• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Hardy Spicers Ltd

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi guys;
over a period of time gone bye i seem to recall a big industrial factory in erdington
called hardy and spicers which no one as mentioned which employed alot of people but no-one as ever mentioned
we have mentioned the dunlop ; and car works but not hardys ;
my late brother inlaw alf worked there all his life and i was wondering wether or not is it still
there employing people or have they finished and gone can any one tell me what did they manufact there
many thanks astonian ;;;
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Alan,

Hardy Spicer had a factory at the junction of Birch Rd and Brookvale Rd in Witton. I had connections with Hardy Spicer all my working life having started work at Forgings & Presswork which was at the top of Birch Rd.

Hardy Spicer produced Universal Joints for cars and trucks and eventually constant velocity joints which are necessary for front wheel drive cars.
HS and F&P were part of the Birfield Group (Birmingham - Sheffield) and were eventually taken over by GKN.
Hardy Spicer eventually moved to a very large factory on the corner of Kingsbury Rd and Chester Rd, and the part of Forgings & Presswork I worked for moved to Hamstead.

Eventually GKN became a big global company and we set up plants all over the world, in the Soviet Union, in Brazil, and many other places.
I have many memories about Hardy Spicer and have posted a few photos connected with it here and there in various threads on the forum.

Phil (oldmohawk)
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Hi Astonian: You are correct there was a large factory on the Chester Road in Erdington called Hardy, Spicer Ltd. which employed a lot
of local people. They had a smaller factory in Witton on Birch Road where members of BHF worked as well. The company was bought out by
Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds another well known name in Brum. There was a very nice photo of the Erdington factory on the Forum but
I believe it is now gone. Someone else may have one. Here's a short outline of Hardy, Spicer & Co and what they manufactured https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Hardy_Spicer_and_Co
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I notice the buildings of the original Hardy Spicer factory in Witton are still there but it is now Dana Spicer.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Hardy Spicer on the Chester road used to recondition our Power take off drive shafts including CV joints, the only company that could do this correctly as they were the original suppliers. Dana Spicer also manufactured clutches for most of our HGV's and were original equipment for Foden, ERF, Seddon Atikinson and many others.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI GUYS;
Firstly many , many thanks to you all for replying so quickly about my request on hardys ;
i had and use to pass hardys quite often in years gone bye ; but i do mean years gone bye and never knew what they produced
in my younger days i was aware they was a well known industry just like dunlop and the concentric ; another big company i knew about what they produced years ago as a kid i worked at the concentric as a junior capston opererator ;i did not like the job nor the conditions the friend whom i worked with and started there at the same time as me also left and as he was a meber of th st johns bridgade he left with me and joined the ambuklance bridgade and still is a medic with the ambulance service today but getting back to spicers ;
my old brother inlaw alf died about thre years ago he worked there all is life from boy to man hood ;he was taken ill and went into the heartlads for some think simle but died within two weks of being in there ; but alf worked in the ware housing and stock control i beleivehis brother used to work there as well he was a very big guy and huge ;but because i have not spoken with my oldest sister whom is geting on ;in thirty years ; i learnt that he was and had been working there through my other family sibbling before they died ; i still have not spoke to my sister andnever will but lets forget that ;
phil and nic and jennie ; i never knew they had a extention of there compapany down birch rd was that not where roberts the rubbermills was way back in time ;
my youngest brother worked there for years but heleft and got a job at bullpitts as a metal spinner it was a claner evoiroment for him ; as we only lived up the rd from them at spring hill; also was they next to the old gec ; company my old father in law wotrked there when he came out of the army and ended up as a forman his name was charlie williams very regegmental of a guy he was beleive me ; ;
but any wy guys i will lookat the pics phil as down loaded and coppy them . i really apreciate you all giving me the info; and now i have learnt the knowkledge
about them and s they was a part of brums history just like the other boys ; ie; the car working industry and dunlop ;
many thanks guys astonian ;;
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I went round their factory with my school I can't remember exactly but near Gravley Hill, I think, lots of warehousing and machine shops I seem to remember., not heard that name for an age of an age.
paul
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Hardy Spicer on Chester Road is still operating, but part of it was demolished a short time ago. I used to sell them bonded cork gaskets for their drive-shafts, both at Chester Road and their Aldridge site, which is now closed and moved to Chester Road. We had a hell of job getting the composition and dimensional accuracy just right, many visits to the labs at Aldridge. The Aldridge company traded as GKN-Driveline Ltd, but not sure about the Chester Road site. I never quite understood why the Aldridge factory closed, as it was newer and a much better environment than Chester Road. Oddly enough, my very last customer-visit before I retired in June 2011 was to the Chester Road factory.

My dad installed heat-treatment furnaces at H-S Chester Road and Birch Road in the 1950's, both big jobs that took a long time, but at least they were close to home. He worked for Efco-Birlec at the time, later taken over by the dreaded GEC.

G
 

oldroddy

master brummie
I used to go to the social club they had on a Saturday night,this was in the early 70's.Used to go with a lad who worked there,and other friends.
We used to bus it from Aston Road,the bus stop being opposte the old toilets over the brook,and stagger back,good times.
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
Hi Alan,

Hardy Spicer had a factory at the junction of Birch Rd and Brookvale Rd in Witton. I had connections with Hardy Spicer all my working life having started work at Forgings & Presswork which was at the top of Birch Rd.

