William Henry Allen (1844-1926)

William Henry Allen (1844-1926)

The W H Allen Engineering Association is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the engineering company started in Lambeth in 1880 by William Henry Allen.  The objectives are to perpetuate the heritage of W H Allen Sons  & Co Ltd, its personnel, its products and its contribution to engineering Worldwide.  Membership is available to anyone who has been an employee or trainee of the company or one of its subsidiaries, or who has had a close involvement with the maintenance, operation or preservation of its products.

With the imminent closure of Queens Works in Bedford in the late 1990’s it was felt by many of the members of the Allen Pupils and Students Association that it should be more than just an Old Boys Club with one re-union meeting each year.

The Association was formed in 1999.

Much work was done thereafter to rescue and preserve as many of the records and remaining artefacts of the Company as were available while it was still possible to do so.

These pages are not intended as a definitive history of the Company but as a portal providing an insight into the Company, and the family that ran it, and the work being done to preserve it’s memory.

Allens was a family run company and members of the family were on the board from 1880 until 1977. Many of the employees felt, and still feel, that they were part of that family. This was due in no small part to the paternalistic regard the family had for their employees.

Membership will be available to anyone who has been an employee or trainee/apprentice of the company, or one of its subsidiaries, or who has operational/commercial/social interest with these companies”.  Applications for membership can be made by visiting the Members section or clicking on the “Contact Us” tab. 
We look forward to hearing from you.


For a fuller history of the Company we would refer you to the excellent book by Michael R Lane

“The Story of Queen’s Engineering Works, Bedford”

published in 1995 by Unicorn Press, London, ISBN 0 906290 09 0