We can trace the company's history to 1839 when George England founded the Hatcham Iron Works and started his company George England and Company. The first products produced were screwjacks and weaving machines but soon, George England started to produce railway locomotives.
One of his early locomotives ‘Little England’, won a Gold Medal for Excellence at The Great Exhibition of 1851.
George was joined by the renowned locomotive engineer Francis Fairlie in the 1860s. At the turn of the century, the company became the General Engineering & Boiler Company.
In 1935, Reliance Foundry was formed and ran alongside the General Engine and Boiler Company at the Hatcham Iron Works in New Cross, South London.
Reliance Foundry took over all manufacturing at its new factory in Greenwich in 1975. In 1986, Mr Douglas Hills was invited to purchase the Reliance Foundry to merge it with his company, the Hills Diecasting Company of Sydenham, South East London.
In 2002, Maybrey Precision Castings of Lower Sydenham was purchased and Maybrey Reliance was formed.
To learn more about Maybrey Reliance, download our Heritage Brochure.
GEORGE ENGLAND, ROBERT FAIRLIE & THE HATCHAM IRON WORKS
This project began in the late 1980s, when Douglas Hills merged his company, Hills Diecasting with the Reliance Foundry in premises on Norman Road, Greenwich, London.
The premises contained a plaque showing it was also the registered office of the General Engine & Boiler Company. Their original factory was in The Hatcham Iron Works, Pomeroy Street, New Cross, they became Reliance in the mid-1960s. Before that, the factory was owned by George England.
Douglas was amazed to find that his brother-in-law, Grahame Hood a keen railway enthusiast and editorial contributor to various publications, knew of George England and his work as a locomotive builder. With this common interest, they decided to find out as much as they could about him. After lecturing on George England all over the UK, they decided to document this information as a website.
This as an ongoing project, inviting contributions and opportunities to continue to record this historical archive.