History of Parsons Mathway Marine
Parsons Mathway Marine started
life as the Parsons Engine Company in the early
1900s and was based at Town Quay in Southampton,
The company built marinised
engines based on the Ford petrol and later
diesel engines. Parsons also developed their own
gearboxes, initially for many applications,
including pump houses and tanks. The first
marine gearboxes were in response to a request
from the war office. Parsons marine engines and
gearboxes were in widespread use by the 1920s.
After the war, Parsons continued to supply the
Ministry of Defence and engine manufacturers
including Rolls-Royce, Perkins, Enfield, Russell
Newbury, Lister, Petters, Cummins and many more.
Parsons marine gearboxes were
supplied to numerous boat builders, including
Vosper Thorneycroft, Fairey Marine, Freeman
Boats, Camper & Nicholson yachts and the
Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
developed their own exhaust mixer boxes of
different sizes, as well as clutched pumps. Manufacturing
slowed in the late 1960s, with the growing
influx of engines and gearboxes from America,
Italy and Germany. In the 1970s, Parsons stopped
building their engines and gearboxes, but
continued to repair both and also to manufacture
the exhaust mixer boxes. Parsons then became
part of the British Polar Engine Company.
Marine Steering started production in the mid
1900s. It supplied the war office (MOD) and
major commercial and leisure ship/boat builders,
including Vosper Thornycroft, RNLI, Camper &
Nicholson, Moody's, William Osbourns and Berthon
Boats. The positive mechanical steering systems
quickly gained a reputation for being robust and
providing precise control of the vessel.
Mathway also made gearboxes for
Rolls-Royce marine piston engines, including the
Griffon. These were used in vessels such as the
RAF air sea rescue triple screw boats, RAF
seaplane tenders, Motor Torpedo Boats and many
Mathway was also bought by the
British Polar Engine Company. In the early 1980s
Mr Ivor Jenkins, then employed by British Polar
engines in Glasgow, was the manager for Parsons
and Mathway. He brought both companies together
to become Parsons Mathway Marine.
In the late 1980s, Mr Jenkins purchased the
company from British Polar and ran it at the
Hamble. It moved to Fareham in 1999, before Mark
Jenkins took over from his father.
Parsons Mathway Marine
was acquired by Coupland
Bell Ltd in 2013. It continues to supply
Mathway steering and to support the thousands of
Parsons marine gearboxes in regular use around