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Bradshaw the Printers Harborne & Halesowen

GILLIFLOWER

New Member
Can anyone tell me what happened to the Bradshaw Printers of Harborne, the business was opposite the library in Harborne High St., and next to the Junction Pub. GILLIFLOWER
 

aok

New Member
Hi there, sorry I'm 2 years late, but I only just came across your question relating to what happened to Bradshaw the Printer's in Harborne Birmingham.


I can tell you they located to Halesowen in May 1968. I worked at Bradshaw's from January 1962 until December 1971. I was an apprentice machine manager for the first 6 years of my employment and then spent a further 4 years as a machine room journeyman.


At some point in the mid 60's they changed their name to Bradshaw Brodies after amalgamating with another firm. I'm not absolutely sure what happened to them after I left, but I do seem to recall that during the mid to late 1970's they in turn joined forces with another print company called Sunderland Print and then moved again to somewhere else in Halesowen. I believe that in the late 80's the joint company then ceased trading and went into receivership.


I hope this is of somehelp to you, if you would like any further information about Bradshaws, certainly during the 1960's, feel free to ask. I can remember almost everyone who worked there during that period.


Could I ask what connection you have to Bradshaw's please.


Regards
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Hi there, sorry I'm 2 years late, but I only just came across your question relating to what happened to Bradshaw the Printer's in Harborne Birmingham.


I can tell you they located to Halesowen in May 1968. I worked at Bradshaw's from January 1962 until December 1971. I was an apprentice machine manager for the first 6 years of my employment and then spent a further 4 years as a machine room journeyman.


At some point in the mid 60's they changed their name to Bradshaw Brodies after amalgamating with another firm. I'm not absolutely sure what happened to them after I left, but I do seem to recall that during the mid to late 1970's they in turn joined forces with another print company called Sunderland Print and then moved again to somewhere else in Halesowen. I believe that in the late 80's the joint company then ceased trading and went into receivership.


I hope this is of somehelp to you, if you would like any further information about Bradshaws, certainly during the 1960's, feel free to ask. I can remember almost everyone who worked there during that period.


Could I ask what connection you have to Bradshaw's please.


Regards

Well I'm over 5 years late joining this conversation but I am the eldest son of the late John Sunderland who was the MD of Sunderland Print who bought Bradshaw Brodie, they were next door to my fathers business & made perfect sense to acquire the business as they literally just knocked through the walls !! A purpose built factory was built in Shelagh Road Halesowen which both companies moved into, this would of been at the demise of the leadtype era & the move into litho. Sunderland Print then bought Allday Green & Welburn in Birmingham a security printing business & then the big mistake of buying Lowe Brothers which was the start of the downward spiral of the business that eventually led to the group going into Receivership. I myself worked at Halesowen sweeping the floors to start then driving the vans. From there I moved into Estimating with a gentleman called Albert Bignell who was a chain smoker but a brilliant teacher in the art of print estimations. Finally I ended up as a sales person working out of the London Office in Perivale until the business faltered, lovely days & many many memories.
 
Well I'm over 5 years late joining this conversation but I am the eldest son of the late John Sunderland who was the MD of Sunderland Print who bought Bradshaw Brodie, they were next door to my fathers business & made perfect sense to acquire the business as they literally just knocked through the walls !! A purpose built factory was built in Shelagh Road Halesowen which both companies moved into, this would of been at the demise of the leadtype era & the move into litho. Sunderland Print then bought Allday Green & Welburn in Birmingham a security printing business & then the big mistake of buying Lowe Brothers which was the start of the downward spiral of the business that eventually led to the group going into Receivership. I myself worked at Halesowen sweeping the floors to start then driving the vans. From there I moved into Estimating with a gentleman called Albert Bignell who was a chain smoker but a brilliant teacher in the art of print estimations. Finally I ended up as a sales person working out of the London Office in Perivale until the business faltered, lovely days & many many memories.
Did you work at Sunderland Print before they acquired Bradshaws?

