The Shropshire town of Shrewsbury grew first as a major wool trading centre. Later this was replaced by a trade in woven Welsh cloth, which continued until the eighteenth century when more efficient production was introduced with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. The town played its part in the Industrial Revolution when ironmaster William Hazledine created his ironworks in Coleham and manufactured the bridges designed by civil engineer Thomas Telford. With the coming of the railways markets opened up for Shropshire's agricultural products and agricultural engineers such as Thomas Corbett could also get their products to a far wider market. The Sentinel Steam Wagon Company relocated to Shrewsbury from Glasgow in 1915, and after diesel replaced steam they made diesel engines for lorries and buses.
In a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations, Shrewsbury at Work explores the life of this Shropshire town and its people, from its pre-industrial beginnings, through the Second World War when Bren gun carriers and diesel engines for British Army tanks were manufactured in the town, into the technologically advanced world of today as manufacturing and specialist engineering continue to be important employment sectors.
Nigel J. Hinton worked as an accountant 1969 to 1991 before selling his practice to focus on writing. In 2006 he started a web-based research project, www.madeinshrewsbury.co.uk, which started as an oral history project and developed into more serious research on a number of local companies. He has written three books, including Historical Hostelries (2005) and Baa Baa Blodwyn (2010).