The company was established in 1864 by William Clarke.

It was based by the river, about ½ a mile from its current site and was initially engaged in the manufacture of hand winches. As steam was replacing sail, Clarke developed the use of steam to provide motive power for deck equipment, and in 1874 produced the first steam windlass, closely followed by other steam powered equipment including cranes. This caused the company to outgrow its original premises, and so it moved to its next premises – Victoria Works. Captain Abel Henry Chapman (above, at right) joined as a partner in the same year. In 1884, Charles Algernon Parsons bought himself a junior partnership, and during his time with the company, developed his steam turbine. However, Parsons left the company four years later, to set up his own company.

Clarke Chapman, at the time were engaged in the manufacture of all types of deck equipment, cranes, hoists and generators. They also developed pumps, search light projectors, which were used extensively by the Navy in both world wars.

Timeline - Clarke Chapman


William Clarke establishes his South Shore workshops. Stothert & Pitt produce their first travelling steam crane


Clarke’s first steam driven cargo winch.


Captain Chapman joins the company


The company becomes interested in boilermaking. Booth produce their first steam driven overhead beam crane


Caillard produce their first steam crane


C A Parsons buys himself a junior partnership, and takes out his first patents for turbo-dynamos


First turbo-dynamo installed on the SS Earl Percy

Parsons develops vacuum incandescent lamp for use in searchlight projectors. Edward Butler builds the first Velocycle.


Sunbeam Electric Lamp Company formed at Park House, Portable generating plants supplied to ships which passed through the Suez Canal


Parsons dissolves the partnership to set up his own company. Wellman patents the Open Hearth Charging Machine


First Electric Winch. Wellman Seaver Engineering Company is formed


Booth produce their first EOT crane


The company becomes interested in producing water-tube boilers for non-marine purposes


The number of employees reaches 2,000


Cowans Sheldon construct their first floating crane.


Mackley Pumps is established. Joint venture between Wellman-Head and Stothert and Pitt


G M Carter (erectors) are established, as are Clyde Crane and Engineering at Mossend. Wellman splits from Smith-Owen


First vessel to be fitted with a resolutory pulveriser. Arrol’s first all-welded steel bridge


Mackley Pumps is acquired. Booths first welded crane


The company merges Clyde Cranes and Joseph Booth into a single company: Clyde Crane and Booth


Syncrolift is established


Parsons, Reyrolle and Clarke Chapman undertake a joint venture with five other companies to form the Nuclear Power Plant Company. Parsons, Reyrolle and Clarke Chapman together obtain a controlling stake in the Anglo Great Lakes Corporation


The company gains a controlling share of Cowans Sheldon


Sir William Arrol is acquired, as is Wellman Cranes. The remaining share capital of Cowans Sheldon is acquired.


Clarke Chapman merges with John Thompson


The company acquires International Combustion. They achieve a 28.9% interest in British Nuclear Associates


Pearlson Engineering (Syncrolift) is acquired


Clarke Chapman Projects is formed. NEI Mining is established in 1981


Stothert and Pitt’s Crane Design department is purchased from Maxwell Industries; Rolls-Royce acquires NEI. Clarke Chapman’s former Power Plant Division becomes Rolls-Royce Nuclear Ltd.


Caillard is acquired by Clarke Chapman


Clarke Chapman Ltd is sold by Rolls-Royce to Langley Holdings plc


The Clarke Chapman Manufacturing Solution ‘quite simply, we deliver a quality product, on time, and at a competitive price’. In addition to the manufacture and assembly of Clarke Chapman’s own product range, we provide machining and “build to print” sub-contract services to clients from across the whole industry spectrum; from nuclear and oil & gas to defence and marine, from power generation to general engineering.


At Clarke Chapman, sustainability is at the core of our strategy. We understand the critical role that energy plays in our daily lives and its impact on the environment. We are committed to championing clean and responsible energy solutions that power a more sustainable future.

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