A group effort at Streetly Works?

A fantastic 1940s group photo of ladies at Streetly Works. Image Kindly supplied by Patricia Cotton. Click for a larger version.

You’ll all know I’m in constant search of material on local factories – either photos of people at work, day trips, group photos, adverts, pamphlets – whatever; whilst theres some stuff emerging now, considering how much time we all spend at work there’s actually surprisingly little in the local historical record.

That’s why I was glad to see this photo recently from old friend of the blog Patricia Cotton – it’s one from a place I know very little about but employed lots of local people, British Industrial Plastics (BIP), Streetly Works.

I think at this time, the STreetly Works was particularly engaged in the war effort, which is I guess why the photo is of a group of ladies – does anyone know what they did there in the war please (Obviously their peacetime business was thermosetting plastics, machinery and tooling)?

Now long since gone, many people worked there, and like the BRD and other big factories, works buses used to collect people in the morning from Brownhills and other nearby areas to get to their shifts.

Patricia said of the photo:

Many locals used to work at Streetly Works. Myself included in the mid sixties.

This photo is before my time there, but my aunt is on there and she dates it at around 1944 /1946.

If you can identify anyone in this photo, or have memories of The Streetly Works, or any other local factory, please do get in touch – and thanks to Patricia for a great contribution. Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


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14 Responses to A group effort at Streetly Works?

  1. andkindred says:

    My father, Derrick Dennis, worked there in a junior management roll in the office in the early-mid-sixties. I remember going to a Christmas dinner in the canteen in 1965 or 66 (I think) for employees’ children. There must have been 300 plus. Several Moms and Dads volunteered to help out. I only went to the one because Dad moved to Ever Ready, Wolverhampton soon after. Andy

  2. andkindred says:

    My father, Derrick Dennis, worked there in the early-mid-sixties, in the office. I remember going to a Christmas dinner there in 1966 (I think) for employees’ children. There must have been 300+ kids! Several moms and dads volunteered to help out. I think this was an annual event, but I only went to one because Dad moved to Ever Ready, Wolverhampton, soon after. Andy

  3. christine holbrook says:

    I worked there in the early eighties and was one of the last few to finish when it closed. Very upsetting. I worked next to a soon to retire lady known as Mary. She had been there forever and told us tales about the war. How her fiance got killed and she stayed a spinster. She also said the site was hit by a bomb which the force of thru her across the street between the workshops. I could have listened to her forever. She wore her hair in a turban like in war and only had one pointed tooth at the front. She told about dancing with the G.I.s. Good memories.

  4. stymaster says:

    My old man worked there at some point, I’d guess during the sixties. He stayed in touch with some people from there well into the eighties.

  5. Patricia Coton says:

    My aunt who is now 91 years old says they used to do small incendiary bombs, they used to glue them together.

  6. Mo Garbett says:

    My husband’s grandmother worked there during the first world war packing bullet shells, being left handed she wore her wedding ring out! and recalled the story many times.

  7. aerreg says:

    re streetly di if my memory is right harper buses used to run a bus servise there for thse who worked there from around brownhills and yes the heath hayes district didnt we call the product bake a lite before tha awfull word plastic came out

    • Martin Littler says:

      Hi Reg when my Mother work there in the war years at Streetly works, Dunn and Hale had the job of running them there , which as you say later Harpers took over Dunn and Hale Coaches

  8. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    my father worked there during the war, but did not talk about his work….except that it was a reserved occupation…as well as working there during the day he was also an Air Raid Warden here in Walsall Wood

  9. david oakley says:

    Hi Bob.
    Not many identification’s coming forward from the picture, but looking a little closer, the girl in the first row, centre, in the spotted dress, looks remarkably like a young Lucy Ray, the popular hostess at the Red Lion, some years ago, could be wrong, of course. Lucy’s daughter may know.

  10. maurice beamand says:

    Hi Bob
    I’m sat with my 93 year old mother Joan Myatt, she is the girl seated far right front row. She thinks she was about 17 when the photo was taken and thinks it is 1942. When the photo was taken her name was Joan Marklew and she lived with her parents in Camden street, Walsall wood. At this time they made plastic parts for the war effort, she did not know what the parts were for. I myself (Maurice Beamand) served my apprenticeship on this site at BIPEL starting in 1968 and worked there for 17 years and yes special coaches used to run from Brownhills and burntwood.

  11. jowoodwardsmith says:

    Hi Bob, my mom Betty Woodward , then Neville worked at Streetly Works from 1939 till 1952. She said it was a wonderful place to work during the war. Unfortunately she is not on the photograph, but I do have a couple of photos of her and some of her friends at Streetly. From what I can gather they made lots of different items at Streetly Works from various materials, but mom has told me that during the war she and a select few other people were asked to work in a top secret department. She said they were told not to discuss with their friends and colleagues about what they were doing, but they were assembling sticky bombs.
    Mom has also told me that aged 16 that she along with her sister Winnie and a few other friends from Streetly Works went to Malvern for a weeks holiday on a farm. This became a regular trip to Malvern and whilst the first visit was a holiday, the other trips became a working holiday. They worked on the farms, just like the land girl’s. She said it was a very happy time for her, even though the war was on. They worked on the farms during the day and on the evenings went to the village hall in Castle Morton to dance with the American soldiers. Just a few memories of Betty Woodward

  12. colin says:

    my late mother worked on quality control during ww2 and I remember the sticky bomb cases ,
    permutit water softeners ,various buttons for electrical control gear. and other bits and pieces
    that that she could not or would not recognise.During ww1 munitions were made, and the blast
    proof shelters could still be seen in the adjacent woods

  13. Richard Merrick says:

    My Mother Celia Palmer (maiden name) lived opposite the tin tabernacle at 290, Aldridge Road, Streetly and was employed at Streetly Works from 1939 onwards as a press operator. Whilst there, she met and worked alongside Marion Merrick whose brother Robert was a Royal Marine. Marion introduced Bob and Celia and they married in 1943. The Merricks came from King Street, Walsall Wood originally. Marion, who celebrated her 99th birthday this month, became Marion Scarratt after she married Ron. She is still going strong and is as bright as a button.

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