Durgapur Barrage

   Dorman have never in fact, up to the present date, chosen to launch into production of the largest engine range considered in 1946, the smallest three cylinder model in this range would have been at least a 25 litre engine, and the largest sixteen cylinder model would have weighed about 15 tons! The largest existing Dorman models are the 39 litre 12QTCW engines each weighing approximately 4.5 tons: these have been employed to develop 930 b.h.p. at 2,100 rev./min. in the Le Tourneau-Westinghouse 120A Haulpak, the world's largest dump truck. Thus the present power range offered by Dorman achieved by Dorman engines is practically half way to the ultimate target figure of 2,000 b.h.p., conceived twenty four years ago. However, a far more vital concern for Dorman engineers in the years after the introduction of the 'L' and 'Q' ranges was to fill the power gap left below 20 b.h.p. as earlier models were slowly being phased out, the solution found to this problem will be seen later. Naturally there is no pressing call for the company to expand into what could effectively be a new field where the competition had long been established.
    Meanwhile Dorman engines were appearing on the scene of many major engineering projects throughout the world; in the fifties these included the Snowy Mountains and Kieiva Hydro Electric Projects in Australia, the construction of a 2,500 foot barrage by Indian Government to irrigate the West Punjab, the Owen Falls Project, Uganda, airfield construction contracts in Hong Kong and the Cocos Islands and the Colombo Harbour Development Scheme in Ceylon; this is only, it should be stated, an extremely selective list taken from an extensive survey made in 1956. Since then one might mention that Dorman involvement via the use of their engines in many different types of plant in the development of Britain's Nuclear Power Stations at Wylfa and Daresbury, on the CJB contract for laying a 500 mile oil pipe line in Algeria, the installation of base load sets powering radio-navigational equipment in isolated sites throughout Iran, Orange River Dams projects in South Africa and the giant new Forth, Severn and Tay road bridges.

   The "fifties" closed with the merger of Dorman and one of their closest customers, the locomotive firm of W. G. Bagnall Limited, located on the other side of Stafford about a mile away, who had been incorporating Dorman diesels in their locomotives for a considerable time. The company had many other good customers in the rail traction industry, some of whose Dorman engined products from this period we are able

to illustrate; possibly it was felt that this market could only improve given the spur of competition. Naturally there were also considerable advantages for Dorman in being able to manufacture a complex product such as a diesel locomotive. On the other hand engine sales to other locomotive manufacturers did not cease and Bagnalls preserved sufficient autonomy, under the Dorman wing, to install other manufacturers' engines should this be specified by customer. At about this point in time the manufacturer of Flexstel was transferred to the newly acquired works of Bagnalls where it was to remain until 1961.
    After the merging of Dorman with the English Electric Group, in August of that year Flexstel production returned to Tixall Road works, meanwhile necessity had unfortunately to bring about the demise of W. G. Bagnall Limited as a separate entity, and its experience and skills were ultimately directed into English Electric's other considerable interests in this field, while Castle Works was utilised as an extension of their light engineering activities. Dorman, it should be stressed, were adversely affected in no degree, the


Brixham Trawlers


Dorman-engined Brixham trawlers.

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Booklet home page                    Page index                    Pages 42 & 43                    Pages 46 & 47

Dorman Centenary CB 42-43 CB 46-47

English Diesels Limited, carrying on under this one heading the production of Dorman, Kelvin, Ruston, Paxman, Napier and English Electric diesels, in addition to that of many ancillary products.

  1963 saw the rebirth of the historic Brixham Trawler Race, the first since World War II. This event dates back to the days of 'sail' and the desire then, as now, was a sporting event for the trawlermen in the mother port of trawl fishing — Brixham. The race of bygone days, and now, meant the home-coming, from various fishing ports and grounds, of old Brixhamites amongst them sons and daughters of long ago fisherfolk of Devon, back to their home port to take part in, or to watch the great festival. To chronicle the talk of actual sailing would take too long but memories of many decades, memories of the great battles of aunts, uncles and cousins, from Hull, Grimsby, Lowestoft, Ramsgate, Fleetwood, Plymouth, Newlyn and Milford Haven, all ex-natives of Brixham and their descendants, are relived each year.


order book remained full and indeed sufficient orders were being obtained to maintain this healthy state. By 1960 a situation had in fact arisen whereby Dorman were winning more orders than they could reasonably handle and there was a distinct apprehension that a peak had been reached from which there could only be a descent. Now this threat no longer exists and confidence in the future could safely be renewed.
    Dorman can indeed congratulate themselves on remaining totally unscathed by all developments in the past decade which have ensued from their merger with English Electric, and from English Electric's more recent merger with the General Electric Company; therefore it is only necessary to sketch these in. In the mid sixties all the group's diesel engine interests, comprising Dorman, the Liverpool concern of D. Napier &-Son Limited and the large diesels produced under English Electric's own name by the latter's Diesel Engine Division, were sectionalised into a single trading company. In November 1966 English Electric were to acquire the large Ruston Group, as a result of which it became possible in January 1968 to form

Dorman engined Priestman dragline working on the Durgapur Barrage Scheme, India 1952.

CB Index