Aveling-Barford brass makers plate

Aveling-Barfoed brass manufacturers plate on a roller

Aveling-Barford was formed In 1934, by Aveling & Porter merging with Barford & Perkins. The current owners of the Aveling-Barford name Wordsworth Holdings went into administration in early 2010. Aveling-Barford was a large engineering company making road rollers, motorgraders, front loaders, sitedumpers, dump trucks and articulated dumptrucks or ADTs in Grantham, Lincolnshire. In its time, it was an internationally known company.


Aveling-Barford dump truck

Old Aveling-Barford Dump truck in VET collection at Threlkeld Quarry, 2008

Aveling-Barford Grader

Aveling-Barford Grader in S.E. Davis & Son Ltd. collection 2008

Calfdozer at Belvoir 2008

Aveling-Barford Calfdozer at Belvoir Castle show 2008

The company was formed by the merger of two famous firms, following the collapse of the AGE group. After World War II the company continued to make motor and steam rollers as well as expanding into other construction equipment. They were still building stem rollers in 1945, with some being produced at the Vickers factory in Newcastle. In 1946 they introduced the G series of Diesel rollers, which had been designed pre war. This was followed by the Aveling Austin 99H Grader, (licensed from an American design). The Shuttle dumper was a popular product as well, with a lot exported to india in 1963.

They moved into building Loading shovels as well, with a range of 8 models from 1.0 cuM to 3.8 cuM. Also building the PM model pneumatic roller, as well as other small plant for a time.

In 1967 they became a part of the British Leyland groups special projects.[1] Aveling-Barford was part of the Thomson group of companies, which also includes Moxy articulated dump trucks for a period in the 1980s. Under Leyland ownership Marshalls road roller interests were merged with Aveling-Barford's and Renamed as Aveling Marshall. the Aveling-Barford division concentrating on Dump trucks and Graders. The firm of Goodwin, Barsby & Co. of Leicester was also part of the group at one stage. They manufactures Concrete mixers, tar macadam plant and latter became known for quarry stone crushing equipment.

The Aveling-Barford name and some of its products passed from the Thomson group to an investment company called Wordsworth Holdings that owned several engineering firms and operated from part of the Aveling-Barford works in Grantham. The company built the Barford range of site dumpers.

In early 2010 Wordsworth Holdings called in the administrators as a victim of the construction recession and the banking crisis.[citation (source) needed] Wordsworth also owned the Fruehauf trailer brand in the UK.

Barfords & Barfords of BeltonEdit

Main article: Barfords

The Old Aveling-Barford factory in Grantham is now occupied in part by Barfords Dumpers a division of Wordsworth Holdings Group. Barfords originally split off from Aveling-Barford in the 1950 to build the Site dumpers which they still build and the dairy equipment business at the Belton factory, as Barfords (Agriculture) Ltd. the name later changed to Barfords of Belton Ltd. Following the demise of AB in 1988, Duncan Wordsworth purchased the rights to the Aveling-Barford name and some of the products along with the factory. They now build some of the RD range of Dump trucks to order and refurbish older machines, as well as manufacturing the Barford site Dumper line at the Grantham factory. (see Barfords for details of line up).


Some early Aveling-Barford machines and the former Barford & Perkins company used engines by Peter Brotherhood Ltd the manufacturer of Peterbro tractors, and a supplier to Coventry Simplex Co. and Fowler of Leeds for early tanks. As part of the rescue from AGE, part funded by Ruston & Hornsby the firm moved to Ruston's former factory site in Grantham and had to buy certain parts like castings and engines from them. Ruston & Hornsby engines were used for a number of years mainly in the rollers. Ruston & Hornsby also built rollers but withdrew from this market as part of the deal, as they switched production to Lincoln and concentrated on Excavators, cranes and Engine building.

Later machines used Lister Petter engines in the rollers. And in in the Leyland era there was a attempt to move to using Leylands own engines in the dump trucks and other machines but reliability problems hampered this.

In the 1950s Avelings built graders under license from the American Austin Western company and they were sold under the Aveling-Austin brand name.


Ruston and Hornsby It had a dramatic formation, and was established by people not new to its field of engineering. It was formed in February 1934[1] when Aveling and Porter of Rochester, Kent effectively went bankrupt, when the parent company Agricultural & General Engineers (AGE) went into receivership in 1932. At the same time Barford & Perkins (related to today's Perkins Engines) of Peterborough were also entering administration. Frank Perkins worked for his family company of Barford & Perkins, and also Aveling and Porter. These two companies were Britain's two leading manufacturers of road rollers.

