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Hardy Spicers Ltd

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
Good to hear from you Jim, I trust you are well.
I obviously remember dear old Joe Russon very well. I can see him now, licking his fingers and flicking the pages over on his latest computer print out at a rate of knots.

What are you up to these days?
 

Johnny Matthews

Brummie Baby Boomer
Hi Les
You were just a bit of a kid when I last saw you. How time flies. Hope you are enjoying your retirement.
PS You were a decent footballer young man!
 

devonjim

master brummie
Surprised you can mention Ben Fulwell without referring to his colleague Frank Piper. The myth was that both had been at Dunkirk, the one escaped back to UK while the other claimed that he had been abandoned by his mate and captured by the Germans. I was always impressed by the wad of notes Frank carried in his back pocket! Any memories of Frank Newton and Derek Jones?
 

James_the_3rd

master brummie
Ben Fulwell was a great guy. Do you remember his girlfriend. And you are right about his wallet. Frank Piper was not in the same league as Ben. A few other names Fred Poorly Brian Carroll I could go on and on great days.
 

Ina Magee

Brummie babby
I realise checking the date of the last posting I am somewhat late to the party, however I am desperate so here goes!

I came across this forum by chance as I was searching the net for information on GKNFF vehicles. A few years ago I found a Ford Capri (1971) MK1 with this conversion in Hamburg. It was converted by GKN in Birmingham and I think used as a test-bed for various interesting modifications. I was told that it should have been scrapped, however the car was actually sold into private hands and subsequently moved to Germany in the 80's. I am well into the restoration of this very interesting car and am desperately trying to piece together its history. My hope is that someone on this forum may remember it or if not may be able to put me in contact with someone who does. Fingers crossed and thank you moderators for allowing me on the forum!
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
welcome to the forum ina magee...thats a very interesting post...i loved the ford capri and used to have one...hope someone can help with your query

lyn
 
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Lady Penelope

master brummie
I worked in the offices of Hardy Spicer for a short while and left to have my daughter in the summer of 1971. Nice people.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
I Also worked there after i left tubes when they closed down and got the job at spicer
i used to drive the stacca and the flat form trolley providing work materials and shifting the work
but also my late brother inlaw and his brother both worked there my late brother in law was named Alf
he was a big huge guy he worked in the stores he past away about ten years ago
my oldest sister whom was married to him as never remarried after his death in the heartlands
great firm to work for , best wishes Astonian,,,,,
 

devonjim

master brummie
Ina, I worked at Hardy Spicer in 1970's when they were involved with the Capri FF. I didn't work on this project and it was a long time ago but I think the leader of the team was John Brookes, who I guess would be in his late 60's now. The journalist Andrew Lorenz has written a history of GKN and may be able to give you some pointers.
 
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Ina Magee

Brummie babby
Jim, Thanks for posting the information, it is very encouraging. Is their any way of making contact with either John Brooks or Andrew Lorenz? Do you have any memories of the Capri you can share (I understand you were not involved in the project though)?

Thanks for your input!
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I worked for a GKN company in Hamstead Birmingham which supplied forgings to Hardy Spicer and which eventually became part of Hardy Spicer. In December 1969 (I think) I went with our managing director to the Ford plant at Dagenham to look at one of the first Capris ever made and before it had been launched. I remember looking at a beautiful bronze colored car and sat in it wishing I could afford one, I was driving an Hillman Imp at the time.
It was a long time ago so memories slightly faded, but one thing I do remember was on our journey back home we started from Dagenham in bright sunny weather but halfway up the M1 we ran into a massive snowstorm and with hundreds of other people spent the whole night stranded on the motorway. We eventually got home next morning at 10am.
Probably not much use to you but every time I see mention of a Ford Capri I think of that cold night so long ago. Unfortunately I do not recall the names you have mentioned.
 

Ina Magee

Brummie babby
Hello OldMohawk, Thank you for posting. December 68 would have been the year as the Capri was first shown to the public in Jan 69. The marque made a similar impression on me and I have stuck with them ever since. Quite different to the Hillman!
 

devonjim

master brummie
If you google Ford Capri FF there's quite a bit of "gossip" to be found. I don't think there was any actual work on the car at HSP in Erdington. I think the Ferguson 4x4 system went into production on a Jensen.
 

Ina Magee

Brummie babby
Thanks Jim, I will try my google luck again. FYI there is a FB page dedicated to Formula Ferguson that has some images you may find interesting. If you need a link just drop me a line.

Your right, the first 4x4 was really the Jensen (1969), quite a machine too!
 

The Baron

master brummie
My late cousin ALBERT LAMB worked at Hardy Spicer And was the Hardy's Brass Band Leader before moving job's to Parkinson Cowen Stechford.
I used to go to band practice with him for a short while.
Anyone one remember Albert ?
 

Ron Hart

New Member
Surprised you can mention Ben Fulwell without referring to his colleague Frank Piper. The myth was that both had been at Dunkirk, the one escaped back to UK while the other claimed that he had been abandoned by his mate and captured by the Germans. I was always impressed by the wad of notes Frank carried in his back pocket! Any memories of Frank Newton and Derek Jones?

Hi all My name is Ron Hart. My father was Harry Hart and I was named after my after my uncle, who was Ronnie Hart.
My dad Harry was the Production Superintendant over the final assembly of Hardy Spicer. Frank Piper and Ronnie Hart were both Formen reporting to my father.
As a lad I used to take my dads sandwiches round to the factory which in those days was at Birch Road, Witton, Birmingham.
My father and I knew Frank and his family very well. At one time there were so many members of both families working there,
that we used to joke the company should have been renamed 'Harts and Piper'.
Yes Frank had been at Dunkirk.
In 1964 I joined Hardy Spicer myself as an apprentice. I then finally worked through various departments, ending up as an Industrial Sales Engineer until I left the company in 1974. Does anyone remember me or my family
 

devonjim

master brummie
Ron, I joined HS in June 1970 when "double-day" shift working was introduced, as did Johnny Matthews see #52 above. I stayed there until 2000! I knew both your dad, Harry and your uncle, Ron. Didn't Frank Piper have a son working there in wages office. It wasn't known as Guest, Keen & Nepotism without good reason!
 
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