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Parsons Memorabilia and Memories

You may have seen an appeal on BBC’s ‘Look North’ recently and from Peter Dillon at our last talk for anyone with Parsons’ works connections to look out objects from any of the Heaton works as well as photos and stories or memories.


Turbinia, designed by Sir Charles Parsons and staff

Charles Parsons
Sir Charles Parsons


An exhibition is being planned in Birr, Ireland (where Charles Parsons was born and grew up) to commemorate 130 years since the Heaton works were opened and the organisers are looking for help from Heaton. Ruth Baldasera from Siemens says:

Did you, or one of your relatives work at C A Parsons or Parsons Marine or Grubb Parsons? Do you know anyone who knew a member of the Parsons family and do you have any anecdotes? Do you have any photographs, documents, brochures, newspaper cuttings or letters? Were you awarded with any objects at retirement perhaps which you are now happy to part with? Was there anything you made for an ornament, a bespoke item perhaps that contains part of a Parsons machine?

For example –

Pressure gauges from the test house which we know people took home and made into clocks etc

C A Parsons identification plates which people made into signs and coffee tables etc

100 year commemoration plates and booklets

Old bits of blades / blade roots used for example to make desk ornaments

Anything about the restoration of Turbinia

In particular we are desperately seeking a photo of Sir Charles son Algernon George, and the icing on the cake would be to find his war medals.

And we’d like your photos and stories.

Please email



  1. My brother John Donald Corney was an apprentice in the 1950s His daughter has all his paper work connected with the Apprenticeship if you are interested in seeing them. My memory of his time there was the new drawing office in the new building which had an open day and we went along to see the new lift with no doors!!! My father John William Corney worked all his life at Parsons Marine Engineering Co (Richardson Westgarth) and became Works Director, Margaret Atrmstrong

    • My father worked as an engineer (design draughtsman)at Parsons ,John Batty. I think he was there mid 1950’s. He had previously worked on sea planes for the Short brothers in the lake district. He talked about working on designing turbines. He moved down south after suffering with his heart and worked on the nose design of concord. He used to sing in the war years with worker’s playtime E.n.s.a.

  2. My father worked as a turbine design engineer at C.A.Parsons and in retirement he built a model of the Turbinia. He recently deceased and the family would be delighted to donate the model to a worthy cause if there was interest.


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