Aveling Barford dump truck Aveling & Porter Ltd had been formed in 1850, becoming a public company on 16 July 1895, then a private company in 1919, and acquired the assets of Barford & Perkins Ltd in 1932, which had been formed in 1840. The name changed to Aveling-Barford on 13 February 1934. Early in 1934 the business was transferred from Rochester to Grantham on a 36-acre site which was leased from R & H. On the board of directors were Edward James Barford and William Geoffrey Barford (from Barford & Perkins), and John Heinrich Wulff Pawlyn, a Director of R & H based at the Ransomes subsidiary in Ipswich, and George Ruston Sharpley, the managing director of R & H.

Without the financial assistance of Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln, both companies would not have survived. R & H funded the amalgamation of the two companies, and gave them part of their Grantham site. For many years all the vehicles were powered by R & H diesel engines. R & H had also previously made road rollers, but concentrated this all at Grantham.

Public company In the 1930s it made cooling equipment for dairy farms, and cooking equipment for hotels, hospitals, and canteens. It became a public company on 29 June 1937. At this time it claimed to make 75% of the road rollers in Britain, and world leaders in their field.

Edward Barford (23 April 1898 – 11 July 1979) became the Chairman of the company from 1933, remaining until 1968. It began making its first earth moving equipment – the Aveling Dumper.

During the Second World War the company made Bren Gun Carriers, shell fuse caps and the Loyd Carrier.

The company also made calfdozers (small bulldozers). From April 1946 two subsidiary companies were formed – Barford Developments Ltd and Barford (Agricultural) Ltd. On 17 September 1946 a new factory in Newcastle upon Tyne was opened.

Invicta logo of the company – borrowed from Kent British Leyland In 1967 it became part of British Leyland. British Leyland engines were to be used as part of the deal, but there were reliability problems.


Aveling-Barford were best known for their line of three-point roadrollers including the small GA up to the GC, The "Master Pavior" 3-point roller was one of the most famous diesel rollers. However many other types of earthmoving machinery were designed and manufactured by Aveling Barford in England.

Aveling-Barford also developed and produced their own wheeled loaders often with 4WD which ranged from 3 to 5 CU Cubic yard capacities and included both articulated and rigid original models from the 1960s. In 1970 Aveling-Barford Group Limited acquired MATBRO aka Matbro Brothers Limited an early Gloucester and Surrey based manufacturer and pioneer of articulated loader models. This purchase allowed Aveling-Barford to launch new wheeled loaders with the TS-Series which have a rigid frame and these were made into until the late 1970s. They were usually powered by Ford Diesel 120bhp lorry engine and carried a 2 CU Cubicyard capacity front bucket. The Aveling-Barford new wheeled loader model range was further increased with the medium-sized new FK-Series rigid frame and also the new larger WXL-4WD Articulated (Bending) Series.

A-B were also significant for their all wheel driven and all wheel steering motor graders often using Leyland Trucks running gear as were also producers of ADT models called the RDX Series with 6X6. A line of rigid dumpers was manufactured from 30 tonne RD030 through to the 50 tonne RD050 and eventually a RD55 and RD65 were added.

A new dumptruck the RD44 was unveiled at Bauma to try and rejuvenate the line of dumptrucks but with limited success

During the 1970s to the 1980s A-B were producing their own range of front loaders with 4X4 axles and are fitted with Cummins, Leyland or Ford heavy duty diesel engines. They resembled the popular British made BRAY or FORD loader models of the 1980s.

Site dumpers were first mass manufactured by A-B in the 1940s mostly with Fordson Tractor Diesel engines. Today these are still made and sold under the Barford name.

Modern day incarnation The site was bought by Wordsworth Holdings in 1988, who went into administration in 2010. Barfords is now owned by Invictas Engineering.

Update: 12 October 2015 Invictas Engineering sold the Supply of parts to Shellplant

In 2006 Singapore-based ST Kinetics bought the rights to the Aveling Barford RXD series articulated dumptrucks, which are now sold under the TRX Build brand.

