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car industry

Radiorails

master brummie
My first car, in 1957 was a 1935 Austin 12. It would fail the present MOT on many counts. :eek:
The next Austin vehicle was an A40, the bouncy one, not the Farina. I had, for a short while an A35 and I did have a 1972 Maxi at one time. I also had an Princess which I used for regular travel to Cambridge and an Ambassador they were great for longer distance travel. Those were the Austin cars.
Over the years I have had three French cars, Simca Aronde, Renault Dauphine and Renault 9. A Standard 10, a Singer Vogue estate, a Triumph 1300, Hillman Minx 1600, two Ford 10cwt. vans, a Cortina and two Escorts, an MG and two Rovers - one of which is my present car. So I guess have helped the car industry.
 
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Big Gee

master brummie
I'm afraid that my experiences with Longbridge, and its products, are not good. Years ago I had a 1960 Mini and a 1964 A40 Farina, and they both just rotted away before my very eyes. Mechanically OK, bodywise rubbish. When I came back from the USA in 1980 my company graciously gave me a brand new Morris Ital (OK, not Longbridge strictly speaking). I picked this up from Tamworth, and within 10 miles the engine was over-heating thanks to a duff water-pump. Less than 30 miles on the clock. This was fixed, then a month later the tell-tale smell of hot oil, rising engine temperature in the red: a blown head-gasket and warped cylinder-head to put right. Not impressed. No more BL/Rover/Longbridge cars for me, thank you.

I worked for a supplier to Longbridge, this during the "Red Robbo" days, and I hated going there. First off, unless you drove a BL vehicle they wouldn't let you through the gates at Longbridge - by then my employer had seen the light and provided Ford. As I invariably had a lot of heavy equipment which I couldn't manually carry, I just turned round and went back to the office to make my report. Secondly, when I did eventually gain admission to the foundry with some experimental mould-spraying equipment, they refused to let me plug it in because I wasn't a member of the ETU! They wanted me to wait until an ETU member could come and shove a 13-amp plug into a socket! At this I exploded in best Brummie fashion, and was shortly afterwards hauled up before the works convenor who demanded an apology. An apology was what he didn't get. After this I asked to be taken off the 'Longbridge Run', which I was, and thankfully never set foot in the place again.

What eventually happened at Longbridge was, of course, diabolical, and I genuinely feel for anyone who lost his job (and pension) when the place eventually closed. However, over the years they did themselves no favours, with their outmoded, unreliable cars and their endless strikes, mostly for no good reason, and in the end they were the losers. I could go on, but I would very soon be getting 'political'.

G
 
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Morturn

Super Moderator
G

I think that was an honest recollection of the events and how they impacted upon you. Thanks for sharing them. A lots of people talk about the "Red Robbo"days, I say that management get the trade unions they deserve.
 
S

Stitcher

Guest
I'm afraid that my experiences with Longbridge, and its products, are not good. Years ago I had a 1960 Mini and a 1964 A40 Farina, and they both just rotted away before my very eyes. Mechanically OK, bodywise rubbish. When I came back from the USA in 1980 my company graciously gave me a brand new Morris Ital (OK, not Longbridge strictly speaking). I picked this up from Tamworth, and within 10 miles the engine was over-heating thanks to a duff water-pump. Less than 30 miles on the clock. This was fixed, then a month later the tell-tale smell of hot oil, rising engine temperature in the red: a blown head-gasket and warped cylinder-head to put right. Not impressed. No more BL/Rover/Longbridge cars for me, thank you.

I worked for a supplier to Longbridge, this during the "Red Robbo" days, and I hated going there. First off, unless you drove a BL vehicle they wouldn't let you through the gates at Longbridge - by then my employer had seen the light and provided Ford. As I invariably had a lot of heavy equipment which I couldn't manually carry, I just turned round and went back to the office to make my report. Secondly, when I did eventually gain admission to the foundry with some experimental mould-spraying equipment, they refused to let me plug it in because I wasn't a member of the ETU! They wanted me to wait until an ETU member could come and shove a 13-amp plug into a socket! At this I exploded in best Brummie fashion, and was shortly afterwards hauled up before the works convenor who demanded an apology. An apology was what he didn't get. After this I asked to be taken off the 'Longbridge Run', which I was, and thankfully never set foot in the place again.

