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Morris Commercial Vehicles

Radiorails

master brummie
I think the transits were in a few episodes and the film. The van I refer to, I believe, is arriving at St. Pancras railway station, London and in the opening titles of the tv series.
 

Bob Johnson

master brummie
Morris Commercial actually experimented with a Gardner 5LW engine in a Dictator chassis, but the work was terminated, apparently by William Morris, who did not like the idea of HIS company buying-in engines.
The Company started using the Adderley Park Works in May 1929 and in 1948 started making Saurer diesel engines under licence for FVO and ECVO models.
I have self-published a 280 page book "Buy British and be Proud of it", the only book ever published dedicated to the history of Morris Commercial Cars Ltd., and it is only available from the Wolseley Register website. Unlike most historians, I never accept royalty payments from any of my book sales, so have no financial gain from my books.
Boomy
I purchased your book from the 'Wolseley Register', it arrived earlier this week.

I have read most of it so far, there are so many fantastic pictures and drawings that my reading progress is being stalled..

I would like to give you a big thank you for producing such a fine book, it is one that will sit on my book shelf for
evermore and one I will refer to on many occasions.

Thank you.
 

boomy

master brummie
I purchased your book from the 'Wolseley Register', it arrived earlier this week.

I have read most of it so far, there are so many fantastic pictures and drawings that my reading progress is being stalled..

I would like to give you a big thank you for producing such a fine book, it is one that will sit on my book shelf for
evermore and one I will refer to on many occasions.

Thank you.
Bob,
Many thanks for your very appreciative comments about the book - greatly appreciated.
Makes nearly 40 years work very worthwhile.
Boomy
 

Heartland

master brummie
The Morris Commercial Works started as the Wolseley Tool & Motor Co in 1901. Wolseley expanded their premises at different times and included in their purchase (in 1908) the former railway waggon building works that had been started by Brown Marshall.

With the expansion railway sidings were provided and they built their own shunting engines for handling the railway traffic.

Wolseley Tool had been early pioneers in automobile making and they also made internal combustion engines for their vehicles, they also made a few early narrow gauge locomotives.
 

boomy

master brummie
The Morris Commercial Works started as the Wolseley Tool & Motor Co in 1901. Wolseley expanded their premises at different times and included in their purchase (in 1908) the former railway waggon building works that had been started by Brown Marshall.

With the expansion railway sidings were provided and they built their own shunting engines for handling the railway traffic.

Wolseley Tool had been early pioneers in automobile making and they also made internal combustion engines for their vehicles, they also made a few early narrow gauge locomotives.
Bob,
The complete history of Wolseley at Adderley Park Works is covered in my 224 page book "The Real Wolseley", only available from the Wolseley Register website.
Boomy
 

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MCC Aprentice

New Member
I have been out of Birmingham for about 46 years, so have been out of touch with most things, but it was with great sadness that I read of the closing of Morris Commercial Cars in 1972. MCC was more than a factory, it was a community. Many generations of families worked there and had strong links with the firm. It had a proud and heroic history.
MCC had photos of the assembly lines after the nightly air raids, with the workers first job in the mornings was to clear away the debris so the war production could commence. I was too young to have personal experience of the war time conditions, but when I started I worked with seniors who had worked there and they told me how things were.
They said that they had a captured German engine which they tested and that it ran on full load for weeks with no problems, something they said they had nothing comparable. They also said that some of the night shift women would not work until they had been "attended" to, their men were in the armed forces. There were a lot of women and few men!
I think the first nail was hammered into the coffin of the British Motor Industry durring my apprenticeship when they gave control to the economists. They then started to produce the car they wanted to sell rather than the car people wanted to buy! I think that the British cars were the best in the world before then. Cars like the Riley, a small limosine, the Wolseley, favourite as a police car. Morris, Austin, Rover, Humber or Hillman. Where are they now.
They started with the 1100 and 1300, then the Mini. The only contribution from the economists was badge engineering. When the Mini first came out, they had one for us to see durring our lunch break over in East Works. I took one look at it and thought it would never sell. I was so wrong. It sold as a Morris, an Austin, a Riley, a Wolseley, a MG and even a Rolls!
A bad photo I remember was a Scottish field, in winter, full of MCC trucks that were waiting to be sold.
I still remember happy hours spent at the MCC club in Ward End, playing tennis, dancing and just socializing. I am a life member of the Morris Commercial Cars Apprentices Association, but it no longer exists. Such is life!!
Yes I was an Apprentice there 1963 - 1968 moved to Cowley to work ay Service HQ.

