One of the aspects of local history I really wish we had more material about is our local factories, workshops and workplaces since the Second World War – we know lots about mining history, but what really survives of local companies that employed many thousands?
The BRD, Crabtree, Carver & Co, Castings, Birlec, BIP, Geometry International, Bloxwich Engineering, Ryford, RMD, Aldridge Plastics, Lew Ways, GKN, Charles Richards – so many names, so many local lives; yet scarcely little to mark their existence.
I’m very pleased, therefore, to receive the above picture from John Genders (who found the wonderful Boys Brigade pictures) via David Evans, of a furnace being crated up for dispatch from Birlec.
This photo shows John Genders and Gordan Brewer busily crating up a furnace ready for export. Birlec was one of the major post-war industrial development companies in Aldridge.
I know very little of the company or of their products other than John’s comment that their furnaces were considered to be the very best quality.
I thank John for offering this image and a glimpse inside one of the large local factories…
So, to kick off a new thread for a new year, what do you remember of these companies? Where did you or your parents work? What was the social life like in your workplace? Were you in sports teams, or perhaps remember works parties or day trips out?
Please do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Gopoglemail dot com.
Thanks to John and David for a wonderful photo of an otherwise lost bit of local history and a great new conversation point. Cheers lads, and have a happy New Year!