De Winton and Co Engineers Caernarfon



The Definitive Story

For nearly fifty years our family have owned and operated the De Winton locomotive 'Chaloner'. Over these years we have collected information on de Winton and their products and for the last fifteen years we have been putting this information into book form.

The firm is synonymous with vertical boilered engines, but they formed only a tiny part of the output from this innovative and diverse business. The book will be of large format and high quality printing, to do full justice to the drawings and photographs which will number over 300. It deals with all aspects of the business and products, including where possible accounts of people at work and users of equipment. The contents are briefly outlined below.

If you are interested in a copy of the book in due course click on the e-mail link below, and when in some months time, we have details of price and publishing date, we will send you notification.

The Beginnings

The foundry was started in the 1840's before the arrival of De Winton on the scene and was perhaps partly financed at the expense of H.M. Customs and Excise. In the early years it became a very successful foundry providing castings for, amongst other places the Houses of Parliament.

The book then moves on to the man, De Winton, his patronage and the social politics of the time which led to him joining as a partner. It then covers the expansion of the firm to cover most of the Slate Quay, to De Wintons eventual retirement and the sorry demise of the firm in the early nineteen hundreds.

Other Products

The activities of the firm were widely varied and ranged from operating a fleet of ships to the manufacture of agricultral equipment, slate machinery, gasworks, stationary engines and church fittings, to name but a few. This section includes many rare photographs and drawings- some in De Wintons own hand.

Ships and their Engines

Ships are a very separate product and worth a book in their own right. They were a particular interest of Jeff de Winton and were a large part of the turnover for many years. The section on De Winton engined vessels includes original drawings for steam yachts by De Winton and his colleagues.


Not all De Wintons locomotives resembled 'Chaloner'. She was the result of a long development process which started in the 1860's. This section traces the evolutionary tree and its branches through early photographs and drawings. Also included are the horizontal boilered engines built for the main line of the Penrhyn Railway


This analyses every technical aspect of the 'standard' design including performance and design comparisions with competitors and detailed descriptions.Also included are specially prepared drawings which give a clear insight into every detail of their unique construction. (If you would be interested in purchasing a complete dimensioned set of drawings, please click the link below)


The last two sections deal with the operation of the Pen yr Orsedd Quarries and memories of the people who kept De Wintons running until the final withdrawal of 'Chaloner' 1954, and how this survival was directly related to a traffic accident in Bristol almost thirty years earlier. The section goes on to describe the odd driving forces behind her return to steam in 1968 and the bizarre events as preservationists learned how to run a railway with enthusiasm and a worn out locomotive. Finally it outlines the story of her successful rebuilds and subsequent travels.

The book is written by Alfred and David Fisher and Dr. Gwynfor Pierce-Jones and will be published by RCL Publications in 2010.



Click here to contact the authors; to purchace a book or DVD use the link above



© David Fisher 2011. All Rights Reserved