What eventually happened at Longbridge was, of course, diabolical, and I genuinely feel for anyone who lost his job (and pension) when the place eventually closed. However, over the years they did themselves no favours, with their outmoded, unreliable cars and their endless strikes, mostly for no good reason, and in the end they were the losers. I could go on, but I would very soon be getting 'political'.

G[/QUOTE
Hello Big Gee, my sentiments entirely and my attitude is, or was bought about entirely by incidents every time I delivered to the Longbridge plant. I rated that place on a par with most coal mines mainly in S. Wales and most dockyards. I delivered and collected to and from a number of small privately owned industrial premises with the workers on lesser money per week and they were never any trouble.
 
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BOBJ

knowlegable brummie
I'm afraid that my experiences with Longbridge, and its products, are not good. Years ago I had a 1960 Mini and a 1964 A40 Farina, and they both just rotted away before my very eyes. Mechanically OK, bodywise rubbish. When I came back from the USA in 1980 my company graciously gave me a brand new Morris Ital (OK, not Longbridge strictly speaking). I picked this up from Tamworth, and within 10 miles the engine was over-heating thanks to a duff water-pump. Less than 30 miles on the clock. This was fixed, then a month later the tell-tale smell of hot oil, rising engine temperature in the red: a blown head-gasket and warped cylinder-head to put right. Not impressed. No more BL/Rover/Longbridge cars for me, thank you.

I worked for a supplier to Longbridge, this during the "Red Robbo" days, and I hated going there. First off, unless you drove a BL vehicle they wouldn't let you through the gates at Longbridge - by then my employer had seen the light and provided Ford. As I invariably had a lot of heavy equipment which I couldn't manually carry, I just turned round and went back to the office to make my report. Secondly, when I did eventually gain admission to the foundry with some experimental mould-spraying equipment, they refused to let me plug it in because I wasn't a member of the ETU! They wanted me to wait until an ETU member could come and shove a 13-amp plug into a socket! At this I exploded in best Brummie fashion, and was shortly afterwards hauled up before the works convenor who demanded an apology. An apology was what he didn't get. After this I asked to be taken off the 'Longbridge Run', which I was, and thankfully never set foot in the place again.

What eventually happened at Longbridge was, of course, diabolical, and I genuinely feel for anyone who lost his job (and pension) when the place eventually closed. However, over the years they did themselves no favours, with their outmoded, unreliable cars and their endless strikes, mostly for no good reason, and in the end they were the losers. I could go on, but I would very soon be getting 'political'.

G
Hi Big Gee,
I have BL stories almost identical, I worked for a components supplier who only bought BL cars, my first company car was a Morris Marina 1700 in 1979. I lived in Shirley and went to collect it after work from Patrick Motors in Lifford Lane, I did not make it home !, over the next 3 months I rarely saw it and had a string of loan cars, they nearly got it right in the end. I had lot more BL/Rovers including SD1 and 800's, most of which fell apart.
I also had to visit Longbridge a few times, I recall one time where we had a production problem which was due to stop their night shift, so I took some parts in my boot after work so the night shift could work. I was greeted with utter apathy from the smoke filled room full of fork lift drivers when I tried to deliver the parts in the end I unloaded them onto a pallet myself and found someone prepared to scribble on my piece of paper, not a pleasant experience.
I find it hard to say these things since I made a living from component manufacturing, but it was an awful time. Bob
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Yes BobJ, it was a sad state of affairs. I also had to visit Cowley, as my firm supplied them, too, but oddly enough it had a far better atmosphere than Longbridge, most of the people I dealt with were helpful and polite.

I was involved in supplying the motor industry for more than half my working life, and can't say I enjoyed it very much.

G
 
S

Stitcher

Guest
Hello Big Gee and BobJ, I posted this once but I don't know where it went. When I was lorry driving Longbridge was on a par with coal mines and London docks for abusive industrial behaviour.
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
It's only fair to hear both sides re Austin, I have had a dozen cars since 1962, 3 were Austin, a 1961 A40 Farina (which I had rust proofed) a very reliable car and rust free when I parted with it 4 years later, an Austin 1800 a bit sluggish but once again reliable and exceedingly roomy, kept it 9 years, only fault was 2 worn constant velocity joints, not uncommon in front wheel drive cars and finally an Austin Princess 2.2 Litre, bit heavy on petrol but petrol was cheap in those days, loved its wedge shape and performance, also turned out to be reliable. I should add I always had them regularly serviced usually at Thomas Startins, went to school with the foreman Engineer, Roger Paget ! Eric
 
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