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Hardy Spicers Ltd

Grayswing

Brummie Boomer
Hi Everyone, My name is Graham Swingler. I was at Hardy Spicer from 1969 till 1989 and new a lot of the characters mentioned in this thread. I no longer live in the midlands but was looking for some other information and tripped over this thread.
I worked for Phil Dawe in purchasing.Later for John Mathews in Production planning.
My father was production manager at Salisbury Transmission in Witton till the 70's. Its good to see some familiar names here.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi graham alas the same here...lost touch with pete in the late 70s but its nice to know that my memory has not failed me about where he worked :D but somewhere in the back of my mind i have it that he moved and worked for a company in hospital st but i could be wrong about that one..pete lived a couple of roads away from me in gt barr... hope you enjoy the forum

lyn
 
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Eric Gibson

master brummie
Hi Everyone, My name is Graham Swingler. I was at Hardy Spicer from 1969 till 1989 and new a lot of the characters mentioned in this thread. I no longer live in the midlands but was looking for some other information and tripped over this thread.
I worked for Phil Dawe in purchasing.Later for John Mathews in Production planning.
My father was production manager at Salisbury Transmission in Witton till the 70's. Its good to see some familiar names here.
Nothing to do with Hardy Spicer but the Swingler name is one I haven't heard for a very long time, we had a Swingler family as near neighbours in Hurlingham Road in the 1940s, any relation?
 

Grayswing

Brummie Boomer
Nothing to do with Hardy Spicer but the Swingler name is one I haven't heard for a very long time, we had a Swingler family as near neighbours in Hurlingham Road in the 1940s, any relation?
Hi Eric, my family lived at 309 Kings Road till early 60's.I lived there till 1956.Seems a coincidence that you remember the name nearby.My family lived in Colindale Road prior to moving to Kings Road. I have one uncle still alive from that time.His name is Bob Swingler.Does any of this connect?
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
Hi Eric, my family lived at 309 Kings Road till early 60's.I lived there till 1956.Seems a coincidence that you remember the name nearby.My family lived in Colindale Road prior to moving to Kings Road. I have one uncle still alive from that time.His name is Bob Swingler.Does any of this connect?
Nothing there rings any bells Graham although I know all the places, struggling to remember the Swingler names from Hurlingham Road but I have a feeling there was a Ralph and I think he was an only child.
 

devonjim

master brummie
Hi Everyone, My name is Graham Swingler. I was at Hardy Spicer from 1969 till 1989 and new a lot of the characters mentioned in this thread. I no longer live in the midlands but was looking for some other information and tripped over this thread.
I worked for Phil Dawe in purchasing.Later for John Mathews in Production planning.
My father was production manager at Salisbury Transmission in Witton till the 70's. Its good to see some familiar names here.
Hi Graham, Remember you at HS as an apprentice in Logistics. I think Fred Jones was the "boss" there at that time.
 

devonjim

master brummie
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

Found this on youtube, slight chance you might not have seen it before.
 

7LRT

New Member
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.
Hi, I am new to this forum and have only just read this entry so apologise for the delay in replying.
My father, Fred Thompson became Works Engineer when Gordon became a Director, do you by chance remember him? Dad died in 1960 but I was an apprentice there until becoming a draughtsman working in the Press Shop drawing office in Wyrley Road.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi, I am new to this forum and have only just read this entry so apologise for the delay in replying.
My father, Fred Thompson became Works Engineer when Gordon became a Director, do you by chance remember him? Dad died in 1960 but I was an apprentice there until becoming a draughtsman working in the Press Shop drawing office in Wyrley Road.
Hi,
I find that my memories of names have faded over the years. I can picture faces and often remember first names but sometimes just surnames. I cannot remember meeting your dad but may have met him. I seem to remember someone called Alan working in Gordon Hume's office, he was small and had dark hair. I moved from the F&P drawing office to the Cold Extrusion office in 1961 and do remember a young man named Thompson (first name eludes me) but he only worked for a short time in the office.

An aerial image below shows part of Forgings & Presswork in 1939 and I have arrow marked where I think the Work's Engineers office was. The two lift shafts on the office block stand out.
FandP1939.jpg
image from'britainfromabove'
 

7LRT

New Member
Hi,
I find that my memories of names have faded over the years. I can picture faces and often remember first names but sometimes just surnames. I cannot remember meeting your dad but may have met him. I seem to remember someone called Alan working in Gordon Hume's office, he was small and had dark hair. I moved from the F&P drawing office to the Cold Extrusion office in 1961 and do remember a young man named Thompson (first name eludes me) but he only worked for a short time in the office.

