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100 Years of British Engines

British Engines was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1922 by the current Chairman’s grandfather and great uncle and we are proud to say that the business still operates on one of the original sites.

In those days, the site consisted of a single storey corrugated iron building housing twelve people. We now have eight sites across the North East of England, and are one of the largest engineering employers in the area, with over 1,200 employees worldwide, mostly North East based.

The Beginning

The Beginning

Brothers, Charles and Harold Lamb set up the business with just £7,500, two men and three machine tools between them.

Engine repair and subcontract engineering

The company started in engine repair and subcontract engineering. Shortly after, a small foundry was set up producing components in non-ferros alloys for the growing machine shop.

Marine engineering

As well a car and truck engine repair and growing subcontract machine shops, British Engines progressively entered into the marine engineering industry in which engines from fishing vessels and fleet auxiliary boats were serviced, overhauled and reconditioned.

The world's first commercial jet airliner

Customers included DeHaviland, Rolls Royce and the Ministry of War (later Defence). Making parts for the first jet engine commercial airliner, the Comet.

CMP Products

Cable terminating glands became part of the company’s offering which developed into group company, CMP Products.

Graham Lamb joins the company

Harold’s son, Graham, joined the company having served as an apprentice at Vickers Armstrong.

BEL Valves and the oil boom

BEL Valves was set up to produce high pressure valves for the chemical industry. The company started to supply valves to the offshore industry in the 70s during the oil boom and exploration of the North Sea.

A £300,000 investment

The foundry moved into a building at Glasshouse Street

The foundry moved into a building at Glasshouse Street near to the firm’s beginnings, adding 60,000 square feet and providing room for a £300,000 investment.

Engineering a future

The British Engines Apprenticeship scheme was officially formed and we have since trained over 1,000 apprentices.

Rotary Power

The company entered into the field of hydraulics with the development of an axial piston pump and a hydraulic motor, forming the company RHL which later became Rotary Power.

Stadium Export Services

Stadium Export Services (then Packing Services) was founded in Gateshead providing export packaging, preservation and freight.

Stephenson Gobin

Acquired Stephenson Gobin, based in Bishop Auckland, specialising in the manufacture of electromagnetic clutches and brakes for the motion control and fire industry.

British Engines India

British Engines India was established to sub-contact manufacturing and engineering services to the group. Located in Banglore, across 30,000 sq. ft., British Engines India operates a full CNC machining, assembly and test facility.

Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year

British Engines was awarded Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year at the North East Business Awards.

Michell Bearings joins the group

British Engines confirms the completion of the acquisition of the Michell Bearings business from Rolls-Royce. The acquisition included the UK and India facilities.

A new site for BEL Engineering

BEL Engineering's new site was developed in a £12m investment.

Tyne Pressure Testing

Tyne Pressure Testing was formed to provide hyperbaric pressure testing to a range of industries.

CMP expands

CMP expands its manufacturing facility with 'Unit 1', a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse neighbouring CMP's existing Unit 3 site. Unit 1 is home to CMP's cleat manufacturing facility, alongside a state-of-the-art research & development centre.

100 Years of British Engines

The British Engines Group celebrates 100 years of engineering.

100 Miles for 100 Years

To celebrate 100 years of British Engines, we’ve invited employees from across the world to complete the ‘100 Miles for 100 Years’ challenge.

From 4 April – 31 August 2022, employees can run, walk, cycle or swim 100 miles, raising money for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

Donate here

North East Icons Quiz

To celebrate our North East heritage, we’ve put together a quiz marking some of the region’s most famous icons.

Download the quiz and guess each local icon. Submit your answers to Good luck!

Download now

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