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Kynoch's I M I 1950s Onwards

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shannon

Guest
Please note many of the Kynoch's images on this thread were lost when BHF was hacked. Many were members' personal photos. So some images may no longer appear in posts. If anyone has copies of any of the images please contact a member of the Admin Team. Many thanks. Viv.


This thread covers discussion about Kynoch's IMI after WW2.

For Kynoch's 1800s - 1920s go here:
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/kynochs-imi-1800s-1920s.48347/#post-84651

For Kynoch's 1930s and 40s go here:
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/kynochs-i-m-i-1930s-1940s.48346/


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Did any of you work fr ICI in the early 50's. Would you remember my unt Bridget Clarke, please send me a message if you do.
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
When I was at Aston Commercial School in the 1950s we used to go to Holford Road playing fields (near the bus garage in Perry Barr) for our weekly games and could hear the test firings as the playing fields backed on to the rear of Kynochs works in Witton.
 
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F

Frantic

Guest
I used to work at IMI (Kynock) as a Toolmaker. I remember that the had unregistered cars and trucks that never went on public roads, the site was enormous. We also made the blanks for English & foreign coins. Also under the IMI banner was 'Lightning' zips,& Amal carburettors. I haven't been there since 1970 so I don't know if anything is left.
 
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Frantic

Guest
As well as Brandauers, I also worked as a Toolmaker for Concentric Controls near Salford Park and I.M.I (Imperial Metals Industries). Ely Kynoch was a sub-division of IMI as was Amal carburettors and "Lightning" zips. The decimal coins were also made at IMI or rather 'Blanked' at IMI and then sent to the mint in South Wales to be 'Struck'. The size of IMI had to be experienced to be believed. There was A factory, B factory, C factory,D factory, Central workshops, massive canteens, the loading field, a fully functioning hospital and a lot more that I can no longer remember or never got to see. There were trucks and cars that were unregistered because they never left the site and each department had at least one push-bike to get around on. On the munitions side, Copper ingots were brought in from outside then alloyed into brass in the smelter. the bars of brass then went to the rolling mills and rolled into sheet brass. This was then punched and 'deep drawn' into all different sizes of cartridge cases and then 'loaded' to become shells. Everything was made 'in-house'. A story that I believe to be true did the rounds about a labourer who worked in the smelting plant. Every night he would ride out the main gate on his push-bike with an ingot of pure copper in his saddle bag with a " G'night George" to the gatekeeper. (I should mention that when you started work for IMI, you had to sign a form to agree to be searched if you were suspected of stealing) Nobody really knows how long this went on, but eventually, our intrepid friend bought himself a Morris Oxford, not a new one, but one that was old enough not to draw any attention. Well, on the Morris Oxford, there was a 'secret' compartment that held the spare tyre and this was underneath the car, so if anyone opened the boot, there was nothing to see. Our friend started taking out about ten bars per day hidden in the compartment, each bar weighing about 20-25lbs. I don't know how long ths went on for, but I believe it was a considerable time. Eventually, he must have had a 'death wish' because one day he near filled the boot with copper ingots. As he went throgh the gate with his front wheels nearly off the ground, the quick witted gate-keeper thought "Aye-up". The story goes that our friend was sacked, taken to court and fined. It is rumoured that he paid his fine by cheque and opened a restaurant in the city a few weeks later.
 
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Nipper

Guest
Like Sylviasayers, I remember the sound of the test firings, they used some sort of automatic machine gun. I can see myself now, lying in the sun in Aston Park, listening to the sound of gunfire. I also seem to remember an underground tunnel they had on the site for test firing large-calibre munitions.
 
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maryrose

Guest
My mom made bullets at the IMI and she then made Zips for lightening fastener. I have a mint pic of my mom making bullets and one of my grandad making tyres at Dunlops. My mom always looked at zips on clothes and still does. She says "ooh its Jap Made,no good " LOL.
 

Di.Poppitt

master brummie
Maryrose, my aunt worked in tracer bullet from before the war until the 60's, and dad worked at Dunlop making tyres,from when he left school until the 70's. I bet they all knew each other. O0

Welcome to the site by the way, nice to have you with us. :)
 
C

Colin Moretti

Guest
The site even had it's own power station.

In addition to the very basic metal bashing and other low-tech activities the company was involved in producing titanium for high performance jet engines and aircraft, eg Concorde. My recollection is that they also made materials for nuclear power stations. Plus the beryllium plant I once saw where everyone wore a plastic suit with it's own air supply, even all the machinery was enclosed - beryllium is highly toxic.

It's more than 35 years since I lived in Birmingham and worked there, it must have changed beyond recognition.
 

John Young

master brummie
Good posting Colin? Very acurate & factual + interesting history to read.

The only section still operating is I M I Titanium & thats struggling due to Aero Industries "Costings"

The Power Station was so good it used to "Assist" the local National Grid at peak periods,,
Again unfortunately no longer standing, Mmmh Progress,,Eh :-X Cheers & nice to see you Colin,, John Y
 

arealpal

knowlegable brummie
There is still a company at the imi works called eley i have worked there in the last 10 years and they still make amunition for sporting rifles at the time i was a cheeky maintenance engineer working on there roofs and i asked if i could be taken around to look at the site. The manager on the site took me around and they stil have the amunition dumps were they let off the unwanted amunition and the timber huts are still there were they used to make the amunition for the war and they also had a lot of photographs at the site, I walked around one of the huts and the benches and the old metal trays are still there.
kind regards
Alan
 
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mike-g

Guest
The titanium plant no longer belongs to I.M.I. It was sold to a firm called Timet some years ago. Both my sons worked for I.M.I. for many years, the eldest streight from school, both were unhappy with the new setup and have now left Timet.
 

dennis

master brummie
Edit. Image no longer available.

This is a picture taken from a magazine,
of when the Queen Mother payed a visit
to IMI,My wife Sylvia is third on the left
from the St John's ambulance man.
Sylvia at one time worked in the Rimfire section,
and her hair would be green when she came home,

later she then went to work into the drawing office
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
I worked at the AMAL Holford Drive/Rd 1953 /55 till I was called up for National Service then again from 1957 for a few months. We used all the facilities Canteen etc in Kynoch's I also played Football for them.

Anyone have any Photos of Amal or know about the place :)
 
R

RayD

Guest
Dennis,
My late brother in law worked at Amal.
Don,t know the exact date he retired from there, but he was foreman in the cable making dept.
Was always going on about "his girls"that worked in that dept.
I will ask my sister the next time I see her if she has any photos ect.
By the way, his name was Alf Goode.
 
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RayD

Guest
Alf,


I hope to be seeing my sister sometime next week.
Although she is nearly 84, her memory is much better than mine,so here's hoping. ;
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
RayD said:
Dennis,
My late brother in law worked at Amal.
Don,t know the exact date he retired from there, but he was foreman in the cable making dept.
Was always going on about "his girls"that worked in that dept.
I will ask my sister the next time I see her if she has any photos ect.
By the way, his name was Alf Goode.


Ray I don't recall the name Ray but he was right about the Girls there more Girls than Lads great crowd very friendly place. I left after National Service after those two years I hated working inside O0
 
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