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Wolseley Car History

boomy

master brummie
I worked for the Sales Director of Wolseley in the 1960s and remember we were asked by British Leyland for any information on our company as they were compiling a book or booklet to celebrate a landmark in their history. I was given the task of looking throught the archives and the most memorable item was Minutes of a Board Meeting in about 1904 when the decision was taken not to continue with the manufacture of cars "as there was no future for them".

This was Wolseley Engineering in Electric Avenue in Witton, who manufactured sheep shearing equipment in the early days and when I worked there - agricultural machinery. A sister company on the same site was Webbs Lawnmowers.
I researched the Minute ledgers in depth and there is no statement whatsoever in them that "there was no future for cars".
And, of course, the sheepshearing machine company sold off their car and machine tool business to Vickers Sons & Maxim in 1901, so in 1904 the company had no dealings with cars whatsoever.
I published a book specifically about this subject "Herbert Austin - His Wolseley Years" which is only available from the Wolseley Register.
Boomy
 
Sorry I don't remember your dad Eric, as I said it was a happy firm to work for in those days, and I know that Mr. Drake who was the Chairman used to park his car at the Webb side and walk through the factory each morning and always spoke to the men on the shopfloor, he was a real gentleman. His children Gabrielle went onto be an actress - "The Brothers" among her credits, and son Nick who was a singer, but unfortunately committed suicide, and became more famous after death.
 
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julie1

knowlegable brummie
Sorry I don't remember your dad Eric, as I said it was a happy firm to work for in those days, and I know that Mr. Drake who was the Chairman used to park his car at the Webb side and walk through the factory each morning and always spoke to the men on the shopfloor, he was a real gentleman. His children Gabrielle went onto be an actress - "The Brothers" among her credits, and son Nick who was a singer, but unfortunately committed suicide, and became more famous after death.
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
On Bargain hunt repeat this lunchtime. Visit to British motor museum in Warwick showed this photo of a tractor manufactured by Wolseley for Scott's Antarctic expedition , but which could not reverse and would have needed the transport of lots of fuel to make use of it.

wolseley tractor for scotts antarctic expedition.jpg
 

PA739

knowlegable brummie
On Bargain hunt repeat this lunchtime. Visit to British motor museum in Warwick showed this photo of a tractor manufactured by Wolseley for Scott's Antarctic expedition , but which could not reverse and would have needed the transport of lots of fuel to make use of it.

View attachment 146586
Three of these motorised sleighs were built and taken to Antarctica for Scott's Expedition.
They are covered in great detail in a book "Wolseley Special Products" which I bought from the Ian Allan bookshop, but that shop closed, so do not know where, if, the book can still be obtained.
PA739
 

johnny082

master brummie
It's amazing what you remember when your mind is jogged. An uncle of mine, Frank Pendle worked at Wolseley cutting and stitching the leather seats. He and his wife Edith lived in Croydon Road Erdington
 

A Sparks

master brummie
There is a 60's (I think) Wolseley car parked at the front of a house near where I live, it looks in good condition, all nice and shiny and well kept.
 

twotogs

New Member
I'm not sure which dept. Sylvia, he was there as I said for 40 odd years so may have moved around, he listed his job as 'viewer' at one time. His name was Len Gibson. Eric.
I remember Len Gibson he worked in general inspection and taught me how to read a slide rule, I worked in the press shop as a tool setter. Neil (Billy)Ford
 
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