Yes it was certainly a community.
 

Richard Dye

master brummie
Expa
I have been out of Birmingham for about 46 years, so have been out of touch with most things, but it was with great sadness that I read of the closing of Morris Commercial Cars in 1972. MCC was more than a factory, it was a community. Many generations of families worked there and had strong links with the firm. It had a proud and heroic history.
MCC had photos of the assembly lines after the nightly air raids, with the workers first job in the mornings was to clear away the debris so the war production could commence. I was too young to have personal experience of the war time conditions, but when I started I worked with seniors who had worked there and they told me how things were.
They said that they had a captured German engine which they tested and that it ran on full load for weeks with no problems, something they said they had nothing comparable. They also said that some of the night shift women would not work until they had been "attended" to, their men were in the armed forces. There were a lot of women and few men!
I think the first nail was hammered into the coffin of the British Motor Industry durring my apprenticeship when they gave control to the economists. They then started to produce the car they wanted to sell rather than the car people wanted to buy! I think that the British cars were the best in the world before then. Cars like the Riley, a small limosine, the Wolseley, favourite as a police car. Morris, Austin, Rover, Humber or Hillman. Where are they now.
They started with the 1100 and 1300, then the Mini. The only contribution from the economists was badge engineering. When the Mini first came out, they had one for us to see durring our lunch break over in East Works. I took one look at it and thought it would never sell. I was so wrong. It sold as a Morris, an Austin, a Riley, a Wolseley, a MG and even a Rolls!
A bad photo I remember was a Scottish field, in winter, full of MCC trucks that were waiting to be sold.
I still remember happy hours spent at the MCC club in Ward End, playing tennis, dancing and just socializing. I am a life member of the Morris Commercial Cars Apprentices Association, but it no longer exists. Such is life!!
Expat, I think you hit the nail clearly on its head with the demise of the car industry. Even the mini fizzled after the gimmick wore off!
What is such a shame is that under good management/leadership they can succeed. Mini(BMW), Jaguar and Land Rover (Tata). Same plants, same workers,same equipment. Go figure!
 

Radiorails

master brummie
This is interesting reading, particularly as it it hot today (22C) and most of us probably have time on our hands.
 

boomy

master brummie
Yes I was an Apprentice there 1963 - 1968 moved to Cowley to work ay Service HQ.

Yes it was certainly a community.
Yes I was an Apprentice there 1963 - 1968 moved to Cowley to work ay Service HQ.

Yes it was certainly a community.
MCC Apprentice,
I served my apprenticeship at Morris Commercial too (1955 to 1960), but I think the story about the captured German engine actually refers to when Wolseley tested captured German airship engines during WW1. Wolseley built airship engines and machinery themselves, so were obviously interested in testing, stripping and inspecting enemy equipment at their aircraft factory.
The complete history of Morris Commercial is covered in my book "Buy British and be Proud of it" and Wolseley's non car products are covered in my book "Wolseley Special Products". This is my way of PRESERVING a bit of Birmingham History.
Boomy
 

Dave C

master brummie
My aunt Mary Carr worked at Morris Commercial in Bordesley Green in WW2, I believe she was a machinist on a drilling machine.
It would interesting to see any photos of the work inside Morris during WW2?A7032A02-136B-48C9-9A00-2D049FB136F4.jpeg
 

Dave C

master brummie
thanks Eric, I should have shown the whole photo! The person with their hand on her shoulder is my uncle who was in the RAF at the time, well spotted :)
 
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