I remember on a couple of occasions while I was working for Bradshaws and work was a bit low that I went next door to Sunderland Print to collect some work which needed printing urgently. I operated a 2 colour Heidelberg cylinder in those days, I left in December 1971 before the 2 companies amalgamated, I had worked for Bradshaws since 1962 as a machine room apprenetice. I also recall that Sunderland Print printed the programmes for Wolverhampton Wanderers football club, and as being a Wolves fan, on a few occasions I acquired the program before I went to watch the match on a Saturday. Some of the people I remember working at Bradshaws were Les Timms (works manager), Sam Hatton (machine room foreman), Alan Lawrence (composing room foreman) and big Steve Rogers who was about 6'7"...happy days.
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Did you work at Sunderland Print before they acquired Bradshaws?

I remember on a couple of occasions while I was working for Bradshaws and work was a bit low that I went next door to Sunderland Print to collect some work which needed printing urgently. I operated a 2 colour Heidelberg cylinder in those days, I left in December 1971 before the 2 companies amalgamated, I had worked for Bradshaws since 1962 as a machine room apprenetice. I also recall that Sunderland Print printed the programmes for Wolverhampton Wanderers football club, and as being a Wolves fan, on a few occasions I acquired the program before I went to watch the match on a Saturday. Some of the people I remember working at Bradshaws were Les Timms (works manager), Sam Hatton (machine room foreman), Alan Lawrence (composing room foreman) and big Steve Rogers who was about 6'7"...happy days.
I can remember the names of Les Timms & Sam Hatton - yes Sunderland print also use to print Stoke City, Hull, Sunderland, Norwich to name but a few, I can remember that I use to go to Roker Park quite regularly to deliver the match day programmes with one of the drivers at the time as I would of been very young then !! They were indeed happy days & part of a big family from what I can remember.
 
I can remember the names of Les Timms & Sam Hatton - yes Sunderland print also use to print Stoke City, Hull, Sunderland, Norwich to name but a few, I can remember that I use to go to Roker Park quite regularly to deliver the match day programmes with one of the drivers at the time as I would of been very young then !! They were indeed happy days & part of a big family from what I can remember.
Thanks for replying.
I can remember 2 people who were working at Sunderland Print at the time I was working next door at Bradshaws, both had previously worked for Bradshaws when they were located in Harborne, a machine man name of Brian Barnes, shortish with ginger wavy hair always acting the clown and a young lady who worked in the bindery dept name of Rita, a biggish lady if my memory serves me correctly, lol.
 

srmarks

New Member
Well I'm over 5 years late joining this conversation but I am the eldest son of the late John Sunderland who was the MD of Sunderland Print who bought Bradshaw Brodie, they were next door to my fathers business & made perfect sense to acquire the business as they literally just knocked through the walls !! A purpose built factory was built in Shelagh Road Halesowen which both companies moved into, this would of been at the demise of the leadtype era & the move into litho. Sunderland Print then bought Allday Green & Welburn in Birmingham a security printing business & then the big mistake of buying Lowe Brothers which was the start of the downward spiral of the business that eventually led to the group going into Receivership. I myself worked at Halesowen sweeping the floors to start then driving the vans. From there I moved into Estimating with a gentleman called Albert Bignell who was a chain smoker but a brilliant teacher in the art of print estimations. Finally I ended up as a sales person working out of the London Office in Perivale until the business faltered, lovely days & many many memories.
Hi JS, I worked for Allday Green & Welburn when they were bought by your father. Lovely man - I recall him well. We printed for a number of charities, among other commercial clients and I remember him coming into the office after a meeting in London with RNLI with an order to print over a million Christmas cards.
 

