Misterton historian’s book looks back on the importance of Newell’s Engineering Works

David Seymour
David Seymour

An historian from Misterton has looked back at the influence Newell’s Engineering Works had in the village.

David Seymour has completed researching and writing a book about the importance of Newell’s Engineering Works.

For generations the company produced heavy machinery, which was exported all over the world for varied uses, from the cement industry to supporting the war effort.

The book draws on the experiences of local people who worked for the company.

For more than 100 years, the Newell’s Engineering Works was the lifeblood of Misterton, providing employment for more than 300 people with generations of families working there.

Ken Maw, who is now in his nineties and worked at the company for 50 years, has compared the founder, Ernest Newell, to a Victorian entrepreneur and another former employee, Stuart Johnson, described how each succeeding generation had family members who worked there, with his grandfather, Arthur Kellington, having worked there in the early 1900’s.

And many former employees spoke of the firm as being the Newell’s family with managing directors of the company living in a large house in the village, The Thorns, built by Ernest Newell in 1903.

This was one of more than 50 houses the company built in the village and throughout the century, Newell and his directors were also local community leaders in many different ways.

David’s book covers the history of the company from its beginnings in the 1890’s to its final demise in the early years of this century.

It contains more than 300 original photographs, extracts from company publications and recollections of people who worked there.

In the Second World War, Newell’s was involved in producing parts for Empire-line freight vessels, landing craft for the Normandy D-Day landings, and parts for the Mulberry harbours built on the Normandy coast after D-Day.

Over the years, the company saw changes in ownership and reorganisation and amalgamations and mergers with companies including Jenkins of Retford, and being part of Tiny Rowlands’ Lonrho Group in the 1980s.

David said: “I hope the book will be a fitting tribute to a company whose name for many years was synonymous with the village of Misterton and whose importance to the 20th century development of the village cannot be underestimated.”

The book will be launched on Saturday, November 9, at a book signing at Misterton Library from 10am to noon and the book costs £15.