Main Street, Long Eaton
About this image
This is Main Street from Meadow Lane. Claye's Wagon works line the street. In 1850, Samuel Claye was a coal and coke merchant and railway wagon owner in Derby. The following year he moved to Long Eaton to manufacture his own rolling stock. He bought the Manor House with its farm buildings and a house and croft on the other side of the road. Within two years he had erected buildings on both sides of the road which housed the foundry, smithy, turning shop, engine, several sheds and an office. In 1854 he built another shed on the north side, and the pattern house above the brook which ran alongside. He also built a number of houses for his workers. By 1861 the works employed nearly 200 workers and as the firm expanded during the 1860s, over 1,300 wagons at a time were produced for the Midland Railway. The firm was mechanised during the 1880s, producing 1,000 wagons a year while dealing in coal, coke, ironstone and fireclay. They also leased wagons to other merchants. Before his death, Samuel built Belfield on Main Street, which later became Southlands Home for the elderly. Samuel Claye died in 1887 at the age of 68. After his death the firm became a limited company, and a new foundry and an electricity generating plant were built. In 1937 it was sold to a rival company, Charles Roberts of Wakefield. The 19th century buildings were demolished in the 1960s. At present the site is occupied by some industrial units and the Tapper's Harker public house.