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Kynoch's I C I 1800s - 1920s

M

MikeRiley

Guest
Please note many images were lost when BHF was hacked so images may not be visible in certain posts.


This thread covers discussion about Kynoch's during the period from the
1800s to the 1920s.

For Kynoch's in the
1930s - 1940s go here: https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/kynochs-i-m-i-1930s-1940s.48346/

For Kynoch's after WW2 go here: https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/for...nochs-i-m-i-after-ww2.697/page-20#post-459116


.....................................................................................................


Can anyone tell me something about a munitions factory at Witton? :?: In 1901 my grandfather, who had come to Aston from Runcorn is recorded as living at Holte Road and working as a "glycerine maker" (nitro-glycerine?). He stayed long enough in Aston to meet and marry my grandmother, Annie Beecroft, before moving on again to another munitions factory at Kynocktown (later renamed Coryton), Essex. I am trying to find out something of the Witton company (presumably Kynock's) and what it's links were with the pre-WW1 factory on the Essex marshes. Can anyone tell me where exactly the Witton factory is/was? :oops: Pardon my ignorance of the geography of my grandmother's home town.
 
K

KeithH

Guest
IMI

The IMI buildings are still there on Witton Road, near Witton rail station and just around the corner from Aston Villa football ground.
I was at the site a few weeks ago and it seems now to be an industrial estate with the old IMI individual buildings being let to out to small businesses. There is little evidence of the former use of this place.

I have a vauge recollection of hearing the test firings of the ammunition years ago.
 
M

MikeRiley

Guest
Munitions works

Thanks Keith - the clue "IMI" led me to their website and the following connection to Kynochtown: "In 1862 Scottish Victorian entrepreneur George Kynoch opened a percussion cap factory at Witton in Birmingham, UK. By 1881 it had grown to be Britain's largest ammunition manufacturing company..."
 
O

O.C.

Guest
Re: Munitions works

Photo's of the witton site are due to go on the WW1 section
 

izabellanne

master brummie
Wellhead Lodge

I have a very old photo of the Wellhead gate and the lodge I lived in, but I do not seem to be able to upload it.I will e.mail anyone interested.
Great days!!!!!
 

Pomgolian

Kiwi Brummie Admin' Team
:angel: izabellanne, I have resized your pic' a little as your problem was, it was too large to upload
(Click to see larger view).
View attachment 9219Edit. Unfortunately the attachment is no longer available.
Hope you don't mind.

POM :angel:
 
Last edited:

izabellanne

master brummie
Wellhead Lane Lodge.

Pom..:star:
Thank you so much for doing that.How did you get the photo to resize it though,??? ( I kept getting a message saying I could not upload it ) In case it happens again.
Many thanks Pom...
Izabellanne
 

Pomgolian

Kiwi Brummie Admin' Team
:angel: Well! I think Rod sent it to the wrong person!!!
However as a site Moderator I thought it would be ok to post it for you rather than bother Rod, when I knew what to do and that's what my job as Moderator is, to help out when and where I can so no prob's.

Cheers Pom :angel:
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the Wellhead image, izabellanne (and helper).

I've seen this elsewhere, captioned "Recruiting Drive" but whether the recruitment was of Kynoch workers or of soldiers I don't know. The US flag suggests later in the Great War than earlier and so it's probably dated not before April 1917. The building behind was almost new at that time although it doesn't look it.

The range of shell case sizes in the display is remarkable as well as their polish. And I imagine that the accompanying "Kynoch's Angels" set one or two hearts aflutter!

Chris
 

GeorgieG

master brummie
Kynock

I have a mahogany writing slope that belonged to my Great Grandfather Owen: It has a plaque on the top:
Presented to Mr. S.R.Owen as a mark of esteem by a few friends of the Gauge & Tool Department of Messrs. Kynoch & Co. Witton February 6th, 1897.

Georgie

 
W

Wendy

Guest
What a wonderful piece of history Georgie, I bet its a lovely item!
 

GeorgieG

master brummie
Moma P... It could do with a bit of Tender Loving Care... but I keep all my families diaries... rings etc. in it...
Somewhere I have a letter regarding my greatgrandfather starting work at Kynock... must find it one day.
Georgie
 

rprfryer

proper brummie kid
Harry Victor Reginald Fryer - Kynoch Employee

My grandfather, Harry Victor Reginald Fryer, was a carriage builder.

He later worked, as a blacksmith, at Kynoch, which later became Nobel Industries, and then, in 1926, became Imperial Chemical Industries Metals.

