R.B. Longridge & Co.
Bedlington, Northumberland

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Lowe estimated that 209 locomotives were built between 1837 and 1852. Works were established in 1785 and were known as the Bedlington Ironworks. Well-known producers of locomotive tyres. About 1500 were employed at peak of company's activities. Locomotive manufacture began in 1837 with the involvement of Michael Longridge with an 0-6-0 Michael Longridge for the Stanhope & Tyne Railway. The first locomotive to run in Holland, a 2-2-2 Snelheid, was built by the firm. A considerable number of broad gauge locomotives were constructed to Gooch's designs for the GWR, and 2-2-2WTs designed by James Pearson for the Bristol & Exeter Railway, and 4-2-2 locomotives were supplied to both the Bristol & Exeter and South Devon Railways: the latter also received 4-4-0Ts. It is obvious that the firm developed special skills at building broad gauge locomotives as the last to be manufactured were 0-4-0WTs for maintaining the Holyhead Breakwater. Ten Cramptons (with intermediate crakshafts) were constructed for the GNR and several types were constructed for the Eastern Counties Railway including 2-2-2WTs of J.V. Gooch's design. The first three locomotives for the Londonderry & Enniskillen Railway (a 2-2-2 and two 2-4-0s) were supplied in 1846.

Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
Longridge supplied some of the early Midland Railway locomotives, but Hunt did not cite his sources: includes a portarit of Michael Longridge..

The Longridge family was related to the Gooch family, but Michael Longridge appears to have been the major driving force in locomotive manufacture. He was born in Bishopwearmouth in 1785 according to Marshall, and was son of another Michael Longridge who purchased the Bedlington Ironworks in 1785. Michael Longridge was one of the original partners in Robert Stephenson & Co. in 1823, but this did not stop him from entering into locomotive manufacture in about 1837. He died in Bedlington on 4 October 1858.

Other Longridges mentioned by Marshall:

James Atkinson Longridge
Born Bishopwearmouth on 31 May 1817 and died in Jersey on 15 April 1896. Studied with Daniel Gooch. After a period at Edinburgh University he was apprenticed to George Stephenson and afterwards worked on surveys for him. On behalf of the Bedlington Ironworks he was involved in Naples and then in Russia, Germany and Italy in the 1840s. In 1856 he left for India where he laid out the Calcutta & South Eastern Railway. He worked for Brassey on railways in many countries including on the Mount Cenis line. This last encouraged him to patent flexible locomotives (3259/1872 and 15,773/1884 via Ransom). J.A. Longridge also had a son, Michael.


On the use of  the steam coals of the "Hartley District" of Newcastle in marine boilers (also contributions from W.G. Armstrong and Thomas Richardson). Newcastle: Andrew Reid, 1858.

Longridge's patent locomotive. London, 1885. 11pp
Ottley 2161

Michael Longridge
Son of James Atkinson: born in 1847 and died in Exeter on 18 January 1928. Educated Radley College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Mathematician but worked with father on Mount Cenis project and on railways in Sweden. In 1875 he joined his uncle R.B. Longridge, engineer of the Boiler Insurance & Steam Power Co of Manchester to insure steam engines and boilers.

Woodcroft lists two patents held by Robert Bewick Longridge: both are entitled Locomotive-engines and are 10, 513 (10 February 1845) and 11,038 (13 January 1846)

Updated 16-04-2012