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Thread: Former car/welly boot factory

  1. #1
    Join Date
    August 2013
    Greater Unthank

    Smile Former car/welly boot factory

    This factory was built in 1913 for the Arrol Johnston Motor Company. Designed by Albert Kahn, who also designed Ford's Highland Park factory, it was the first factory in Britain constructed of Ferro Concrete.
    By the late 1920's the company was in financial difficulties and merged with Aster of Wembley to become Arrol-Aster.
    Despite winning the contract to reconstruct Malcolm Campbell's Blue Bird III in 1929, financial difficulties soon forced the firm into administration and production ceased in 1931.
    The building was used again by the Air Ministry in WWII. In 1946 the factory was taken over by the North British Rubber Company who specialised in compound rubber and fractioned fabric manufacture. Production of the famous Hunter boot began here in the 1950s.
    In 1966 the firm was bought by Uniroyal. It received a Royal Warrant from The Duke of Edinburgh in 1976 and The Queen in 1986, the year in which ownership changed again to the Gates Rubber Company of Colorado.
    In 1996 Tomkins Plc took over and in 1999 sold the factory to Interfloor, the country's largest underlay manufacturer.
    2004 saw a management buy out but two years later the company went into administration. Underlay manufacture went to the firms plant in Lancashire and boot production went to China.
    The tooling from the factory is used in Serbia by Tigar Footware.
    The factory featured in the children's tv show Come Outside in the 1990s.

    Hope you're still here! Now the pics, more here

    075 by tumble112, on Flickr

    076 by tumble112, on Flickr

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    In the factory's heyday

    imageGen (3) by tumble112, on Flickr

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    The main factory gate today.....

    080 by tumble112, on Flickr

    And in 1929 with Blue Bird III sitting outside. Complete with its 24 litre Napier Lion aero engine on show...

    paghekwpqbzua6l45pf2 by tumble112, on Flickr

    078 by tumble112, on Flickr

    Thanks for looking :)
    Last edited by tumble112; 11th Nov 14 at 21:47.

  2. Thanks given by: brickworx, chazman, cunningplan, decker, flyboys90, Goldie87, HughieD, jammy, Jodee1kenobi, kevdyas, krela, Malcog, Mearing, Mikeymutt, mockingbird, Onmyown, robbie1003, The Wombat, TheVampiricSquid, trainman
  4. #2
    Join Date
    October 2013


    Really enjoyed that..loved the buzby many years since he was around..thank you for sharing.
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  5. Thanks given by: tumble112
  6. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    The Centre of England or near enough


    What a huge site! I always find it sad when firms with a history like this go to the wall.Ace write up and photos, a cracking report indeed.

  7. Thanks given by: tumble112
  8. #4
    Join Date
    September 2013
    Near London Charing Cross.


    Picked out the most interesting bits here tumble :)
    Good effort!!
    The Atmospheric Photographer - After Everyone Left©

    View More Of My Work & Up To Date Explores Via Link!

  9. Thanks given by: tumble112
  10. #5
    Join Date
    March 2013


    thats a nice report, good work
    Black cat exploring company
    & LSD - Leicester Super Derpers

  11. Thanks given by: tumble112
  12. #6
    Join Date
    September 2014


    Some very interesting pictures there... Love the old pictures for comparison.. Nice one.

  13. Thanks given by: tumble112

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