Sentinel

39 Responses

  1. W.J Cockroft says:

    during the war sentinel did not patch up old US diesel engines, they were far too buy on more important work. I know I was there. I also am sure I know how the rumour came about. I write with authourity , the repair of us diesel engines commenced after the war for development of outcrop coal authority. I had the whole story of the contract direct from R. Woodvine at union meeting with him.

  2. i was
    a app. in 1951 in the foundry molder mr cook was the manager and dick allen was foreman i lived in a sentinal house i left in 1952 to join the navy my dad worked there but was called up for the war

  3. John Hampton says:

    my Dad.drove these buses. When I was only a little boy.

    • john millington says:

      i used to drive and maintain all the above browns buses had a great time driving them on service and contratc school routes from the age of 21 that is some 43 years ago arround the donnington oakengates area.
      i have driven all of the above and some that are not showen,
      juj ???
      hnt 101 which was scrapped cracked chassis
      haw 373
      haw 302
      haw303
      guj 608
      hnt 49
      all had main drivers and we as the grease monkeys used to take over for their lunch breaks or did the odd shifts or market day runs brilliant days

    • john millington says:

      i remember your dad harry used to do the service routes and the london runs at the week end a very nice person if i rember right his main job was working for the meb.

  4. Does any former employer remember Lew Hesbrook – He was a Design Engineer and a great inspiration to many of the young trainees in the Drawing Office in the mid-late 1950s and early 60s.

  5. I see above the name W.J.Cockroft. Is this the same person who was the Training Manager at Sentinel in the late 1950s? I was a trainee at this time. The RR Apprentice School was way ahead of its time

    • I.Scott says:

      Jimmy Cockroft was certainly the apprentice supervisor during some of my app. 56-61. Then a young university guy, name eludes me, then Mr.Dodds.

    • I.Scott says:

      Jimmy Cockroft was certainly the apprentice supervisor during some of my app. 56-61. Then a young university guy, name eludes me, then Mr.Dodds.

  6. The machine tool department also produced the Unit Heads for machine tool automation. I believe these were manufactured under licence from French Renault company during the 1950s and 60s. Sentinel also produced a “tractor” for pulling aricraft – again these were produced in the 1950s. I also recall the company producing an Earth Scraping Machine ( Le tournot – I think ) does anyone remember this – it was a one off?

  7. Andrew Brown says:

    I remember my apprenticeship with Sentinel Shrewsbury starting on 3rd October 1955. As Dev Biddlecombe mentioned above, the training school, combined with day release to the Technical College, was first class. I had some good friends in those days, and subsequently with the Rolls Royce service dept when I worked for a while with the service dept. I ended my time with Rolls Royce after a spell working as Guarantee engineer on a merchant ship, the Jamaica Producer. I would be happy to renew acquaintances with anyone who remembers me.

    • Dev Biddlecombe says:

      I started at the Sentinel in August 1955 as one of the first “technical Apprentices” and went straight into the drawing office as a trainee draftsman. The training officer in charge was Jack Holder. Most of the work at that time was on the rail cars and machine tools. Does anyone remember the huge planing machine – reputed to be one of the largest in the country at the time. One of the senior training instrutor s was Clive Mold but I remember Arnold Browning and the Personnel manager Mr Woolhouse.

      • Ron Honeywell says:

        Yes Arnold Browning was in charge when i was an apprentice in the training school

      • Michael Morris says:

        Hi, I was also a Technical Apprentice starting around the same time. I left in 1959 to go to australia (big mistake), I was very active in the Motor Sports Club (Rolls Royce), If any one can remember me I would be more than happy to receive email (mrmorris59@yahoo.com.au)

      • Yes I remember it very well, the Planing machine at the time I recall was supposed to be the biggest in Europe I think, don’t know if that was correct
        I worked in the Fabrication Workshop as I was a Craft apprentice & later Sheetmetal Worker Fabrication Tradesman when I left to go to QLD Australia in 1973 I have very fond memories of my time there and the excellant Tradesman I worked with was a great time in my life

  8. Cliff Bryan says:

    how do you spell Steam Wagon ? Is it one g or 2 ? One word or 2 ?

  9. Alan Roberts says:

    does anybody remember my grandads who both worked at sentinel shrewsbury,i think they were inspectors-Frank leonard Roberts and John Stephen Hutchinson.Both died in the 1960’s

  10. I.Scott says:

    Another ex/apprentice ,Aug56/Jan61,some of the best years of my life @ The Sentinel! I was priveledged to be trained by some of the best!!J.jones,M.Swain,E.Evans,E.Williams,L.Adams,T.Kynaston.A.Bennett. All the men in C.69

  11. I.Scott says:

    Another ex/apprentice ,Aug56/Jan61,some of the best years of my life @ The Sentinel! I was priveledged to be trained by some of the best!!J.jones,M.Swain,E.Evans,E.Williams,L.Adams,T.Kynaston.A.Bennett. All the men in C.69

  12. Mike Howells says:

    My late grandad worked here for many years,Tom Howells, I still have his long service award (gold watch) and a retirement plaque made for him by his work mates.

