NCK 605

NCK 605 at Trelkeld Quarry part of the VET collection

The history of NCK company of Chapletown, Sheffield, in England, goes back to 1794 and is one of the first major Engineering companies. The Company is actually called "Newton Chambers & Co. Ltd" with NCK being a brand name. Newton Chambers started life as Iron founders, expanding the range during the Victorian times.

NCK crane vibropiling rig

NCK crane with vibropile rig

The Newton,Chambers & Co HistoryEdit

It was in 1789 that George Newton and Thomas Chambers entered into a partnership that would result in the founding of one of England's largest industrial companies of that era, Newton, Chambers & Co.

George Newton was a businessman, Thomas Chambers a craftsman in iron and their partnership had the aims of smelting and casting iron, in various forms. In 1792 they bought the mining rights to the Thorncliffe valley from the Earl Fitzwilliam and set up their works on the Thorncliffe site near Chapeltown, to the north of Sheffield.

In 1815 the partners met with William Murdoch, the inventor of coal-gas lighting, this being seen as providing a growth in work for their foundry. Coal, from the company’s mines, was provided as charge for beehive coke ovens which were built on the site.

By the end of the nineteenth century the company were not only mining coal and ironstone but building blast furnaces, coke ovens and chemical plant. Heavy section iron, cast in the foundry was used in two iconic structures: Tower Bridge, crossing the river Thames in London and the Eddystone Lighthouse.

In 1939 the Thorncliffe works came under the control of the Admiralty. A new workshop was constructed at Warren Lane, a short distance away from the Thorncliffe works, which was used to build army vehicles and became the largest manufacturer of Churchill tanks for the war effort. The infamous traitor, William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw), in one of his radio broadcasts threatened to "dot the I" on the Izal name with a bomb. It was intended to destroy the source of the Churchill tanks. A near miss ensued, but the works remained intact.

The nationalization of the coal and steel industries in 1948 saw the group sell off its interests in these fields but many others remained, in particular tar distillates, the basis of many products manufactured by its Izal subsidiary.

The engineering part of the group designed and supplied coal-gas and chemical plant and with the take over of Ransomes & Rapier, in 1958, to add to its portfolio became a major maker of excavators, drag-lines and other construction equipment. The group also set up Redfyre as a marketing company for coal-burning grates which were made in its foundry. Changes, in particular the Clean Air Act saw the company move into light fabrications and oil-fired central heating equipment, however, the oil-fired boiler market collapsed in autumn 1973 with the sudden large increase in oil prices.

In 1972 the group was taken over by industrial holding company "Central & Sheerwood".

The NCH Brandname years and its company history

NCH yearsEdit

The company decided to go into excavator production during the 1930s to utilise there foundry capacity and engineering skills. They negotiated with P&H (Pawling and Harnischfeger)of America, to build under licence the P&H 150, a ½ cubic yard Universal excavator. This being known as the NCH. It was fitted with a D4 Caterpillar engine, and mechanical controls. Hydraulic controls being fitted from 1940. All machine went to the War Office.

Later they built versions of the P&H 125 & 150, thus being sold as NCH 125 & NCH 150. Basically the same machine with different tracks 14" or 16" and 38hp or 50hp engine respectively. The could be configured for Crowd shovel,Trencher, or skimmer, crane, Dragline or grab excavator operation, hence the 'Universal' tag. In 1946 the License from P&H expired, thus ending production. A new factory was built in 1938/9 for excavator production, but the second world war saw it being used for tank production. After the war it was switched to Excavator production to meet demand from rebuilding works. Some of this factory complex still stands today, the whole Newton Chambers site being 750 acres, just a few miles north of Sheffield next to the M1 motorway. A large part has been redeveloped, with TCH (JCB)Ltd having a dealership on part of the site.

The NCK Brandname Years and its originEdit

In 1947 they negotiated to build Koehring excavators from America, thus creating the NCK brand. The first being the 304, which was re-engineered for UK production, with various Engine options from Thornycroft, GM, Dorman, Rolls Royce, AEC or Gardner available. The Std option being the Dorman 66hp unit.

The Ransomes and Rapier yearsEdit

In 1958 they took over Ransomes & Rapier based in Ipswich, England. production being moved to the Ipswich factory were the Ransomes & Rapier Walking Draglines, were produced, with the R&R designed cranes dropped, in favour of the NCK models, thus becoming NCK-Rapier machines.

The 1980s to present dayEdit

In February 2012 NCK Cranes was acquired by Delden CSE Ltd, from its prior owners SPW Group.

The acquisition follows Delden CSE Ltd's acquisition of RB Cranes (Ruston Bucyrus) in November 2009

Recently the Delden CSE Ltd company will continue to supply spare parts for and overhaul NCK machines from its premises in Selston, Nottinghamshire, UK. 