R.O'D

New Member
Hi Andrew JS, I'm even later joining the comments having only just discovered this forum. I'm sorry to hear that your father is no longer with us. He was a remarkable man and a true gentleman.
Unfortunately I made the mistake of getting involved with a certain person who joined the company when the Lowe Brothers take over went through, and this in turn set in motion the chain of events which eventually led to the failure of Sunderland Print Ltd.
The following 7 years or so were something of a roller coaster trying to hold back a megalomaniac, unsuccessfully unfortunately. This association was probably the biggest mistake in my career in the industry. I am now retired for some years and I'm very glad that I'm not in the industry today, it's now one that I barely recognise.
I hope, Andrew, that you are well and successful in whatever you are now engaged in.
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Hi JS, I worked for Allday Green & Welburn when they were bought by your father. Lovely man - I recall him well. We printed for a number of charities, among other commercial clients and I remember him coming into the office after a meeting in London with RNLI with an order to print over a million Christmas cards.
I think the RNLI was one of Dads favourite clients in the latter years of the business & oh do I remember the Christmas cards started in January to print if my memory serves me well ?!
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Hi Andrew JS, I'm even later joining the comments having only just discovered this forum. I'm sorry to hear that your father is no longer with us. He was a remarkable man and a true gentleman.
Unfortunately I made the mistake of getting involved with a certain person who joined the company when the Lowe Brothers take over went through, and this in turn set in motion the chain of events which eventually led to the failure of Sunderland Print Ltd.
The following 7 years or so were something of a roller coaster trying to hold back a megalomaniac, unsuccessfully unfortunately. This association was probably the biggest mistake in my career in the industry. I am now retired for some years and I'm very glad that I'm not in the industry today, it's now one that I barely recognise.
I hope, Andrew, that you are well and successful in whatever you are now engaged in.
Thank you for your kind words about Dad, yes after the purchase of Lowe Brothers life never returned to normal nearly as one finds today totally nuts !! I can't say that I have been successful at all if I'm honest but in saying that I live in a lovely part of the Cotswolds with two grown boys & a lovely supportive wife. I managed to lose my job at the end of February just before all the shut down 7 been struggling ever since to find a new job. There isn't many days that go by without thinking back to Sunderland Print, it was such a strong family bond that had grown over the years & I don't think Dad ever got over the loss of the business.
 

R.O'D

New Member
Thank you for your kind words about Dad, yes after the purchase of Lowe Brothers life never returned to normal nearly as one finds today totally nuts !! I can't say that I have been successful at all if I'm honest but in saying that I live in a lovely part of the Cotswolds with two grown boys & a lovely supportive wife. I managed to lose my job at the end of February just before all the shut down 7 been struggling ever since to find a new job. There isn't many days that go by without thinking back to Sunderland Print, it was such a strong family bond that had grown over the years & I don't think Dad ever got over the loss of the business.
Hi. Sorry to hear that you lost your job earlier in the year. A pretty bad start to what then became a Godawful year, however its good to hear that you are settled in the Cotswolds with a good and successful family life.
I haven't strayed very far, still living in the Black Country, not more than about 10 minutes drive from Shelah Road which I travel down now and again, always remembering my time in that first factory on the estate. I'm getting on a bit now - (let's put it like this, I'll not be too long before I get the vaccine!) - and whilst I don't relish the aches and pains of getting old, I'm glad to be out of the industry which I loved for many years, but which I no longer understand.
I'm not completely retired, in that I do some administrative work from home on my PC for a friend who has his own small business, in a completely unrelated field. I haven't seen or even heard of (you know who) in several decades and to be honest, that suits me fine. In fact I have no contact whatsoever with anyone I ever knew in my working life, colleagues or customers......and I must say I don't miss them. I too have my wife, grown up kids and now two wonderful young grandsons, and that's enough to keep me happy.
Hope you're keeping safe and well Andrew and I wish you all the very best in your quest for employment once this pandemic is consigned to history. Cheers, Rob.
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Hi. Sorry to hear that you lost your job earlier in the year. A pretty bad start to what then became a Godawful year, however its good to hear that you are settled in the Cotswolds with a good and successful family life.
I haven't strayed very far, still living in the Black Country, not more than about 10 minutes drive from Shelah Road which I travel down now and again, always remembering my time in that first factory on the estate. I'm getting on a bit now - (let's put it like this, I'll not be too long before I get the vaccine!) - and whilst I don't relish the aches and pains of getting old, I'm glad to be out of the industry which I loved for many years, but which I no longer understand.
I'm not completely retired, in that I do some administrative work from home on my PC for a friend who has his own small business, in a completely unrelated field. I haven't seen or even heard of (you know who) in several decades and to be honest, that suits me fine. In fact I have no contact whatsoever with anyone I ever knew in my working life, colleagues or customers......and I must say I don't miss them. I too have my wife, grown up kids and now two wonderful young grandsons, and that's enough to keep me happy.
Hope you're keeping safe and well Andrew and I wish you all the very best in your quest for employment once this pandemic is consigned to history. Cheers, Rob.
When I saw those initials I thought is that Rob ??!! - how lovely to hear from you on this forum. I too left the industry a few years after Sunderland Print went, Dad & I had a go at starting a business in London with a chap called Jon Grover which was great for a while but we had to get back to the West Midlands. We then started a print finishing business which again was going very well until one of the holiday companies went under & we followed suit a few months later. We then lost my mother in a car crash which put everyone on the back foot & to cut a long story short I ended up in the pub trade which I was then in for nearly 20 years !.... they were great days with Sunderland Print but I suppose we all get older & life moves onwards dealing what it wants to us, I can't believe that somehow I hit 60 next year very scary!!
 

