Leeds Engine:Histories: Walsh and Clark

A Brief History of Walsh and Clark of Guiseley

In 1906 this Guiseley based firm began production of their Victoria Oil Engine in their Victoria Works.[1] The firm were formed by engineer and designer Russell Clark and salesman Harry Walsh.[3]In 1913 the company ventured in to the production of ploughing engines with their Victoria Cable Ploughing Engines.[1]
The cable ploughing system employed was that of using two engines, one at either end of a field, pulling an implement back and forth between them. This was very much like the system developed by John Fowler in the 1850s however Walsh & Clark's engine was an internal combustion machine. The engine was a twin-cylinder horizontal design, intended to start on petrol then run on paraffin.[2]
The machine looked very much like a steam ploughing engine with a cylindrical fuel tank taking the place of the boiler.
Below - 1918 illustration of a Walsh & Clark ploughing engine (Picture Graces Guide)

Its similarity with earlier steam ploughing machinery made it popular with ploughing contractors who could easily adapt to using this internal combustion version. This was however short lived as the use of direct ploughing by internal combustion tractors took off in the 1920s.[2]
In 1925 the company went into receivership[3] and in 1926 the company were purchased by the Victoria Oil Engine Co of Bradford Road, Shipley who continued the production of small stationary engines.[1]
The former works is now part of the Farnell Land Rover garage.[4]

Above - You Tube video about Walsh & Clark and their ploughing engines.[4]

Below is a list of the surviving Walsh & Clark engines that we know of taken from our database.

External Website Links
Graces Guide page about Walsh & Clark[1]
Steel Wheels page about Walsh & Clark[2]
Wikia Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki page about Walsh & Clark
Woolpit Steam Show page about the 2010 Walsh & Clark Reunion[3]

Traction Engines and Tractors Built in the United Kingdom by Rod Ward, ISBN 978-1-900482-52-3 Look for this book at the publishers*

* These links are provided to help readers search for often rare books on the subject and to promote any books available, we are under no commercial incentives for this.

This article was produced by Kris Ward, any feedback or contributions about the Leeds engine making industry would be greatly appreciated.