Brush Works, Loughborough

12 March 2024

Recently a friend and colleague asked me to write about the Brush Works in Loughborough, established by Charles Francis Brush in 1880. (Note: the original name of the factory was Falcon Works).

Their question was mainly, ‘what did the company make?’

The quick and easy answer is ‘almost anything!’ The company slogan was – ‘Brush can build it!’

About 100 years ago they were making D.C. generators for the then private electricity companies in the U.K. During the late 1880’s, the Brush also got involved with the production of small steam locomotives.

Before World War 2, they were producing electric trams for Blackpool, Sheffield and Hull. During the same war, the tram shops were repurposed to manufacture de Havilland 335 aircraft for the R.A.F. and parts for Lancaster bombers.

Post war products include small electric run-about vehicles for engineering establishments and, in 1956, large Lungstrom steam turbines made their appearance (under license).

In the 1950-1960’s huge 33kv transformers and associated rotating machines, plus switchgear, were all in evidence. The modernization of British Railways brought much fresh work to Brush in the form of diesel electric locomotives, first in 1955 with the introduction of the Type 2 locos, secondly in 1962 with numerous Type 4 locos.

Complete diesel electric power stations for the Middle East were made possible when Brush was absorbed into the Hawker Siddeley Group of companies in 1968. Sadly, The Brush has been ‘sold on’ at least twice, and now only Brush Transformers exist in Loughborough.

The remaining site has been sold to a variety of local manufacturing companies.

David Taylor,
(Brush Craft Apprentice in 1958)

The Brush Works viewed from Loughborough Train Station, Sept 2022