Memories of Wickham's of Ware

Photographs of workers in the 50s and 60s

By Jean Gilby

Ian Webb in the machine shop
Mr Roberts on the right and Fred Stringer.
Midday recouperation
Group photo taken in the workshop
A worker standing in front of a railcar
Another two workers at Wickham's
Another worker at Wickham's

These photographs were taken by the late Ian Webb who was a worker at Wickham’s in the 1950s.

He was a time-served apprentice through the whole engineering process, the company being involved in the manufacture of railcars for world-wide distribution.

We don’t know the identity of most of these men so if you recognise them please add a comment below.

This page was added on 05/03/2011.

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  • My dad worked for Wickhams for about 40 years in the 1940/50 60s so was pleased to see these old photos from back then. His name was Dick Chalk. I was just talking to my son about the year 1962 when the river frieze over and the men were on it and my dad was holding a placard with that fact written on it. If anyone has a copy of this I would love to see it on this site if possible. His daughter Barbara

    By Barbara Hounsom (06/02/2021)
  • Further to my previous comment on here, is there anyone who was involved with the Wickham-Poole equipment

    By Andrew (21/12/2020)
  • If anyone knows anything about Arthur A Newland who worked at Wickhams in the 1930s please do post details. We are trying to find an image of our great grandad and especially his daughter Marguerite Newland who would’ve been our Grandmother had she survived past her daughters 2nd birthday.
    We believe her daughter worked there many years later. Thank you.

    By Chloe Parratt (03/12/2020)
  • It would be great to get in touch with r. Bentley who made a comment above that he owns a Wickham tractor. I would very much like to see it. We think there are only three left, and we have one of them at London Canal Museum. Can be contacted via the museum website, easy to find.

    By Martin Sach (06/09/2019)
  • Happened again
    About 1961 we sent them to college for a year if they did well on a degree sandwich course to Hatfield. I think about 3 pc got degrees and several firsts, not bad for secondary modern kids

    By James Cooper (31/01/2019)
  • A comment on race relations
    The Black guy in the group foto was Nutty Slack, that was what we called him, he was from Ghana. He went back and sent cards for years saying what a good time he had
    Certainly could not call someone nutty slack today

    By Jim Cooper (30/01/2019)
  • I’m looking for any literature or information relating to the Wickham-Poole division of the Wickham company

    By Andrew Gates (30/01/2019)
  • My Dad William (Bill) Hales worked for Wickhams for many years, both in Ware and Stevenage. He was born in 1929. At Stevenage he was a Rep. demonstrating the steam cleaners.

    By Pauline Lock (30/01/2019)
  • London Canal Museum owns a 1960 Wickham canal towpath tractor that we are currently having overhauled and repainted for display. We are looking for photographs memories or information etc about the tractors. It would be great to get a chance to see Mr. Bentley’s tractor if he could get in touch (via museum website or any other way) to compare with.

    By Martin Sach (21/08/2018)
  • Group photo
    Back row: 1 Charlie Cutmore chippie 2 Tony Andrews welder 3 John Welch 4 Jim Spencer 5 Percy Carter last two ??
    Mid. Row: training fitter Nigerian I think? 2 Arthur Basil 3 George Pearce 4 chippie?
    Kneeling: 1 ?? 2 Ted Sallis 3 Walter Clift 5 ??

    By Dave Smith (29/05/2018)
  • Photo # 4 . Rear row. Extreme left is Charlie Cutmore who worked in the wood shop. As a matter of fact he made me a toolbox

    By Peter Benfield (22/01/2018)
  • My old dad worked at Wickham’s on maintenance. I have a photo of him and two others, a chap known as “curly” and I think the other is a Bill Storey The photo is of them laying concrete for what was the last building to be built. Dad worked for them for quite a few years after being laid off from the old “North met”
    Dad sadly died at work in January 1978 and I remember his funeral packed with friends and colleagues from Wickams

    By Martin sharp (18/12/2017)
  • R Bentley & Jim, please contact me via The Rail Trolley Trust website ( with regards to Barge Towing Tractors.

    We have some more information and pictures.

    By Jonathan Flood (02/12/2017)
  • Group photo – front centre is Arthur Basill

    Final Picture (Seated worker) – Ted Salis

    Penultimate Picture (Two standing) – Left hand is John Welsh

    Worker with Railcar – George Pierce

    By Jonathan Flood (02/12/2017)
  • would r Bentley mind making cont with me.  

    By Jim (17/10/2016)
  • hi

    do you have any photos of the barge pulling tractors?

    when I was very young my mum would take me every Friday night to the canal to meet my father who drove a blue tractor pulling a barge… He would stop briefly to give my mum his wage packet as things were quite hard in them days. 

    I have never forgot the sound of that tractor and always think about it and would love to see one again. 

    Many thanks 


    By Jim (28/08/2016)
  • I have a wickham barge tractor. we have shown it for about 20 yrs.Ours is the one with the correct size front wheels [small] and in the same blue paint it came with.The tractor still runs and drives well

    By r bentley (15/04/2016)
  • I am the Owner & Moderator of the Wickham of Ware Facebook, Flickr & Yahoo! Groups.

    Our main interest is the Railway Vehicles, especially the Trolleys but we are generally interested in anything that Wickhams built.

    Our recent research has found there are three Wickham Towpath Tractors still in existence. These were used to tow Barges.

    Our current research is trying to locate any surviving Lightweight Dumpers which were built by Wickhams in the 1950’s.

    If you are interested, please feel free to have a look at the Groups and join if you would like.


    Jonathan Flood

    By Jonathan Flood (05/05/2014)
  • Hi, the unknown colleague in the second photo is my Grandad, Fred Stringer! Hope this is helpful, made me smile! 🙂

    By Sarah Burrows (27/12/2011)
  • I am a volunteer in the lovely museum at Ware, if you are interested in Wickhams we have some displays you will enjoy seeing. The same is true if you were an Allens and Hanburys worker!

    By Sue Spiller (08/10/2011)