When pressed…

The Ironsun works, the former home of Timings Tools, now the site of Motolek, an auto-electrical company. Image Kindly supplied by Brownhills George.

It’s always good to hear from senior Brownhills historian and photographer Brownhills George, who sent me a very intriguing email last week about an error in a local history book, which he feels gives the wrong impression of events.

Seeing George’s point, I’ve done some trawling of the history myself – George is the most expert person I know on the matter of Timings Tools (which I’ve previously covered here to some degree)  that used to be on the Lindon Road, in the industrial area between what is now Chandlers Keep (a wonderful article on which I compiled from George’s photos and comments some years ago) and Clayhanger Lane.

The old Gentleshaw Sand & Gravel workshops – latterly RKG Pressings – are the large building upper central left. Bourne Tools was the collection of buildings down and to the right. Imagery from the 1999 Getmapping aerial survey. Click for a larger version.

George asserts that there’s an error in the Mayo-Harrington work ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ that says Bourne Tools was occupying the old RKG Pressings works at the time of the book’s publication, but in fact, the tooling engineering company was in a newer unit next door. George is, to the best of my knowledge correct in that, but I believe Bourne Tools to have, at some point, spawned an offshoot called Bourne Technical Mouldings, which occupied the former RKG Pressings factory for a while after the latter closed around 1999, and indeed, the building had a sign saying that when it was demolished.

Bridgeside close in 2017, as shown on Google Earth. Click for a larger version.

Bourne Technical Mouldings seems to have moved onto the Maybrook, and sold both factories which were demolished for the construction of Bridgeside Close in 2004 – I have a photo of that taking place, so know the date precisely. I’ve featured that further down in the post.

Bourne Technical Mouldings seemed to have entered administration in 2014, and no longer appear to exist.

This is a fascinating but of local history debate, and I invite contributions and views from readers, and I always welcome input from George who’s made some remarkable and invaluable contributions over the years – thanks to George for all he does and continues to do.

Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Brownhills George wrote:

Dear Bob,

Memories of Old Brownhills (the red one) has a lot to answer for, with an incorrect statement. That the old Gentleshaw Sand and Gravel Co became RKG Pressings and then Bourne Tools.

I suspect the authors of Memories of Old Brownhills – Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington – confused Bourne Tools which were in the small unit next door for a while with Bourne Technical Mouldings, a related company that seemed to move in when the former RKG Pressings/Gentleshaw Sand and Gravel Workshop was vacated. Image from that book.

This is incorrect Bourne Tools was a very small company that operated from a building that was built as a Tent and Camping Store about 100 yds from RKG Pressings.

When it was demolished, the factory in question had a sign proclaiming it ‘Bourne Technical Mouldings Limited’ as my photo shows. Oddly enough, the old RKG Pressings factory adjacent to Clayhanger Bridge was knocked down at the same time as the flats in Brownhills – Waine and Bayley Houses – I took photos of those on the same evening I took this – Monday, 17th May 2004.

I was at the Auction when the Machinery from RKG Pressings and Timings Tools, which had moved over from Lindon Road! Several years before were sold.

The building was then knocked down. at the time they built the new Clayhanger Bridge.

George, your memory is playing tricks on you. I was stood on the new Clayhanger Bridge when I took that photo above; the bridge was built around 1994 as this cover from the July issue of the Brownhills Gazette of that year grumbles about the new bridge not yet being completed. Click for a larger version.

The Original Timings Tools was occupied by a Toolmaking firm called Irunson that operated for a number of years. This might be the cause of the confusion.

The Book was printed and sold with this incorrect information in and this cannot be corrected. But your website can amend the error for histories sake.

The Part of the Company that I ran, was very profitable and kept the company afloat for many years. We earned £16 Million for the Company in 10 years.

Inside the old Timings Tools factory when it sadly closed. Images Kindly supplied by Brownhills Geoge.

I have many photo’s of Brownhills safe on disk and Some Movie from Timings Works and Dinner Dances Trips out.

Like I said Henry Evans was strict and ruthless. but generous as well. I once worked a hundred hour week to get a job out for him. He paid me full overtime for all the hours I put in and then doubled it.

Regards
George

I have not forgot Brownhills Clothing and the Anchor Garage.

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4 Responses to When pressed…

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    a big thankyou to George please, for his aeticle. The replacement bridge over the canal did seem to take an age to construct, I wonder how long it adtually did take? I look forward to enjoying more of his fascinating photos in due course
    kind regards
    David

  2. I worked at Timings Tools before Henry Evans came there it didn’t take him long to show his true colours, you were ok with Henry if you were prepared to take your bed there, As regards maybe making a mistake in my book, you make it look as if I had stolen the Crown Jewels, the MPs get away with it every day.

    • Geoff,

      For what it’s worth my point here was that George was wrong in a number of aspects, and to a greater degree so glass houses etc.

      I’ve dropped more bollocks than I care to remember. Never learned anything at all from the things I got right.

      My respect is always with the historians who publish. Once it’s out there, you’re up there.

      All the best
      Bob

  3. Yesterday, I was contacted by a member of the Bourne family who would like to remain anonymous.

    They pointed out that Bourne Tools was a large concern, and did indeed eventually buy the entire RKG site after Gerald sold up.

    Bourne Tools was wound down when the management sold the site to Westbury Homes, and everyone paid off: The offshoot Bourne Technical Mouldings had no connection with Bourne after this point

    Happy to clarify the timeline
    Bob

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