Woodall Duckham – WD

Thanks to Harry Wilson the mystery of the WD initials on many Stein Bluebell specials is now solved.

The initials WD within an oval surround stands for The Woodall Duckham Construction Company of Brompton Road, London. – source 


Once again this is an example of a Scottish brick manufacturer stamping the customers trademark on bricks manufactured especially for them.


1906 Business founded by Harold Woodall and Arthur McDougall Duckham

1911 Company founded

1920 Private company formed as Woodall-Duckham Vertical Retort and Oven Construction Co. (1920) Ltd.

1928 Partially rebuilt the vertical retorts of Sheffield Gas Co at Neepsend[1]

1929 Designed and installed the first coke ovens on the Becker system in the UK – 25 ovens were built at Handsworth for the Nunnery Colliery Co of Sheffield[2]

1933 Built some intermittent vertical retorts on the Stettin principle for the Croydon Gas Co[3]. Built carbonizing plant for the Tottenham and District Gas Co[4]

1936 Built new coking plant at Blacker near Wombwell for the Barnsley and District Coking Co; motor spirit would be one of the byproducts[5]

1937 Erected 82 coke ovens at Redbourn for Richard Thomas and Co[6]

1938 Erected vertical chamber ovens for the Commercial Gas Co at Poplar[7]. Erected new coke ovens for the Stanton Iron Works Co[8]

1948 Incorporated as a public company[9]

1953 Name changed. Woodall-Duckham was a public company which started to be quoted on the London Stock Exchange in April 1953[10].

01/07/1958 – The Glasgow Herald

1961 Designers and contractors for coal carbonising and coal and oil gasification plants, and ancillary plants for the gas, coking and chemical industries. 2,700 employees.[11]


Note the WD trademark top middle centre of the poster below and compare to the Bluebell special also shown.

woodhall duckham WD . Bluebell WD 37


1965 – U262/B34 BUSINESS Letter to C.C. Middleton concerning supply of refractory cast blocks from John G. Stein and Co.Ltd., Bonnybridge, Scotland , 1966, and brochure of same firm , 1965, containing another letter to C.C. Middleton , 1966, and printed list , 1966 (1 letter , 1 brochure containing docs.) . Middleton held a post with Woodall Duckham 

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