R.O'D

New Member
When I saw those initials I thought is that Rob ??!! - how lovely to hear from you on this forum. I too left the industry a few years after Sunderland Print went, Dad & I had a go at starting a business in London with a chap called Jon Grover which was great for a while but we had to get back to the West Midlands. We then started a print finishing business which again was going very well until one of the holiday companies went under & we followed suit a few months later. We then lost my mother in a car crash which put everyone on the back foot & to cut a long story short I ended up in the pub trade which I was then in for nearly 20 years !.... they were great days with Sunderland Print but I suppose we all get older & life moves onwards dealing what it wants to us, I can't believe that somehow I hit 60 next year very scary!!
Oh my goodnesss, that's must've been awful losing your mum like that, I just can't imagine it! I seem to remember you were involved in a small finishing business somewhere locally shortly after SP wrapped up, but I can't think of the name and I may even be mixing you up with someone else there. Strangely enough it was one of the big holiday companies (Intasun travel group) going bust that was the final nail in the coffin for us too, however even without that happening we wouldn't have survived much longer as we were HEAVILY overstretched with huge debts!!. 20 years in the pub trade 'eh, that must've been different. Where were you, which pub(s)? Is that what took you down to the Cotswolds? You're still a mere strip of a lad at 60 - I hit 71 next month and feel every year of it these days. Sheila and I often recall that Gala dinner we went to at the Albany Hotel with Princess Anne as guest of honour. What a wonderful night that was. Sheila knoked a full glass of red wine all over Lakin's wife in her new, very expensive off-white dress!! Happy days (lol). Are you going to have to find new employment and carry on for a while or can you manage to take early retirement? I left the print industry in 2005 after several years with Swanfields Packaging over in West Bromwich - that was an interesting time, so different from ordinary commercial print. I then spent a couple of very happy years as a trade-plater delivering vehicles all over the country, hitch-hiking to the next collection and off to deliver it. It was quite exciting believe it or not. You never quite knew whether you'd manage to get home or not!! But then I effectively retired in 2007 at 57 years old, we bought a motorhome (which we still have) and spent the next five winters abroad in France/Spain and mainly Portugal. We'd go off for 6 months at a time and I loved it, but then the first grandchild arrived and that put paid to our adventures as Sheila won't leave them for more than a couple of weeks. Nowadays I just do a few hours from home to keep a bit of pocket money coming in.
Lovely to hear from you and all the very best for the future whichever path you choose. Cheers
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Oh my goodnesss, that's must've been awful losing your mum like that, I just can't imagine it! I seem to remember you were involved in a small finishing business somewhere locally shortly after SP wrapped up, but I can't think of the name and I may even be mixing you up with someone else there. Strangely enough it was one of the big holiday companies (Intasun travel group) going bust that was the final nail in the coffin for us too, however even without that happening we wouldn't have survived much longer as we were HEAVILY overstretched with huge debts!!. 20 years in the pub trade 'eh, that must've been different. Where were you, which pub(s)? Is that what took you down to the Cotswolds? You're still a mere strip of a lad at 60 - I hit 71 next month and feel every year of it these days. Sheila and I often recall that Gala dinner we went to at the Albany Hotel with Princess Anne as guest of honour. What a wonderful night that was. Sheila knoked a full glass of red wine all over Lakin's wife in her new, very expensive off-white dress!! Happy days (lol). Are you going to have to find new employment and carry on for a while or can you manage to take early retirement? I left the print industry in 2005 after several years with Swanfields Packaging over in West Bromwich - that was an interesting time, so different from ordinary commercial print. I then spent a couple of very happy years as a trade-plater delivering vehicles all over the country, hitch-hiking to the next collection and off to deliver it. It was quite exciting believe it or not. You never quite knew whether you'd manage to get home or not!! But then I effectively retired in 2007 at 57 years old, we bought a motorhome (which we still have) and spent the next five winters abroad in France/Spain and mainly Portugal. We'd go off for 6 months at a time and I loved it, but then the first grandchild arrived and that put paid to our adventures as Sheila won't leave them for more than a couple of weeks. Nowadays I just do a few hours from home to keep a bit of pocket money coming in.
Lovely to hear from you and all the very best for the future whichever path you choose. Cheers
I'm keeping my options open at the moment see what happens but applying for all sorts - how strange though about the car delivery, my last job was working indirectly for JLR delivering cars to the press & VIP's all over the country & also did some royal work as well taking them cars !! luckily though no hitch hiking all done via trains or planes. My pub days were all over the country, I was opening new bars at one stage which was great fun then I was an area operations manager covering various different locations. When I met Ruth she lived in Redditch & just over the years we have moved further south ending up where we are. I remember that dinner with Princess Anne & the old man dancing with her, I can't remember much about the evening though but if I had seen your wife knocking wine over Lakin I would of joined in !!! -
 

