Graham Sadler’s

This nice example of the Atkinson 6-ton steam waggon in 1:4 scale is by Graham Sadler and was photographed at Harrogate in 2014. Model steam waggons have increased in popularity in recent years, with several established designs available along with castings, and the Atkinson is among the most popular.

The Atkinson 6 ton wagon in 1:4 scale was described in Engineering in Miniature, volumes four to seven, by Ray Prime. It is not only a good looking model it is a good steamer, very quiet in action.

Atkinson & Co. was founded in the Frenchwood district of Preston by two of five brothers, Edward and Henry Birch Atkinson  with assistance from their brother-in-law George Hunt .

Effectively the business started in 1907, when the partners decided to capitalise on the need for repairs to the increasing number of ‘pullcars’ and private motor vehicles on the road. Edward Atkinson became an expert in the repair and servicing of steam vehicles and was an agent for Alley and MacLellan, the forerunner of Sentinel.

In 1914 demand for internal road transport grew rapidly and the Atkinsons decided to experiment by making a waggon of their own design. In 1916 The first Atkinson six-ton four-wheel steam wagon was produced and was an instant success. By 1918 the Atkinsons had moved to new premises and built up a team of engineers and salesmen and were producing waggons competitive in both price and performance.

In October 1920 Atkinsons exhibited at the Commercial Motor Exhibition at Olympia with a vehicle with the Uniflow engine.

Atkinson Lorries continued to produce lorries in Preston up to 1970 when it was bought by Seddon. Seddon Atkinson was acquired by International Harvester in 1974. In February 1983 it was purchased by the Spanish group ENASA which made it a subsidiary of Pegaso. In 1990 it became part of the international commercial vehicle concern Iveco who used the brand for various types of specialized vehicles in the United Kingdom for refuse collection, recycling and construction operators.

Iveco decided to move manufacture of Seddon Atkinsons to Spain in 2005, and the brand name was incorporated into the mainstream Iveco catalogue.