An aerial image below shows part of Forgings & Presswork in 1939 and I have arrow marked where I think the Work's Engineers office was. The two lift shafts on the office block stand out.
View attachment 132770
image from'britainfromabove'


Yes Alan worked with and was a good friend of my father but the works engineering office was across the roadway from where you have arrowed and I believe it was in a single story building which ran alongside the roadway and abutted the main factory.
If I remember correctly Gordon Hume's office when he became the Works Director was on the corner of the ground floor of the main office block.
I am Roy Thompson and yes I did a short spell in the Cold Extrusion drawing office during my apprenticeship but there wasn't a vacancy in there full time which is why I landed up in the Press Shop drawing office.
What is your name and do you remember the others when you were in the Cold Extrusion D.O.?
Strange how discussing details now, after such a long time, many details come flowing back.
I must make the effort to go back and see for myself what remains of F&P, sometimes not the best thing to do as it can destroy good memories.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Yes Alan worked with and was a good friend of my father but the works engineering office was across the roadway from where you have arrowed and I believe it was in a single story building which ran alongside the roadway and abutted the main factory.
If I remember correctly Gordon Hume's office when he became the Works Director was on the corner of the ground floor of the main office block.
I am Roy Thompson and yes I did a short spell in the Cold Extrusion drawing office during my apprenticeship but there wasn't a vacancy in there full time which is why I landed up in the Press Shop drawing office.
What is your name and do you remember the others when you were in the Cold Extrusion D.O.?
Strange how discussing details now, after such a long time, many details come flowing back.
I must make the effort to go back and see for myself what remains of F&P, sometimes not the best thing to do as it can destroy good memories.
Hello Roy,
I do remember you from your time in the Cold Extrusion D.O and of course the CE moved to Hamstead Great Barr to become Birfield Extrusions. One memory I have (hopefully correct) is when some of us went to Sutton Park one evening to fly model aeroplanes and your model plane flew off disappearing into the blue yonder.

I'm Phil Ridgway and others in the office were Keith Beard, Tony Cooper, Tony Smith, Reg Neale. There is a pic of a younger me at 1min 40secs into the video clip in post#129. You might remember me as an ice skater ... see my avatar and in quite a few pics in the ice rink part of the forum.

With regard to the Works Engineer's office, when I walked down the road from the office it was on the left adjacent to the Die Shop with a doorway from an opening which can be seen in the pic. Salisbury Transmissions had most of the factory on the right of road.

I usually do not go back to my old work places etc and prefer the memories. I have looked at the F&P site on Google Earth and it seems to have become an industrial estate but the office block is still there. The factory at Hamstead has been totally demolished
 

7LRT

New Member
Hello Roy,
I do remember you from your time in the Cold Extrusion D.O and of course the CE moved to Hamstead Great Barr to become Birfield Extrusions. One memory I have (hopefully correct) is when some of us went to Sutton Park one evening to fly model aeroplanes and your model plane flew off disappearing into the blue yonder.

I'm Phil Ridgway and others in the office were Keith Beard, Tony Cooper, Tony Smith, Reg Neale. There is a pic of a younger me at 1min 40secs into the video clip in post#129. You might remember me as an ice skater ... see my avatar and in quite a few pics in the ice rink part of the forum.

With regard to the Works Engineer's office, when I walked down the road from the office it was on the left adjacent to the Die Shop with a doorway from an opening which can be seen in the pic. Salisbury Transmissions had most of the factory on the right of road.

I usually do not go back to my old work places etc and prefer the memories. I have looked at the F&P site on Google Earth and it seems to have become an industrial estate but the office block is still there. The factory at Hamstead has been totally demolished

Thank you Phil, of course I remember you all now and I must say I enjoyed my time with you all.
I do remember the model aircraft experience, served me right for filling the fuel tank, stupid boy, however the model landed in the top of the trees bordering Chester Road near Banners Gate entrance and some kind person who saw it land returned it to me.
Was it Tony Smith who had a Morris 8 series E. I remember him respraying it dark green with a vacuum cleaner at home in Perry Barr.
Reg Neale was newly married and lived near Barr Beacon.
I well remember seeing you race for the Mohawks on one occasion.
Now I have started down memory lane god knows how many brain cells I will awaken so no doubt you will hear from me in the future meanwhile thanks for your help.
Regards
Roy
 

Silver5125

Brummie babby
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)
Hi Phil, I did my apprenticeship at Salisbury Transmissions, Hardy Spicer trade school for 1 year but I think I was there earlier than you 1961 to 1966.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Just a shot in the dark, I had a very good friend who’d was an apprentice at HS in the late 50’s early 60’s his name was John (Johnny) Wheeler. He was in a very bad car accident .
 

devonjim

master brummie
It must have been in early 1970's that John was killed in a car accident on Pershore Rd. I had only been at HS a short while and knew him as a member of the sales team.
ps. Memory kicking in, I now remember the name as Peter Wheeler.
 
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Richarddye

master brummie
It must have been in early 1970's that John was killed in a car accident on Pershore Rd. I had only been at HS a short while and knew him as a member of the sales team.
ps. Memory kicking in, I now remember the name as Peter Wheeler.
Thanks Jim, I thought my memory was Completely gone as I knew John and hung around with him until I came to the US in 1962. His mom/aunt had a sweet shop on Lozells Rd between the pub and the Esso repair garbage.
 

devonjim

master brummie
Thanks Jim, I thought my memory was Completely gone as I knew John and hung around with him until I came to the US in 1962. His mom/aunt had a sweet shop on Lozells Rd between the pub and the Esso repair garbage.
Richard. I am too confused! I had not long been at Hardy Spicer when this fatal accident happened. The names are unreliable, certainly not Peter Wheeler could have been John Washbourne.
 
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