Heritage Assets

Since the closure of Queens Works the Association has worked to preserve and record many artefacts of Heritage interest. The major collection of artefacts is the models of Allen products, most of which were made by Allen Apprentices and Students in the Queens Works Training Centre. These were recovered at the time of closure of Queens Works in 2000. The Association has endeavoured to ensure these are held in safety and kept in good condition. Most of the models were in good condition and new homes were found for them almost immediately. Three of the models were not so fortunate and were in need of major restoration. Two of these have now found new homes and the remaining one is still being restored.


  • Allen 4S12 Marine Genset model, set in ship’s engine room layout, in glass display cabinet.
  • Allen Epicyclic Gear (interactive) model, mounted on a steel plinth.

These models are currently located at Allen Diesels in Bedford

Thomas Moore School, Bedford showed interest in refurbishing these. However they were not able to progress this and they were retrieved by a committee member, and moved to Allen Diesels, Bedford (formerly Rolls-Royce Diesels).

Allen Diesels has shown interest in the loan of the S12 Genset Model, whilst Bedford Museum is interested in the loan of the Gear Model after its restoration.

  • 2-cylinder Allen Compound Steam Engine Generator Set model

This model is currently located in Bedford Museum. It had to undergo considerable rennovation and was housed in a glass display case. It can be made to operate by the pressing of a button.

  • Allen Epicyclic Gearbox model

This model is currently located in the offices of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. This model, in wooden display box, was presented by E.F Clark.

  • Allen 12VS12 Diesel Generator Set model.

This model is currently located in the offices of The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology in London and was presented to them by Charles Allen

  • Allen Steam Turbine Generating Set model.

This model is currently located in the offices of Allen Steam Turbines in Oakley, near Bedford.

  • Allen Conqueror Pump model.

This model is currently located in the offices of Bedford Pumps in Kempston, near Bedford.

  • Allen Epicyclic Gearbox model.

This model is currently located in the offices of Allen Gears in Pershore, Worcestershire.

  • Allen 4BSS12-D Diesel Alternator Set model

This model is currently located at the Rolls Royce Heritage Centre in Derby.

  • Allen 5012 Diesel Generating Set model

This model is currently located at the Anson Engine Museum, Poynton, Stockport.

It was not made in the Allen Training Centre but was on display in Queen’s Works Office reception during the period immediately before closure and was then transferred to Crossley Works, Manchester where development of this engine took place, finally being moved to Anson in 2008 when Crossley Works was closed.


Other Assets in preservation but not the property of the Association are:-

  • William Henry Allen’s desk and reference table marked as used by William Henry Allen.
  • Portrait oil painting of William Henry Allen

Restored by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and hung in their library in their London offices.
Both items presented to them at the time of closure of the Queens Engineering Works.

  • LeRhone rotary aero engine

This was formerly in the reception of Queen’s Works Offices. Now with the Shuttleworth Trust (Vintage Aircraft Museum), Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

  • Allen Works Crest

Formerly mounted over the personnel entrance from the office block to No.2 machine shop has been recovered and passed to Bedford Museum.

  • Brass Plaque marking the opening of the ‘new’ Queens Works Office Block in 1958

Recovered by the housing redevelopment company and mounted in the wall a modern bungalow at the entrance from Hurst Grove onto the former Queens Works site – now a housing estate.

Part of the original cast and wrought iron gates and gate posts from the factory entrance have been saved and re-erected in a small park area within this housing development.


Other Assets of which the Committee are aware and keen to see preserved include:-

  • Allen 400Kw Gas Turbine

Ex SS Rotterdam and possibly in store in Holland.

  • Allen Crest

This has been on display in the Bedford mayoral chambers and the committee are endeavouring to ensure it is transferred to WHAEA if it ever becomes surplus to requirements.

  • Titanic Plaque

This was on display in the Queens Engineering works steam test bay and relates to the Allen products installed on the RMS Titanic. The committee are attempting to locate this and ensure its preservation.

  • Clocking on‘       a painting by Steve Bowers

This shows workers at the Queens Engineering works and was owned by the first Mayor of Bedford Frank Branston. It is believed to have subsequently been sold.

  • A number of Allen trophies, shields etc. were recovered on the closure of the Allen Club in 2010.

The majority of these related to the Sports associations and the Allen Club. A cabinet of major trophies was passed to the Bedford Bowls Club, some were passed for preservation to Bedford Museum and the remainder stored by a committee member.

These are in the process of being catalogued for Heritage records.

The committee is always open to hearing about any other historical Allen assets and establish the extent to which these can be preserved.
Any information should be passed to the heritage co-ordinator (heritage@whaea.co.uk)