In August 2007 Moxy Engineering of Norway announced plans to buy the intellectual property rights of the Barford rigid dump truck range.[3]

In 2008 Moxy was purchased by the South Korean Doosan (formerly Daewoo), and renamed to Doosan Moxy As and later Doosan Infracore Norway AS. The project was later cancelled and the prototype of the new range earlier presented at Bauma in 2007 was scrapped.

Barfords' sports field is still in existence, called Arnoldfield, in Gonerby Hill Foot.

In October 2012 Gravity FM, Grantham's community radio station produced a tribute in words and music to Aveling Barford, on sale to raise funds to support the running costs of the station.

GRACES GUIDE PAGES AVELING BARFORD of Invicta Works, Grantham Lincolnshire (Manufacturers of original Roadrollers, Sitedumpers, Motorgraders, Bulldozers, Concrete mixers and Dumptrucks)

1932 AGE - Agricultural and General Engineers went into receivership and Aveling and Porter acquired the assets of Barford and Perkins

1934 They changed their name to Aveling-Barford.

Early in 1934 the business was transferred from Rochester to Grantham on a 36 acre site which was leased from Ruston and Hornsby, a Director of R & H based at the Ransomes subsidiary in Ipswich, and George Ruston Sharpley,

1937 Became a public company to raise £320,000 and on the board of directors were Edward James Barford, William Geoffrey Barford (from Barford and Perkins) and John Heinrich Wulff Pawlyn also a director of Ruston and Hornsby based at the Ransomes subsidiary in Ipswich and George Ruston Sharpley, the managing director of Ruston and Hornsby.

Without the financial assistance of Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln, both Aveling and Porter and Barford and Perkins would not have survived. Ruston and Hornsby funded the amalgamation of the two companies, and gave them part of their Grantham site. For many years all the vehicles were powered by R & H diesel engines. R & H had also previously made road rollers, but concentrated this all at Grantham.[1]

1937 The firm claim they make 75% of all rollers in the UK at present.

1937 Road and aerodrome roller manufacturers. "Invicta" Rollers. "Pioneer" Rollers.

WWII During the war the company built bren gun carriers for the army, shell fuse caps and various precision-made components for tanks and submarines.

Agricultural Land Drainage Machine: When, during the war, the Ministry of Agriculture instituted the land reclamation scheme, Aveling-Barford brought into being the “Barford” Agricultural Drainage Machine which was essentially a mechanical trencher cutting for the laying of drainage tiles. Designed to work in conjunction with a Fordson tractor to which it is secured, it derives operating power from the tractor power take-off shaft.The essential feature of the machine is a six-bladed rotor which initially digs its way into the earth and opens up the trench as the machine moves along. The complete unit is self-hauled by winding-in on to a ratchet-operated drum a steel cable anchored ahead and in line with the trench. Cutting speed can be varied to suit soil conditions, but up to six feet per minute is possible.

1946 Formed Barford (Agricultural) Ltd as a subsidiary company to take over the manufacture and sale of the dairy, agricultural and horticultural equipment, as well as the Barford ranges of steam cooking equipment for farm stock food, diary farm sterilizers, boilers, bottle washing and filling machines, a drainage trench cutter, and the “Atom” multi-purpose horticultural tractor.

Also formed Barford Developments Ltd, to develop new products. An additional factory was acquired in Newcastle on Tyne where a range of the lighter products would be made.

c.1953 New factory opened at Belton

1954 Acquired Goodwin Barsby and Company

c.1960 Barfords of Belton was producing the lighter ranges of agricultural equipment and the Atom tractor.

1960 Advert for dumpers and graders. Goodwin Barsby and Co was a subsidiary

1960 The Aveling-Barford Group of Companies included:

Aveling-Barford Ltd. of Grantham, incorp. Aveling and Porter Ltd and Barford and Perkins Ltd. Barfords of Belton Ltd of Belton, Grantham. Goodwin Barsby and Co Ltd. of Leicester. Societe Anonyme Aveling-Barford of Paris. Aveling-Barford Africa (Pty) Ltd. of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Salisbury. E. W. Gray (Pty) Ltd. of Johannesburg. E. W. Gray's Properties (Pty) Ltd., of Johannesburg. Aveling-Barford Venezuela C.A. of Caracas. Aveling-Barford Canada Ltd. of Toronto. Aveling-Barford Australia Pty Ltd. of Sydney. 1960s Aveling-Barford continued to prosper in the immediate postwar period, but the 1960s and 1970s were difficult decades for the firm. The workforce was slashed and the company's range of products was dramatically reduced.

