Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Walmsley (1892-1961)

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William Walmsley (1892-1961) was a co-founder of the Swallow Sidecar Co, which later became Jaguar

1892 Walmsley was born in Stockport, the son of a coal merchant.

1921 When his father retired, the family moved to Blackpool. Walmsley then lived in King Edward Avenue, close to William Lyons. Walmsley had designed a motorcycle sidecar which attracted Lyons, who bought one. The following year, the men decided to begin producing the sidecar commercially. The Swallow Sidecar Company of Blackpool was the result.

In 1927, the company started coach-building motorcars, putting their own bodywork on an Austin Seven chassis. Four years later, they contracted to buy engines and chassis from Standard Motor Company.

Sales were good, and at the 1931 London Motor Show their SS class car was exhibited. It cost under £350 (£18 thousand in today pounds).

1934 Walmsley commissioned a personal SS.1 two seater.

Walmsley was content with the company's modest success and saw little point in taking risks by expanding the firm.

1935 Lyons bought him out and became the sole owner, shortly after the company had moved to Coventry. Walmsley continued in business making trailers

1961 Living in Poulton when he died. Publication of estate[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jul 31, 1961