Hardy Spicer produced Universal Joints for cars and trucks and eventually constant velocity joints which are necessary for front wheel drive cars.
HS and F&P were part of the Birfield Group (Birmingham - Sheffield) and were eventually taken over by GKN.
Hardy Spicer eventually moved to a very large factory on the corner of Kingsbury Rd and Chester Rd, and the part of Forgings & Presswork I worked for moved to Hamstead.

Eventually GKN became a big global company and we set up plants all over the world, in the Soviet Union, in Brazil, and many other places.
I have many memories about Hardy Spicer and have posted a few photos connected with it here and there in various threads on the forum.

Phil (oldmohawk)
The Factory in Witton was Salisbury Transmission they also had built a new factory in Bromford Lane on the corner of Old Bromford Lane. Before becoming part of the G.K.N. Group.Dek
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi dek;
many thanks for that extra snippett of info; dek; i am logging all this down on sheets i am compiling ;
every bit counts ; also phil a great big thanks for your input on this topic ; i have found out some very intresting and valuable information from all you good friends on the forum ;special thanks to our team the admin for there part play as well best wishes astonian ;;
 

centurion

knowlegable brummie
Worked at Forgings and Presswork part of the Birfield Group,three factories in the Witton Area of Birch Rd and Electric Avenue,namely Hardy and |Spicers,Forging and Presswork,and the third one was Salisbury Transmission,worked there as a Furnace bricklayer employment Officer Major Jones who got his title in the Home Guard
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
The Factory in Witton was Salisbury Transmission they also had built a new factory in Bromford Lane on the corner of Old Bromford Lane. Before becoming part of the G.K.N. Group.Dek
The site at the top of Birch Road was shared by two plants in the Birfield Group, Forging & Presswork and Salisbury Transmissions. I started work as an engineering apprentice at F&P and stayed there 14 years before the Cold Forging department moved to Hamstead. The three storey office block (still there) was shared between F&P and ST, we even shared a Drawing Office print machine, and the old style Managing Director 'ruled' both plants. The site had a central road with the forging plant on the canal side, and the ST machining plant on the other side. Delivery of our forgings was initially down the road to the Birch Rd Hardy Spicer plant. When HS moved to Chester Rd someone at F&P had the bright idea of using canal boats to deliver our forgings to HS, looking at maps it can be seen that the canal runs past both sites. Unfortunately the forge used to throw scrap forgings over the fence into the canal until a pleasure boat was nearly sunk by an enormous pile of forgings which were found when the canal stretch was drained.
Some products produced by the press shop of F&P were steel toecaps which were known as 'ToeTectors' in safety footware.
The Cold Forging part of F&P was run on a licence from a German company Neumeyers in Nuremburg.
GKN took over the Birfield Group in 1965/66 and eventually the original Birfield Industries automotive products became the major part of GKN's business so it turned out to be a very profitable take-over.
oldmohawk
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Worked at Forgings and Presswork part of the Birfield Group,three factories in the Witton Area of Birch Rd and Electric Avenue,namely Hardy and |Spicers,Forging and Presswork,and the third one was Salisbury Transmission,worked there as a Furnace bricklayer employment Officer Major Jones who got his title in the Home Guard
Hi Centurion,
Major Jones interviewed me for my first job as an apprentice on leaving school. The Managing Director of both F&P and ST was 'Big Bill' Sparrow and his son Garnet Sparrow was also a Director.
oldmohawk
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
There was another noisy little forge in Birch Rd and it has a thread Drop Stamp - Birch Rd - Witton find it Here
Hardy Spicer and other factories are mentioned as 61 thread replies and a few photos drifted around the area even as far as Hamstead....:rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

centurion

knowlegable brummie
Many thanks for your reply,Bill Sparrow lived at Henley in Arden and as part of the maintainence workers we had to go and do repair work on his house and he complained about
making tyre marks from the wheelbarrow on his drive and I told him that I would not do any more work there.he actually fired his chaffeur for sneezing in his car.he always worer a ten gallon hat we are now talking about the Fifties,my Foremans name was Len Bates who just lived of Witton Island,I married a young lass from Manor Road and it lasted for 54years,my father also lived in Manor Road by the Vinalls,Albert played for the Villa and his elder brother Jackie played for Norwich and Walsall
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Memories coming back about Bill Sparrow, I can believe what you say about him. I posted about my contacts with him in the other earlier thread.
I remember Gordon Hume who was the Works Engineer, a fair amount of work was done on his house, but that was how things were back in the 40's and 50's.
The furnaces where fired by pulverised coal which spread dust particles over the district and onto our drawings in the Drawing Office.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
As late as 1968 I worked for a certain well-known company in Erdington, and it was 'suggested' to me that I might care to get myself to the Works Manager's house on a particular Saturday afternoon in order to assist him to pack his possessions prior to a move to an even larger mansion. My reply was along the lines of "Get stuffed". Funny, but I never did get on in that company....

G
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
I am sure my uncle Harry Stevens worked there and he used to get my meddles polished for me. I may be mistaken though. Thanks for that link Phil as my dad worked there.
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
My exhusbands family were the last family to live on the site which became Hardy Spicer factory in Erdington.
My mother in law was a feisty war widow and she refused to leave her cottage that was being demolished to make way
for the factory until she was properly compensated to provide a home for her 3 children.
This was about 1953.
 
Top