Daff982

New Member
Hi, I was most surprised that when I just happened to input to Google 'Bradshaw Brodie', up came this Forum. My interest is that my father used to be the co-owner of Bradshaws and then later Bradshaw Brodie. I remember as a young child being taken to Bradshaws (Vivian Road?) Harborne one day when my father had a meeting there. My father at the time ran a Brickworks in the Forest of Dean so did not visit Bradshaws all that often, the main man at the time was Bernard Metcalf. What I do remember of my later visits were the machines, especially the Intertype machine, I still have some of the slugs that I made up on the machine, also the fantasic Heidelberg machine and its very recognisable noise that it made. I have come across many Heildlebergs around the world as I travelled the world extensively with my work. I came across a printer where I live who as one of his jobs, produces all the Scout Stamps for the Scouts Christmas posts. Visiting him one day I could hear this noise in the background and asked him 'was that a Heidelberg I could hear' he said yes and was quite surprised I knew what it was! Also, the Hurricane, a fantastic machine, a really new revolutionary machine of the day. The main product were Docket Books for the Laundry and Drycleaning businesses, but with the advent of launderettes, the laundry business was getting much smaller. I remember that Bradshaws managed to work through the three day week solely due to the fantastic work force, they were so loyal to the company. Times changed and Bradshaw Brodie came about and eventually moved to an old WWII munitions factory(?) in Halesowen, I remember that it was an incredibly well built building. I think I only went there once or twice, but they had a large/long French machine, a 'Chambon'(?) I believe, it was used for making Sleeves for LP records, but it was a very large and complicated piece of kit. Yes, BB was sold to the Sunderland Print Co. with Bernard Metcalf and my father retiring. I have just remembered that Bradshaws patented a system called 'Ping Pong' a messaging pad with different coloured indelible paper, I cannot remember if it took off at all? Yes, most interesting days and it has been so interesting to read the forum as it has brought back some really good old memories. Thankyou.
 

CHR

New Member
Hi there, sorry I'm 2 years late, but I only just came across your question relating to what happened to Bradshaw the Printer's in Harborne Birmingham.


I can tell you they located to Halesowen in May 1968. I worked at Bradshaw's from January 1962 until December 1971. I was an apprentice machine manager for the first 6 years of my employment and then spent a further 4 years as a machine room journeyman.


