How to obtain Garrett drawings and related information.
There are three sources of information relating to the products of Richard Garrett & Sons Ltd.
- The Long Shop Museum, housed in part of the former works in Leiston, has excellent displays of Garrett's products and life on the works. Visit https://www.longshopmuseum.co.uk/
- The bulk of the surviving records of Richard Garrett & Sons Ltd. are preserved in the Ipswich branch of the Suffolk Record Office. https://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/collections/getrecord/GB173_HC30
- A private collection assembled by the late Robert Whitehead.
Example of a tracing prior to adoption of blueprints at Garretts.
The records at the Suffolk Record Office (SRO) are held as reference HC30. The records were deposited in stages from 1973 onwards, having been purchased from the receiver of Richard Garrett Engineering Works Ltd. by Suffolk County Council in 1982 with grant-aid from the Fund for the Preservation of Scientific Material. There is a large amount of material relating to the steam engines and machinery produced by the company, which is of interest to us. A lot of information is available; but the problem is knowing how to get access. To obtain full details, a visit to the Suffolk Record Office (SRO) is necessary.
Whilst writing "Garretts of Leiston" my late father-in-law R.A. Whitehead purchased and was given by the company a large number records and artifacts relating to Garretts. These included a large number of drawings which had been used by the men manufacturing the parts and assembling the products in the works. The drawings were mounted on timber rods approximately 1" diameter with a metal ferrule on the end bearing the drawing number. Due to the large volume and weight of the drawings the timber rods were removed and discarded. The blueprints from the works vary in condition from pristine to totally illegible but some contain information not available on the original drawings such as sequences of operations, details of succeeding drawings and various other notes.
In the current climate I have a bit more time on my hands and am prepared to find copies of drawings and supply digital images of the drawings. I cannot guarantee that I will find the relevant drawings or that the resulting copies will be fully legible but intend to take an image of the whole drawing and then enlarged sections of the drawings where appropriate. To regulate demand I am currently charging £5.00 per drawing, which will be subject to change. Any funds received will be used for conservation of the drawings. Initially this will comprise the purchase of storage tubes and shelving. Drawings will be sent out by email as .jpg or .pdf files.
If you have any enquiries please email:
A low resolution image of drawing CR17260 as mentioned below.
I went through the process of finding drawings and information for the rebuilding of my Garrett undertype steam wagon. The key to knowing which drawings are required is the Specification or Drawing List. I am not familiar with earlier engines but assume that the system will be similar.
If a drawing for a No.4 compound tractor, colloquially known as a Garrett 4cd, is required, the procedure is as follows:
- Obtain the works number, which is stamped on a plate fixed to the engine, for tractors, rollers, traction engines and overtype wagons this can be found on the spectacle plate. If you don’t have the works number it might be possible to identify the engine by the boiler number or cylinder number, if they can be found. For more details of boiler and cylinder numbers contact me at
- The next step is to obtain a copy of the build sheet for the engine. This will give a Specification or Drawing List for the engine together with details of any special requirements or departures from the standard specification. The build sheets will be found in the Engine Registers (SRO ref: HC30/C9/1 to 182). The amount of information in the early registers is limited, whereas the later registers are quite comprehensive; giving customer, order number and, in some cases, spares supplied. With the later registers there are separate books for self-moving and portable engines and so the engine numbers appear to overlap. For tractor 34410 the SRO ref. for the build sheet is HC30/C9/165.
- The Specification number for this engine is probably 259, dated 20/10/1919. If you wanted a drawing for the rope guide rollers you would see that the arrangement is on drawing CR17260. The specification also tells you, amongst other things, that the injector is a Penberthy Class A and the lamps are Dependence No.564 by J & R Oldfield.
- The drawings presumably started with number 1 in the mid to late1800s and finished somewhere near 26000 in 1932. Since starting to sort out the drawings I have found drawing T3, the tender for a self moving engine, dated February 4th 1874. Each drawing number is pre-fixed by one, two or three letters, which denote the product for which it was originally drawn. The No.4 compound tractor drawings use the prefix CR but drawings from many different engines are also used including AS, T, TR and MR. These reference letters are shown on the photographed list below.
- Standard Detail drawings are in a different series numbered SD1 to SD925 and I have added a page concerning these here: SD drawings page
- The drawings are ink tracings on linen which were used to produce blue prints on linen for use in the works. They are stored in bundles referenced by the SRO as HC30/C1; the bundle numbers can be obtained from the register (SRO ref. HC30/C1/1). Copies of the drawings can then be obtained from the SRO.
- Prior to the adopting the use of blueprints, drawings for use in the works were tracings on waxed linen. These were presumably traced from pencil drawings on cartridge paper.
Having started to sort through the drawings I came across a document I had not seen before entitled "No.4 c/d Tractor Schedules" which contains a comprehensive list of parts used in the construction of a No.4 tractor. Visit the Tractor Schedules page for more details.
If you have any enquiries please email
A page from Specification 146 for the No.4 compound superheated tractor.
Prefix codes used on the drawings and parts.