Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries. By the mid 1930s, the company had become involved in leasing wagons, and had works at Aberaman and Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, and other sites in south Wales, as well as the works at East Moors and Maindy. In the early 1950s, the name of the company was changed to the Cambrian Wagon and Engineering Co. Ltd, and in August 1959 it was changed again to the Powell Duffryn Engineering Co. Ltd. In 1965, as part of the reorganisation of the Powell Duffryn group, the Powell Duffryn Wagon Co. was set up to take over the wagon repair and wagon hiring activities of Powell Duffryn Engineering Co. Ltd, which continued to manufacture new wagons. P. D. Equipment Ltd was registered in December 1959 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Powell Duffryn Engineering. It manufactured, sold and installed shopfittings and storage equipment, often on hire purchase. Manufacture was carried out at its works in Barry, and production was supplemented by imports from France. The company does not appear to have been very successful, and the factory at Barry was closed by the end of 1962; the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1966. Pipeweld Ltd was a subsidiary of Powell Duffryn Engineering, established before 1962. Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd was incorporated in 1948 to take over the business of B.P. Price, a timber merchant and importer at East Moors, Cardiff, with the apparent purpose of ensuring that the company had sufficient supples for the wagon works. The company was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gueret, Llewellyn and Merrett, which was itself part of the Powell Duffryn Group, and in 1956 the shares were transferred to P.D. Timber Industries Ltd (re-named Powell Duffryn Timber Holdings Ltd in 1962). In 1965, a merger took place between Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd and Meggitt and Jones Ltd (a firm of timber importers established in 1884) when many of the assets of T and P were transferred to a new company Meggitt and Price. No further trading was carried on by Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd, and the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1966.


Scope and content/abstract: Corporate records, 1906-1975; share records, 1935-1974; accounting records, 1906-1975; operational records, 1906-1949; marketing and public relations, 1924-c1980; personnel records, 1965-1975; premises, property and legal records, 1895-1975; records relating to P.D. Equipment Ltd, 1959-1966; records relating to Pipeweld Ltd, 1962; records relating to Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd, 1947-1966; records relating to Powell Duffryn Ltd, 1965-1975; miscellaneous microfilms, 1936-1941


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: The records were received in a considerable state of disorder. Where it was possible to ascertain the original order, this was retained or restored, but for most of the collection order had to be imposed. The collection contains records relating to a number of different companies. Of these, it was possible to identify a succession of companies which operated the wagon works, changes in the company reflecting a change of ownership, a restructuring, or simply a change of name. The records for these companies were arranged together, and form the main part of the collection. It was also possible to identify companies which were subsidiaries, carrying on related but different activities. The records for these companies are arranged separately, company by company.

Conditions governing access: Records in this collection, apart from published reports and accounts, are closed for 30 years from the date of the last entry in any particular item. The collection is stored in an outstore; requests to consult any of the records should be made at least a week in advance of an intended visit, so that they can be brought in for consultation in the search room. To consult any of the material on microfilm, the use of a microfilm reader should also be booked in advance.

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply.

Physical characteristics: Most of the collection consists of papers or volumes in good condition. It includes six reels of microfilm, originally filmed [c. 1941].

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the Glamorgan Record Office.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Record Office have been retained. A number of duplicates in the collection, and some material not worthy of permanent preservation, such as bank statements, cancelled share certificates and receipts for travelling expenses, were destroyed.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: The records for all the companies appear to have been kept at the Wagon Works at Maindy, Cardiff. The secretary to the Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd (and its predecessor and successor companies) was also secretary to the subsidiary companies.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the General Manager of Powell Duffryn Rail Projects on 25 June and 16 August 1993.


Related material: Records of other companies which formed part of the interests of Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd, Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd, and Powell Duffryn Ltd, can be found in DPD, DRh, and DNCB19, DNCB23 and DNCB28. A collection of records relating to a number of other wagon manufacturing and hiring companies (including the Glamorgan Wagon Co. Ltd, the North Glamorgan Wagon Co. Ltd, the Taff Wagon Co. Ltd, the Glenavon Wagon Co. Ltd, and Henry G. Lewis and Co. Ltd) has also been deposited but is not yet listed (accession no. 1987/386). A small amount of material relating to Meggitt and Jones Ltd, including a history of the company, can be found at DX100.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd, (and predecessor and successor companies).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2003. Amended August 2004. Amended January 2005.

Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd | Archives
Railways | Freight wagons
Timber merchants | Wales | Cardiff

Personal names

Corporate names
Cambrian Wagon Works Ltd
Cambrian Wagon and Engineering Company
Powell Duffryn Engineering Co.
Thomas and Price (Timber) Ltd

Aberaman (Wales)
Cardiff (Wales)
Glamorgan (Wales)
Llanelli (Wales)
Port Talbot (Wales)

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