It definitely wasn’t a Goodyear – help solve a mystery!

Fort Dunlop, seen here under redevelopment in the last decade, is still a landmark. But a small part of it is missing – can you help? Image from Birmingham History Forum.

I’ve had an enquiry in for a while I’ve been meaning to post but kept forgetting (sorry, Shirley, my apologies) which will of no doubt be of interest to the Birmingham contingent amongst us – we’re looking for something missing from Fort Dunlop.

Fort Dunlop, now the site of housing and commercial development and a large retail park was once the home of the Dunlop tyre factory, and employed thousands of people in north east Birmingham.

I’ll let reader Shirley Jackson explain:

Hi Bob,

I wondered if, when you have time, you could point me in the right direction to people who might know the answer to this question…

At work, I was speaking to a lovely old gentleman, who used to work under my employer’s grandfather, George Beharrell. Sir George Beharrell became Chairman of Dunlop in 1937 – 1949 and apparently there used to be a statue of him at Fort Dunlop.

This statue is no longer there and I wondered if anyone would know what happened to it or if it was destroyed. (I don’t know what it was made of). Perhaps someone has a photo of it at the old site. I know my boss would very much like to know of its whereabouts, and I love a mystery, especially if it has a happy ending!

I know you are a man of hidden talents and contacts, hence this long shot.

Shirley Jackson

So we’re looking for a statue of Sir George Beharrel that used to be in Fort Dunlop but has vanished – can you help?

I feel sure this will be of interest to industrial historians like Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler and others. If you can help Shirley locate the missing artwork, or explain it’s fate, that would be lovely, thank you!

Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail do com. Cheers.

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7 Responses to It definitely wasn’t a Goodyear – help solve a mystery!

  1. Glynis Edwards says:

    I don’t know what happened to the statue. The crane from inside Fort Dunlop is now at the Black Country Museum, maybe they might know. My Granddad Albert (Harry) Godwin who lived in Walsall Wood Road, Aldridge drove that crane for the best part of 50 years inside Fort Dunlop.

  2. Paul Boot says:

    I seem to recall that when I worked there, it was a plaque attached to a 4′ high stone pedestal. It had a triangular shape, with sides & a plaque on each side. Each plaque was engraved with details and a low relieve engraving of – John Boyd Dunlop, George Beharrell and a memorial to fallen soldiers. At a recent meeting of Dunlop pensioners, I asked where it might be, but no one seemed to know. I will make more enquiries and post any information received.

  3. Jack Leonard says:

    Anybody tried Beaulieu/

    • Paul Boot says:

      Understand that Beaulieu has now forwarded everything they had, to Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire. However, this would only be documents, photographs & files etc. Will contact Gaydon, just in case they have any information.

  4. Pedro says:

    Can’t find any mention of a statue.

    In Nov 1969 there was an unveiling of a plaque by Sir Edward Beharrel during the opening of a 300K extension.

    In June 1939 a plaque was unveiled to the memory of Sir Eric Genes Dunlop Chairman from 1922 to 1937 by Sir George Beharrel the present Chairman.

    • Jack Leonard says:

      Surely that should be Geddes?

      • Pedro says:

        It certainly should be!

        One Sir said of the other…“Sir Eric’s name is one which will go down in our history but it is a source of pride to us all that we are able to commemorate here his chairmanship of our company with which his name and personality will always be associated.”

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