In 1931, he received, from ICI Metals, after thirty-five years of service, a gold pocket watch.

He received, from ICI Metals, in 1936, a gold medal for forty years of service.

When he was young, in either 1887 or 1891, he attended, with his father, at the Lower Grounds, Aston Meadow, Aston, Warwickshire, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Sometime after 1914, he climbed the mast of Royal Navy’s Iron Duke Class Dreadnought Battleship HMS Iron Duke.

Regards, R. Paul R. Fryer
 

rprfryer

proper brummie kid
Kynoch Group Photograph

Jean,

Unfortunately, I never met my grandfather or any of his fellow Kynock employees.

Incidentally, Michigan J. Frog and Marvin the Martian are two of my favourite animated characters.

Regards, R. Paul R.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
When he was young, in either 1887 or 1891, he attended, with his father, at the Lower Grounds, Aston Meadow, Aston, Warwickshire, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Paul,

The 1891 Buffalo Bill visit gets a mention in a history of Kynoch. Annie Oakley gave a ringing endorsement of the Company's sporting cartridges. "It is of great importance to me that I should have thoroughly reliable cartridges and I shall always use yours in preference to any others as I have great confidence in them."

I wonder if she, or her boss, had to pay for any of them.

Chris
 

rprfryer

proper brummie kid
Annie Oakley Reference

Chris,

Thank you for the Annie Oakley Kynoch information.

I was previously unaware of the relationship.

I consider myself an "infovore" or, when carefully pronounced, an "infomaniac"!

Incidentally, I have just noticed that my tired brain made the mistake of spelling Kynoch as Kinoch and Kinock (ouch!), in my previous two posts, mentally updating the spellings, when it proof-read them, to the correct ones.

I do know better!

I did spell the company name correctly in the employment event for my grandfather, Harry Victor Reginald Fryer, in my Fryer family database.

My apologies to all.

Regards, R. Paul R.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Edit. Image unavailable.

this is a pic i find very sad...this young lad cant be much more than 12 years old and he is filling cartridges at kynochs in aston...dated 1905...and the kids today moan about having to take on certain jobs...

lyn
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Re: Munitions works

Just a few photo showing some of the excellent war work carried out by women during the two world wars.

1. Assembling Mills bombs (grenades) at the Mill Munitions factory (WW1)
2. Some of the women workers outside the Mills Factory (WW1)
3. Assembling Aircraft Wings. (WW2)
4. B.S.A. Works (WW2)
5. Parkinson Cowan Works. (WW2)

Phil





 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
A good example of 1920s advertising. This 1923 ad for Eley and Kynoch cartidges is a very bold design which predates IMI. Viv.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1331481940.015354.jpg
 

mike jenks

master brummie
hi



Nobel Industries1918 The company was merged into Explosives Trades Ltd, along with Eley and other ammunition makers.
1920 Explosives Trades Ltd changed its name to Nobel Industries; Kynoch retained its own name.
1920 John Marston Ltd "the manufacturers of the world famous Sunbeam cycle and motorcycle" was purchased by Kynochs[5]
1923 Arthur Chamberlain resigned as chairman of the local Board and was replaced by Sir Harry McGowan who was also Chairman of Nobel Industries.
The South African explosives interests were transferred elsewhere in the Nobel Industries organisation.
The Witton activities of soap, candles, cycles and general engineering products were abandoned. The site's activities comprised effectively "the ammunition side" and "the metals side". Three departments at Kings Norton, especially involving strip, were re-opened to meet increasing demand.
1924 Three more electric melting furnaces were ordered.
1925 Investment was made "to fit up the old Machine Shop at Witton to undertake metallic work for sporting cartridges and metal sundries". Copper consumption soon reached 400 tons per month. Despite Eley being the senior partner in the area of sporting ammunition within Nobel Industries, Kynochs succeeded in persuading the Board of Nobels to concentrate all production on the Witton site. The transfer of plant and personnel from Eley's Waltham Abbey factory, and the transformation of production facilities at Witton, was a long and gradual process. The Eley name was preserved by renaming all Nobel sporting ammunition "Eley-Kynoch".
1926 A new company was formed: Lightning Fasteners to handle the zip fastener business.
ICI Metals Division
1926 As part of Nobel Industries, the company became part of the newly formed Imperial Chemical Industries; the Witton factory continued as the ammunition manufacturing centre and became the centre of ICI Metals Division.

A real piece of Kynoch History that I wasn't aware of. Nobel Industries were the Fore Runner of
the Giant ICI

Thanks a real find

Mike Jenks
 
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