Robey of Lincoln ~ Lincolnshire Steam Engines & Vehicles
A look at the history behind a wonderful Lincolnshire company dating back to Victorian Times . . .
It was 1854 when Robert Robey decided to set up business making iron framed threshing machines in Canwick Road, Lincoln.
The business was, like the product, solid and reliable and it expanded and prospered, by 1875 were making all sorts of things such as a ‘Mine Winding Engine’ which went on to be installed all over the world.
They met with success in 1878 when they won a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition in Paris, their steam engine was not only acclaimed but it was the only one to run for the entire exhibition and not break down !
Between 1915 and 1918 they even got involved in the aircraft business producing a strange array of aeroplanes such as a seaplane and a so-called Gunbus.
Of course, during World War I things turned from civilian to military, hence the Gunbus, but after the war they really got moving with portable team engines, the Robey Economic Boiler and their well-known Robey Steam Rollers and Robey Steam Wagons.
World War II came and they once again turned their attentions to the War Effort making engines for Corvettes and Frigates as well as general engineering ordnance etc.
After World War II the company really concentrated on the mining industry and electric mine winders which once again found themselves installed worldwide.
Times change and although Robey was always a go-ahead company during the 1950s and 1960s the business tightened and instead of making and developing machinery they took on a lot of sub-contract work and eventually the company was bought out by the Newell Dunford Group.
Lincoln really was a centre for engineering and steam power, world leaders in many respects, a heritage we should make more of.
Steam enthusiasts are, of course, well aware of this but I think many of the public at large aren’t aware just how important Lincoln was in this wonderful era that was Steam Power and Engineering and Robey played an important part in that.
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