From the WIKIPEDIA Sourced Information and updates October 2018 


NCK Original Machinery emblem


Mechanical Engineers
Industry Heavy equipment
Founded 1794
Headquarters Selston, Nottinghamshire, England, UK
Products Cranes, spares, fabrication
Owner Delden Cranes Ltd
Website NCK Cranes [1]

NCK (Newton Chambers Koehring), started as a subsidiary of Newton, Chambers & Company, a large engineering company based in SheffieldEngland. They produced the range of NCK agricultural equipment, skimmers, excavators,cranes and draglines that were renowned for high quality and long life, typically over 20 years. Many NCK machines continue to operate worldwide.[1]


The company started as iron founders in 1794 and expanded in Victorian times to include coal and iron mining. They diversified into equipment manufacture and in 1947 the company started producing the American brands of Koehringexcavators under the Newton Chambers Koehring, name, NCK [2] and in 1958 they took over Ransomes & Rapierbuilding excavators, drag-lines, port cranes and other construction equipment under the NCK - Rapier brand . With the decline in coal and the improvements in hydraulic machines, the company diversified into light fabrication. The company was taken over in 1972 by the holding company Central and Sheerwood. NCK later was sold to Robert Maxwell's media group as part of a wider deal, but Maxwell was not interested in cranes and NCK became inactive. Cliffe Holdings then bought the company, later Staffordshire Public Works bought the company in 1997 after it fell again into receivership. NCK launched a new model, the 90T 'HC90 'Astra crane in 2000 but it was not successful, 3 units were manufactured and are owned by Delden CSE Ltd as part of their hire fleet. The only other UK crawler crane business Ruston-BucyrusRB also stopped manufacture in 2009. The last crawler crane supplied by NCK was a Nova in 2001. SPW now runs and active spares and overhaul business for its cranes [3] and fabricates NCK plant to order as well as manufacturing traffic control and filtration equipment.

In February 2012, the business of NCK Cranes was acquired by Delden Cranes Ltd, and will continue to supply spare parts and offer machine overhauls from its facilities in Selston, Nottinghamshire, UK. The acquisition of NCK follows the acquisition of RB Cranes Ruston-Bucyrus by Delden Cranes Ltd in October 2009.

NCH and NCK  Original Model Range including the later NCK-Rapier models 

NCH models

Based on licensed P&H designs

  • NCH 1935
  • NCH 125 1945-46
  • NCH 150 1945-46
Koering based models
  • NCK 205 ½ ydcu 1955
  • NCK 605-1B 1½ ydcu
  • NCK Pennine Crane mk1 (304 fitted with long, wide tracks and a longer jib)
  • NCK Alpine T20 (a 205 fitted on a chassis as a truck mounted crane)
  • NCK Pennine T34 (truck crane)
  • NCK Pennine T35
  • NCK Pennine C34
  • NCK Pentland C20
  • NCK 41
  • NCK 95
  • NCK 304 ¾ ydcu 1947-
  • NCK 305
    • NCK 305B
  • NCK 334B
  • NCK 335T
  • NCK 350B
  • NCK 405 1¼ ydcu 100hp
  • NCK Andes (Redesigned 405, for use as a dedicated crane)
  • NCK 406
    • NCK 406D
  • NCK 407
  • NCK 570T
  • NCK 605
    • NCK 605-2A,
    • NCK 605-2B,
    • NCK 605-2C
  • NCK 605
  • NCK 1000,
  • NCK 1405,
    • NCK 1405B,
    • NCK 1405C,
    • NCK 1405D,
  • NCK 1495C, , , 60HT, 70D, 70DWT, 80D,
  • NCK Ajax,
  • NCK Andes,
  • NCK Atlas C54B,
  • NCK C110,
    • NCK C110 Eiger,
  • NCK C120
    • NCK C120 Eiger
  • NCK C34B
    • NCK C34B Pennine
  • NCK C40
    • NCKC40 Pennine
      • NCK C40/2A Pennine
  • NK C41B
  • NCK C41B Andes
  • NCK C41C Andes
  • NCK C50
  • NCK C50 Europa
  • NCK CB54
  • NCK C54 Atlas
  • NCK C54B
  • NCK C60
  • NCK C75 Ajax
  • NCK C120 Eiger
Ransomes and Rapier models aka NCK RAPIER
  • NCK H5
  • NCK H7
  • NCK H7 Rapier
  • NCK H17
  • NCK H17 Rapier
  • NCK HF17
  • NCK HY17
  • NCK HC170
    • NCK HC170 Olympus
  • NCK HC250
  • NCK HL330
  • NCK Rapier HC65,
  • NCK Rapier HC75,
  • NCK Rapier HC80
  • NCK Rapier HFC80
  • NCK Rapier HK30
  • NCK Rapier HS14

Machines in preservationEdit

Please add any known machines to the list below.

 NCK Original Machinery Photo Gallery  

NCK crane at AB WD 2013 - IMG 7725

Restored NCK Crane at Andrew Beaulahs Working Day 2013

See also  


  • The History of Cranes
  • Classic Plant & Machinery Magazine
  • An Illustrated history of cranes 

External linksEdit

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