  13. Pete Rimmer says:

    My father, Les Rimmer worked at Sentinel Wagon Works in W.W. 2.He made Bren Gun Carriers.We had a Sentinel house just accross Whitchurch Rd.

  14. John Sergeant says:

    Looking at the photo’s of Sentinel buses and in particular one taken at Onslow steam rally this isn’t the last of Browns buses as a number survice in preservation one of which is with Aston Manor Transport Museum GUJ 608 which I believe was also a demostrator. Several are also stored in Herefordshire awaiting restoration. I believe that approximatly 8 Sentinel buses/coaches still exist as do several diesel lorries.

  15. Toni Potter says:

    Does anyone remember Jeff Potter who worked at Sentinal from the 1950s-1980s?

  16. peter gilbert says:

    Browns Sentinals I used to travel on to school I remember them all with affection and am so glad some have survived just wish they would attend more shows

  17. Dev Biddlecombe says:

    I remember my first days in the drawing office at Sentinel in 1955. All the drawing boards inclined at 60 degrees and strictly no talking. It was like the reading room of the British Museum. The MD of the factory in those days was a Mr Rymer or was it Ryder? Les Hydes was put in charge of the first batch a trainee draftsmen and later it was Jack Holder. The drawing produced by the designers in those days were works of art. Some of my peer group were Ossie Johnson, Ron Hamer, Eddy Griffiths and Colin (Greg) Gregory.

  18. john millington says:

    i used to drive and maintain all the above browns buses had a great time driving them on service and contratc school routes from the age of 21 that is some 43 years ago arround the donnington oakengates area.
    i have driven all of the above and some that are not showen,
    juj ???
    hnt 101 which was scrapped cracked chassis
    haw 373
    haw 302
    haw303
    guj 608
    hnt 49
    all had main drivers and we as the grease monkeys used to take over for their lunch breaks or did the odd shifts or market day runs brilliant days

  19. Neville Bougourd says:

    Does anyone remember a Polish ex-bomber pilot who worked there from about 1949-54 in the drawing office working on bus engines? His name was Ludwik Krempa (although he may have Anglicised it). He is still alive today, aged 98, and now lives in Krakow in Poland. I am writing his life history for a Polish Air Force website and would like any information on his time there. Anyone who worked with him or knew him, would probably not know that he was a genuine war hero and had won Poland’s equivalent of the VC and three other gallantry medals. Please contact me if any older members of your family/community remember him my email address is nevillebougourd@gmail.com

  20. Paul Quest says:

    I passed my PSV test in Birmingham in May 1963. My first job was to take a sentinel coach from Birmingham to Blackpool. I recall that the accelerator was in the middle between the clutch and the brake. I broke down on the way back and had to be rescued. Could someone confirm that this memory is not a dream but a reality.

  21. Dev Biddlecombe says:

    It was my great pleasure to meet Lou Hesbrook a few months ago. Lou started as an apprentice in 1946 and quickly established himself as an outstanding engineer. He later became a senior designer and left Sentinel in about 1960. He worked on the designs for the massive tractor used for earth scraping machines – only two were made. He was also involved in the design of the Diesel locos. He was an inspiration to those who knew him

  22. Dev Biddlecombe says:

    What has become of the real quality training for young engineers? I well remember the superb training at Sentinel later RR.
    On the job training in the apprentice training school and then with craftsmen and day release at Shrewsbury tech for either the National/ Higher National Certificates or City and Guilds. Great days – and great training. The variety of work undertaken at Sentinel was remarkable – machine tools, Diesel Engines, Buses, shunting locomotives ets etc etc

    • Bryan Weaver says:

      Dear Dev,
      I have a photo of the Sentinel Engineering departments staff including the PCD, the Jig and Tool, Main Drawing Office etc taken at the Xmas Dinner in 1954. Ok to send it?

      Best Wishes Bryan Weaver (1950-1957

  23. David Jackson says:

    I own a Edgwick mark one lathe in Australia does anyone have one of these machines as Iam trying to find what taper was used in the headstock spindle. please contact
    davideric.Jackson@bigpond.com

  24. sam says:

    Can you tell me who was the centimes dealer in Northern Ireland in the 1950s

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