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Munitions Works - Ici/kynoch, Witton - Ww1, Ww2 And Later

Discussion in 'Factories & Offices' started by MikeRiley, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. MikeRiley

    MikeRiley Guest

    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.
     
  2. KeithH

    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.
     
  3. MikeRiley

    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..."
     
  4. sylviasayers

    sylviasayers master brummie

    Munitions Factory

    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.
     
  5. Frantic

    Frantic Guest

    Munitions works

    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.
     
  6. Nipper

    Nipper Guest

    Munitions works

    Hi Mike,

    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.
     
  7. arealpal

    arealpal master brummie

    Re: Munitions works

    Hi Mike
    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
     
  8. O.C.

    O.C. Guest

    Re: Munitions works

    Photo's of the witton site are due to go on the WW1 section
     
  9. Jean Price

    Jean Price Guest

    Re: Munitions works

    :handshake: My late father-in-law worked at ICI Kynoch Works in Witton (Holte Road is still in Witton and was only a short walk to the Kynoch Works) from a boy until his retirement and my husband served his apprenticeship there also. Please submit any queries you have and my husband will try to answer as best he can as unfortunately a lot of water has passed under the bridge since he left.
     
  10. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Munitions works

    Jean/MikeRiley,

    There is a short history of the company here which will answer some of the questions. More information is available if needed.

    Chris
     
  11. Wendy

    Wendy Guest

    Re: Munitions works

    Great stuff Cromwell we wait in antisipation.
     
  12. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

  13. mike jenks

    mike jenks master brummie

    Re: Munitions works

    hi

    This should be part of the kynochs or IMI Threads.
    This organisation is all over the place .
    Sorry to moan.

    Mike Jenls
     
  14. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Munitions works

    I agree with you Mike, but the trouble is, it belongs here as well, under Munitions Works. And it could possibly be under another one, Munitions Factories in the Great War. It’s a great pity if people are unaware of useful parallel threads. For example someone seeing this thread may not find the Kynoch/IMI ones – and vice versa. Perhaps anyone finding these postings via Google or similar would like to note that there are interesting parallel threads in this forum – which can be found by using the Search button.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  15. G G Jean

    G G Jean Brummy Wench.

    Re: Munitions works

    :) Frantic. My mom Edna worked in the canteen for several years. She was a pastry cook. Jean.:)
     
  16. Di.Poppitt

    Di.Poppitt master brummie

    Re: Munitions works

    We do have a thread for Kynochs/IMI, but this thread was actually started on 2003. It is always worth looking at a date, so no one is off topic here.:)
     
  17. Fairney View

    Fairney View knowlegable brummie

    Re: Munitions works

    In my Grandmothers papers: 20yrs Metal Works Machinist 952 Kingstanding Rd. Handsworth. 1940-1.
    I'm creating a picture of what it must have been like living in Monument Rd Ladywood, going to work - who was the firm? And what did women do there?
     
  18. Phil

    Phil Retired Layabout

    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

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Fairney View

    Fairney View knowlegable brummie

    Re: Munitions works

    Thankyou.These photos speak a 1000 words. It is very good to be reminded, especially when your forebears didn't talk about their heroic efforts in the past amidst their own personal battles. It looks like she was sent to work for essential war work in Handsworth from working in pub in a little Scottish village - for the war effort. Then in 1944, it says still, a Metal Works Machinist - but at Longbridge Plant.
     
  20. Wendy

    Wendy Guest

    Re: Munitions works

    Great photo's Phil my aunt worked in munitions at Kynock's and she stayed on after the war. The photo's just bring it all to life.
     

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