1961 Group manufacture road rollers, dumpers, motor graders, calfdozers, trench cutters, shovels, road, quarry, gravel and contractors' plant, diary sterilising and pasteurising equipment, agricultural, horticultural and drainage implements, concrete mixers, and small dumpers.

The Dumptruck rights were given to Moxy (of Norway), who were taken over by Doosan (of South Korea), and never made any of the A-B machines.

1967 Acquired by Leyland Motor Corporation

1968 After the merger with British Motor Corporation, British Leyland engines were to be used but there were reliability problems.

1983 Privatised from BL

Aveling-Barford became part of Wordsworth Holdings, which bought the firm in 1988. (Duncan Wordsworth bought and owned the company and did well to keep it going under limited resources until it sadly went into liquidation in 2010.)

Invictas Engineering occupy the old Aveling Barford site.

The records of Aveling-Barford include build records, product catalogues, photographs and engineering plans. Many of the records date from before the 1934 merger and therefore relate to the two constituent companies. Most of this information is now held by Lincolnshire Archives.

Construction PlantEdit

Aveling-Barford PB dumper at Lincoln 08 - DSC00023

A restored Aveling-Barford PB dumper

  • Calfdozer (compact dozer used by railways for back filling)[1]

Photos of Calf dozers _

  • Off Highway Rigid Dump Trucks
  • Articulated Dump Trucks
  • Bulldozer
  • Road Rollers
  • Motor Graders
  • Site Dumpers - Production transferred to Barford
  • Wheel Loaders

Model RangeEdit

Steam Road Roller Model RangeEdit

  • Type W
  • Type R
  • Type T

Preserved Steam Rollers Edit

Please add any known machine details to the list.
Click Here to edit list.

Preserved machines built by Aveling-Barford (TER lists 20 Steam rollers in UK)
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Engine No. Name Build Date Type Weight Size / Power nhp Reg No. Owner Image Other info
Aveling-Barford AC601 Talisman 1937 W Type RR 10 ton 6 nhp CPT 233 owner ? Image needed LHB

earliest known surviving A-B roller
Aveling-Barford AC604 Patricia 1937 W Type RR 10 Ton 6 hp CPT 235 Photos on Geocities Aveling-Barford AC604 SR Patricia - CPT 235 at Astwoodbank 08 - P6150175 ex Durham CC
At Astwoodbank 2008
Aveling-Barford AC605 Kim 1937 W Type 10 ton 6 nhp DTM 537 owner >? Aveling-Barford AC605 - roller - DTM 537 at Preston Services - IMG 2804 At Preston Services yard
Aveling-Barford AC606 Prince of Wales 1937 W Type RR 10 ton 6 hp DTM 538 Image needed LHB
Aveling-Barford AC607 Dunelia 1937 RR Type T  ? ton 6 nhp CPT 236 owner >? Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AD610 Talisman - RR - - - - - Plate is on Aveling-Barford AC601
Aveling-Barford AC621 Lady Helen 1937 R Type RR 6 Ton 4 hp GMK 939 Will Childs Aveling-Barford AC621 RR Lady Helen - GMK 939 at Barleylands 09 - IMG 8336 At Essex Country Show 2009
Aveling-Barford AC624 n/a 1938 R Type RR 6 Ton 4 hp CVC 979  ?, Warwick Aveling-Barford no AC624 Steam Roller reg CVC 979 ar Bloxham 09 - IMG 5906 At Bloxham Steam Rally 2009
Aveling-Barford AD073 Patricia / Westmorland Star 1938 W Type RR 10 ton 6 nhp CUP 396 owner >? Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AD670 Violet 1938 DX type Motor roller 6 ton - TL 8524 Museum of Lincolnshire Life Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AD717 year ? Motor Roller (plate only)  ? -  ? Plate only in collection of mfc plates Aveling-Barford no.AD717 plate - IMG 6556 Aveling-Barford serial number Plate
Aveling-Barford AE576 1938 Motor Roller  ? ton  ? nhp
Ruston Hornsby engine
ECT 113 owner >? Aveling-Barford AE 576 type DX - ECT 113 - at Ashby Magna 2010 - IMG 0766 At Ashby Magna 2010
Aveling-Barford AE998 n/a 1943 W Type RR 10 Ton 6 hp DTM 540 G. Smith Aveling Barford no AE998 Roller No 109 reg DTM 540 at Elvaston 09 - IMG 6688 Lincoln & Others 2008
(ex Eddison No.109)
Aveling-Barford AG757 Linda 1947 R Type RR 6 Ton 4 hp FRM 976 Aveling-Barford AG757 - RR -FRM960 at Haddenham 2010 - IMG 0765 At Haddenham Vintage Festival 2010
Aveling-Barford AG758 Gisela 1946 R Type RR 6 Ton 4 hp FRM 973 At Amberley Museum Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AG760 Old Nick 1946 Type N RR 6 ton 4 nhp BTL 810 owner ? Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AG785 Judith 1946 Type T 8 ton 5 nhp MRF 245 owner >? Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AG876 - 1947 Type W 10 ton 6 nhp - Exported to Germany Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AH162 Omega 1948 Type W 10 ton 6 nhp JXH 174 owner >?, Chatham Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AH363 Terras / Linda 1947 Type T 8 ton 5 nhp CTL 225 Beamish Museum Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AH365 1947 Type T 8 ton 5 nhp CTL 226 owner >?,Wales Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AH367 1947 Type T 8 ton 4 nhp n/a owner >?, Germany Image needed LHB

