Charles Roberts was born in Leeds on the 16th November 1831, the eldest son of Thomas Roberts, a paper stainer and his wife Martha. Originally a joiner, he established the “Buffer and Wagon Works” at Ings Road, Wakefield in 1856 & moved to Horbury Junction in 1873. The company was registered on the 13th April 1899 as a wagon building business, but was actually the precursor to the Charles Roberts and Co. Ltd. works that employed hundreds of local men for 150 years until final closure in 2005. In the early days, the works was known as “Charles Roberts Buffer and Wagon Works” because the company had the sole rights for the manufacture of “Stanton’s Patent Buffer”, used on railway rolling stock and the forerunner to numerous self-contained buffers, which have been developed since.