- Bradwell Mill
- Local History
Edward Hayes started building steamboats in the 1860s at Stony Stratford, in rural North Buckinghamshire at a works as far from the sea as possible and 1 1/2rniles from the nearest navigable water!
Nevertheless the firm built vessels for the far flung corners of the world, including steam launches and tugs used in the exploration of the tropical jungles of South America, the River Nile and in the Arctic cold of Archangel. Prestigious commissions were also undertaken for wealthy clients who were impressed by the skill and innovation of the marine engineering emanating form a small yard in a country town.
The firm had its origins in agricultural engineering, playing no small part in the development and mechanisation of the farming industry.
Later development in marine engineering led to a period of relative prosperity and government commissions for steamboats.
But the family run firm provided much more - education for privileged apprentices, who went on to become Chief Engineers of many companies, including one of the designers of the Titanic.