C. V. A. Jigs Moulds and Tools
of Portland Road, Hove
1917 Began operations in Hove when C. A. Vandervell and Co established a factory there, initially on a temporary basis, to produce war materiel including munitions.
Post WWI the company traded as C. A. V. Small Tools
1926 Made their first lathe, the CVA Wade lathe
1934 The company split from CAV and the name was changed to C. V. A. Jigs Moulds and Tools. Eric Aron became Managing Director; under his direction the Company was always able to find a market for one or more of its products. The company was almost self-sufficient, with most of its products wholly manufactured in Portland Road.
WWII Expanded the factory and took on another in Kemp Town.
1943 Production of machine tools for armaments was stopped throughout the country by Government order; the company's facilities largely switched to aircraft production but continued some tool production.
1946 Public company incorporated
1947 Started to produce Kearney and Trecker mills under licence; these had power feeds and so displaced the home-grown product. Introduced a High Speed Automatic lathe.
Late 1950s, the very large machines made by Kearney and Trecker were to be built by CVA. The Portland Road site was not really suited to products of this size, so two new sites were developed - Hollingbury in Brighton and Lineside in Littlehampton where new factories were built.
1957 Kearney & Trecker Corporation bought some CVA shares
1966 Kearney & Trecker acquired the remaining shares. The name was changed to Kearney & Trecker; the headquarters were moved to Hollingbury.
1972 The rights to the Auto Lathes were sold to Brown and Sharpe Ltd of Plymouth, ending almost 50 years of manufacture of CVA machine tools. Auto production in Brighton would be gradually wound down over the following two and a half years. This would allow the company to concentrate on Kearney & Trecker numerical control and automotive machines.
1973 the Portland Road site was closed.
1973 the firm merged with Marwin Machine Tools to become KTM (Kearney and Trecker Marwin). In the early 1990s there was a management buyout led by Michael Bright, and the company became F. M. T. (Flexible Manufacturing Technology), which went into receivership in 1994.
Lathes in Detail
The lathes.co.uk website provides good information on CVA toolroom lathes and small precision lathes
Sources of Information
- The Times, Nov 18, 1946
- The Times, Aug 28, 1954
- The Times, Mar 16, 1960
-  'My Brighton and Hove' website - 'CVA and the Hollingbury Industrial Estate' by Peter Groves: a good summary of the history of the factory, with personal recollections
-  lathes.co.uk website - CVA Toolroom lathes and miniature precision lathes