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Bill Switchgear

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
does anyone know if this company still exists...it was at aston lane perry barr

lyn
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
From memory (way back !) Lyn I think it was about here - near Ellisons/Tufnols factory. But there's now a more modern building. So expect it's gone, although I think it still exists as a company. Viv.

image.jpeg
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
yes thats right viv and there should be a couple of photos of it on the forum but if anyone does know for sure that they are still in business or have maybe amalgamated with another company i need to contact them..

lyn
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Yes they were in Aston Lane, Perry Barr. The factory had a quite distinctive logo on the side and you see on all the fuse boxes they made. My dad worked for them for a short time I assumes just before he was called up in the war.

He said that at the gate there was this old man who would sit sharpening a circular saw blade with a file. As they walked past, they would wave to him. He would wave back to show most of his fingers were missing, apparently cut off in the saw.

Apparently, Bill Switchgear would buy up old railway sleepers, all covered in tar, oil and grit. This old guy would cut them up in his circular saw, as the wood inside would quite good wood, so was used to make the wood patress on the switch box. The tar, oil and grit would wreak havoc with the saw blade, hence him sharpening it every morning.

Just hope the old guy did not run out of fingers.

Mu dad said they were paid piecework, 1d per fuse box assembled. He said once you had done so many, the foreman would start sending them back with as faulty, this click of the switch not sounding quite right etc. He thought they just did not like the idea of paying out too much money.

I think that they are still trading as Bill Switchgear, but are owned by an American company, with their office down south now near London.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
mmm ok thanks viv...this may make things difficult then as it seems there is no actually a company bearing the name bill switchgear which is really what i was hoping to find as i am on another mission again:eek: will do a bit more research today and get back to the forum if i think its worth me proceeding..

lyn
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Lyn,

They weren't put into liquidation as a trading company so must have been taken over. The last trading address I had for them was Crown Works, Winster Grove, Great Barr, but that was in 1981.

Maurice
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
That must have been a follow up company Alan, I recall Bill-Switchgear long before that was set up, long before I left Brum in 1965
 

lee t

New Member
They became part of Delta i believe.My dad worked for them in the 70s and 80s when they changed from Bill Switchgear.
 

A Sparks

master brummie
There is an interesting (free) exhibition in the main hall at the Tate Britain at the moment, it is made up of old industrial machines that have been bought at auctions by the installation artist. Many of them are from Midlands factories, including the textile industry in Leicester and Nottingham.
I really love it and I know my father would have done :)

One of the machines was from H W Ward and co, Birmingham and on it was a fuse box with the Bill Switchgear logo, I recognised it immediately.
I did photograph it but unfortunately I can't resize them enough to fit onto the forum using my phone (I don't have a PC).

This is a photo from the Tate website, the machine is the one on the right.
Mike-Nelson-006.jpg
 

Kangaroo Ted

proper brummie kid
I
They became part of Delta i believe.My dad worked for them in the 70s and 80s when they changed from Bill Switchgear.
worked at Bill Switchgear from 1960 to 1968 they moved to wellhead lane soon after I had left and were taken over by delta . They used a lot of asbestos not good stuff .
 

Kangaroo Ted

proper brummie kid
There is an interesting (free) exhibition in the main hall at the Tate Britain at the moment, it is made up of old industrial machines that have been bought at auctions by the installation artist. Many of them are from Midlands factories, including the textile industry in Leicester and Nottingham.
I really love it and I know my father would have done :)

One of the machines was from H W Ward and co, Birmingham and on it was a fuse box with the Bill Switchgear logo, I recognised it immediately.
I did photograph it but unfortunately I can't resize them enough to fit onto the forum using my phone (I don't have a PC).

This is a photo from the Tate website, the machine is the one on the right.
View attachment 135124
The one on the right looks like a milking machine
 

Kangaroo Ted

proper brummie kid
Yes they were in Aston Lane, Perry Barr. The factory had a quite distinctive logo on the side and you see on all the fuse boxes they made. My dad worked for them for a short time I assumes just before he was called up in the war.

He said that at the gate there was this old man who would sit sharpening a circular saw blade with a file. As they walked past, they would wave to him. He would wave back to show most of his fingers were missing, apparently cut off in the saw.

Apparently, Bill Switchgear would buy up old railway sleepers, all covered in tar, oil and grit. This old guy would cut them up in his circular saw, as the wood inside would quite good wood, so was used to make the wood patress on the switch box. The tar, oil and grit would wreak havoc with the saw blade, hence him sharpening it every morning.

Just hope the old guy did not run out of fingers.

Mu dad said they were paid piecework, 1d per fuse box assembled. He said once you had done so many, the foreman would start sending them back with as faulty, this click of the switch not sounding quite right etc. He thought they just did not like the idea of paying out too much money.

I think that they are still trading as Bill Switchgear, but are owned by an American company, with their office down south now near London.
I worked there for 8 years Ronnie Bill was the owner at the time . Good memories 1960 1968.
 
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