At some point in the mid 60's they changed their name to Bradshaw Brodies after amalgamating with another firm. I'm not absolutely sure what happened to them after I left, but I do seem to recall that during the mid to late 1970's they in turn joined forces with another print company called Sunderland Print and then moved again to somewhere else in Halesowen. I believe that in the late 80's the joint company then ceased trading and went into receivership.


I hope this is of somehelp to you, if you would like any further information about Bradshaws, certainly during the 1960's, feel free to ask. I can remember almost everyone who worked there during that period.


Could I ask what connection you have to Bradshaw's please.


Regards
Hi!
I see that you worked at Bradshaws in Harborne from 1962 to 1971 and wonder if you recall my aunt, Mary Trawford. She would have been 31 years old in 1962. I know she did four years training/apprenticeship there to learn the trade. She worked as a table hand which I understand is a bindery assistant. I'm assuming she worked there until they relocated.
She was friendly with Joan, a supervisor I think, and Hazel (it was through Hazel that Mary met her future husband).
Sadly my aunt recently passed away and having had no children of her own, I'm trying to put together a potted history of her life. I'd be so grateful of any information or memories you may have.
Kind regards
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome CHR. It’s been a very long time since AOK last visited this forum, but others may see your post. Viv.
 

Andrew JS

Brummie babby
Hi, I was most surprised that when I just happened to input to Google 'Bradshaw Brodie', up came this Forum. My interest is that my father used to be the co-owner of Bradshaws and then later Bradshaw Brodie. I remember as a young child being taken to Bradshaws (Vivian Road?) Harborne one day when my father had a meeting there. My father at the time ran a Brickworks in the Forest of Dean so did not visit Bradshaws all that often, the main man at the time was Bernard Metcalf. What I do remember of my later visits were the machines, especially the Intertype machine, I still have some of the slugs that I made up on the machine, also the fantasic Heidelberg machine and its very recognisable noise that it made. I have come across many Heildlebergs around the world as I travelled the world extensively with my work. I came across a printer where I live who as one of his jobs, produces all the Scout Stamps for the Scouts Christmas posts. Visiting him one day I could hear this noise in the background and asked him 'was that a Heidelberg I could hear' he said yes and was quite surprised I knew what it was! Also, the Hurricane, a fantastic machine, a really new revolutionary machine of the day. The main product were Docket Books for the Laundry and Drycleaning businesses, but with the advent of launderettes, the laundry business was getting much smaller. I remember that Bradshaws managed to work through the three day week solely due to the fantastic work force, they were so loyal to the company. Times changed and Bradshaw Brodie came about and eventually moved to an old WWII munitions factory(?) in Halesowen, I remember that it was an incredibly well built building. I think I only went there once or twice, but they had a large/long French machine, a 'Chambon'(?) I believe, it was used for making Sleeves for LP records, but it was a very large and complicated piece of kit. Yes, BB was sold to the Sunderland Print Co. with Bernard Metcalf and my father retiring. I have just remembered that Bradshaws patented a system called 'Ping Pong' a messaging pad with different coloured indelible paper, I cannot remember if it took off at all? Yes, most interesting days and it has been so interesting to read the forum as it has brought back some really good old memories. Thankyou.
Ping pong !.... it took off alright it went mad & I don’t think we ever stopped printing them, one machine constantly churning them out & the laundry ticket books they were so popular right up to the very last day & I think were sold by the receivers separately. I remember the name Bernard Metcalf & quite possibly met him as well as I spent a lot of Saturday’s in Halesowen with Dad running around the factory probably annoying everyone !! But fantastic days I would so love to rekindle
The merger announcement- after Bradshaw had moved to Halesowen. Viv.

View attachment 155213
thank you for sharing this picture what a lovely memory seeing these people
 

CHR

New Member
Welcome CHR. It’s been a very long time since AOK last visited this forum, but others may see your post. Viv.
Thank you Viv. I know it's a long shot as AOK last posted in February 2019 but I thought it worth a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Chris
 
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