Exported to Germany in/before 1996
Aveling-Barford AH392 Annie 1947 T Type RR 8 ton 5 hp CTL 227 owner ?, Nuneaton Image needed LHB

Aveling-Barford AH412 1948 RR Type T 8 ton 5 nhp ECT 352 Welsh museums service, Cardiff Image needed LHB

In Storage at Nantgarw Collections Centre
Aveling-Barford AH425 Sarah 1950 T Type RR 8 Ton 5 hp JRM 966 owner ?, March Cambs Aveling-Barford AH425 - RR - Sarah - (JRM 966) at Holbeach 2017 - IMG 7541 at Holbeach Vintage Show 2017
Aveling-Barford GN2506 - Year ? Motor Roller  ? ton  ? nhp Reg no. ? Plant Hire Kilkhampton , Cornwall Image needed LHB

Copy the Section below to add more Entries to the list
Aveling-Barford ? Year Type  ? ton  ? nhp Reg no. ? owner >? Image needed LHB

Machine types Key: SW = Steam Wagon, PE = Portable engine, Plg = Ploughing Engine, RR = Road Roller, SM = Showmans engine, ST= Steam tractor, TE = Traction Engine

Diesel Roller ModelsEdit

Aveling Barford

Aveling Barford GH ride-on pavement roller from cira 1950

Preserved Diesel (Motor) RollersEdit

Aveling-Barford AD117 of Ilson crushers at Belvoir 2010 - IMG 2830

IL'SON CRUSHERS motor roller used for demonstration road building at shows

The Road Roller Association's Motor Roller Register lists circa. 150 Aveling-Barford motor rollers that are known to survive, but very few are seen at shows, with a few in museums, but most are awaiting restoration.

Aveling Barford GN roller 2354

GN Roller

Tandem Roller Model RangeEdit

Aveling-Barford TDC Series

Vibratory Compactor Model RangeEdit

Aveling-Barford Compactor at SE Davis 11 IMG 9216

Aveling-Barford Compactor in SE Davis & Son yard (actual model no unknown)

Articulated Dump Truck Model RangeEdit

Off Highway Rigid Dump Truck Model RangeEdit

Aveling Barford dumper advert - BTJ - GG - Im194603

Aveling-Barford 3 cuyd site dumper advert from 1946

Motorgrader Model Range Edit

Aveling-Barford grader at SE Davis 11 - IMG 9136

Aveling-Barford Motor Grader ASG 021 model

Aveling-Barford grader at SE Davis 11 - IMG 9137

Aveling-Barford Motor grader with rear ripper

=Wheel Loader Model Range Edit

Aveling-Austin Grader Model Range Edit

Aveling-Austin SG510 grader - IMG 4947

Miscellaneous MachinesEdit

Preserved Other MachinesEdit

See alsoEdit

References / sourcesEdit

  1. The rise & fall of Aveling-Barford, 1933-88, ISBN 0-906338-16-6

External linksEdit

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