Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about Crewe in England. There is another Crewe in Virginia, USA.
Crewe is perhaps best known for its association with the railway industry, being a major junction and once home to a bustling railway works. From 1946 to 2002 it was the home of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor car production. From the end of 2002 Rolls-Royce production ceased at Crewe while the Pyms' Lane factory now produces Bentley motor cars exclusively.
Crewe did not come to prominence until the 1830s, when the Grand Junction Railway company chose it as the site for its maintenance works (known in the surrounding area simply as Crewe Works), following the thwarting by local landowners of its original plan to locate four miles away in Nantwich. GJR chief engineer Joseph Locke helped lay out the town. From a population of just seventy in 1831, the town exploded to 40,000 in 1871. The town has a large park, Queens Park, which is a product of 1880s railway politics: the London and North Western Railway (successor to the GJR) bought the land and donated it to the town as a park in order to prevent the Great Western Railway from building a railway line through it.
Crewe Works is now (2004) largely owned by Bombardier, who acquired the previous occupier, ADtranz, in 2001. At its height, Crewe Works employed over 20,000 people; now fewer than 1,000 remain on site, with further cutbacks or even closure possible. Current work is largely focused on general maintenance, and the inspection of seriously damaged stock.
Crewe Railway station is about a mile from the town centre. It has 12 platforms in use and enjoys a direct service to London (2/hour, about 2 hours), Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff and many other cities. It has a buffet and newsagent.
Crewe's sporting claim to fame is that it is home to Crewe Alexandra F.C., for a long time one of English football's perpetual under-achievers, though during the late 20th century the club enjoyed something of a renaissance under the management of Dario Gradi, reaching the First Division for five seasons from 1997-2002, being relegated to the Second Division in the 2002-03 season but being promoted back to the First Division after only one season.
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