Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Metal Industries

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of 145 Saint Vincent Street, Glasgow (1935)

1920 William Edward Evans gained a patent (presumably on a method of production of oxygen)[1]

Began business as ship breakers, marine salvage, metal merchants and refiners in Charlestown, Fife[2].

1922 Company formed as Alloa Shipbreaking Co.

1926 Acquired Rosyth Shipbreaking Co, of HM Dockyard, Rosyth

1929 Company name changed to Metal Industries.

1932 Disposed of Oxygen Industries Ltd to British Oxygen Co Ltd in exchange for shares[3].

1933 Acquired marine salvage undertaking at Scapa Flow of Cox and Danks

1935 Became a public company - metal merchants, metal refiners, ship breakers, and ship salvers at H.M. Dockyard Rosyth and Charlestown, Fife and Scapa Flow[4].

1935 Application with British Oxygen Co and others to extend Weaver's patent[5]

1937 Metal merchants. [6]

1943 Acquired Electrical Switchgear and Associated Manufacturers Ltd, which owned Brookhirst Switchgear Ltd; also acquired Igranic Electric Co of Bedford; had increased shareholding in Sentinel Waggon Works (1936) Ltd[7].

Postwar: acquired facilities at Faslane Port.

1947 Company was operating in three main areas[8]:

1948 Acquired Fawcett, Preston and Co[9]

1949 Acquired Cox and Danks[10]

1952 Acquired the rest of the capital of John Allan and Co (Glenpark)[11]

1954/5 Acquired Finney Presses which would complement the presses business of Fawcett Preston; took over the business of unbreakable resistors of the Rheostatic Co[12] which was put into Fawcett Preston.

1956 Addressed poor profitability by selling Sentinel and curtailment of the activities of 2 electrical subsidiaries - Brookhirst Switchgear and Cantie Switches[13]. Other subsidiaries included[14]:

Substantial management and organisation changes were made in the electrical division. Redirection of the mechanical engineering businesses away from sub-contract work[15]

1958 Acquired Farmer Brothers (Shifnal), constructers of steelwork. Integrated its long established subsidiaries Brookhirst Switchgear Ltd and Igranic Electric Co Ltd into Brookhirst Igranic Ltd.[16]

1959 Acquired Towler Brothers (Patents) including its subsidiary Electraulic Presses[17].

1959 Metal Industries Ltd acquired Avo Ltd, including its subsidiary Taylor Electrical Instruments Ltd[18]

1960 Acquired Lancashire Dynamo Holdings Ltd which doubled the size of the group; rights issue to pay for the acquisition. Total of 38 subsidiaries. Towler Brothers was working with Brookhirst on a joint development[19].

1960 Subsidiaries included:[20]

1961 Had 24 subsidiaries manufacturing. Employs 12,000 persons. [21]

1967 As part of a programme of focussing on strategic assets, disposed of J. G. Statter and Co, switchgear makers to English Electric Co, and Fawcett, Preston and Co, rubber and plastic extrusion machinery makers[22].

1967 Thorn Electrical Industries acquired Metal Industries after a contentious battle with Aberdare Holdings[23]. This included Lancashire Dynamo Electronic Products which was later renamed Thorn Automation[24]. Associated with the deal was the acquistion by AEI of Lancashire Dynamo and Crypto[25]

Acquisition by Thorn Electrical Industries would secure sheet metal supplies for Thorn's domestic appliance business

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette Issue 27 December 1935
  2. The Times, Apr 09, 1947
  3. The Times, 29 July 1935
  4. The Times, 29 July 1935
  5. London Gazette Issue 27 December 1935
  6. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  7. The Times, 14 August 1943
  8. The Times, Apr 09, 1947
  9. The Times, Sep 09, 1948
  10. The Times, Sep 18, 1950
  11. The Times, Sep 04, 1952
  12. The Times, Jan 21, 1955
  13. The Times, Jul 03, 1957
  14. The Times, Jul 11, 1957
  15. The Times, Oct 10, 1956
  16. The Times, Jul 09, 1958
  17. The Times, 8 July 1959
  18. The Times, 8 July 1959
  19. The Times, 16 August 1960
  20. The Times, August 16, 1960
  21. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises
  22. The Times, 1 July 1967
  23. The Times, 7 August 1967
  24. The Times, 1 January 1968
  25. The Times, 15 September 1967