Visit of great grandchildren of Captain Abel Chapman

On Monday 18th November Clarke Chapman arranged a visit to the Gateshead works for siblings Chris Chapman and Margaret Straker (nee Chapman) whose Great Grand-Father was Captain Abel Henry Chapman who joined William Clarke as a partner in the Company in 1868.

Clarke Chapman's David Watson, General Manager, and Jeff Hope, Machining Business Manager, gave them an insight into the history of Clarke Chapman, a tour of the works with Dave presenting them both with a photo of Abel Chapman.

They expressed their appreciation of the tour and the additional knowledge Dave and Jeff were able to give on the company's history.

Chris and Margaret were delighted to receive the framed photo of their Great Grandfather.

Dear David & Geoff

Thank you both so much for your hospitality today and for taking so much time to show Chris, Tim and myself around the Clarke Chapman site. It was really fascinating to hear so much about your own experiences as well as the older history of the company and the Chapman family, and to see first hand some of the impressive range of products. We are most grateful and trust we didn’t disrupt your day too much.

The framed copy of Abel’s photograph was a wonderful surprise and so thoughtful of you: thank you again. We shall try to come up to Gateshead by car to collect it in the next few weeks so we can put it on display and show the rest of the family.

We were particularly touched by the war memorial and hearing about the annual service of remembrance. Having read that Abel was well-liked and respected by his workforce, given the warm welcome you extended to us, it seems very much that what he stood for all those years ago lives on today.

Many thanks once again. It was a really memorable day and we hope to see you again before too long.

With best wishes from us all,


Margaret, Chris and Tim



About Clarke Chapman

Clarke Chapman formerly Rolls Royce Materials Handling division (incorporating Stothert & Pitt, Cowans Sheldon and Wellman Booth) can trace their roots back well over a century. Today Clarke Chapman produces highly specialised handling equipment and support services for the nuclear, steel, rail and other industries. The group operates from strategic locations throughout the UK. Since 2000 the company has been a part of Langley Holdings PLC a diverse, UK based, global engineering group which employs over 4000 people worldwide and annual revenues approaching €1bn.