Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wilmot Breeden

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of Eastern Works, Birmingham, motor accessory engineers.(1932)

of Amington Road, Tyseley, Rushey Lane, Tyseley, and Camden Street, Birmingham, and at North Acton (1949)

Early 1920s C. L. Breeden joined a small company employing 200 people[1]. This was presumably Wilmot Manufacturing Co which was at Eastern Works, Birmingham.

1927 Breeden converted the company into the Wilmot Breeden company at Eastern Works (see advert), to make metal goods, including motor accessories.

1933 Claimed to be the largest maker of bumpers in Europe; supplied a range of components to Standard Motor Co[2]

1936 Supplied chromium-plated bumpers to Standard[3].

1937 Aeronautical engineers.

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1948 Private company. Supplier of many accessories for motor vehicles

1949 Advert. Locking petrol cap

1949 January: private company incorporated as Wilmot Breeden (Holdings) Ltd which was formed to acquire the business and assets of Accessory Developments Ltd. Directors included Carl L. Breeden, of Wilmot Breeden Ltd, John P. Wilmot of Accessory Developments Ltd, Lionel F. Herbert of Morris Commercial Cars, Hubert A. Meredith, of Philip Hill and Partners Ltd and David L. Breeden, a director of Wayne Kerr Laboratories Ltd[4].

1949 July: Public company incorporated; published statement that the company had been formed to acquire business of the same name which manufactures various metal goods, including for the motor industry. Directors; Carl Louis Breeden, Lionel Francis Herbert, Hubert Angelo Meredith, David Lucas Breeden, Miles Lucas Breeden[5].

1952 D. L. Breeden, son of the founder, was chairman and managing director; his brother Miles was another managing director[6]

1952 5,000 employees[7].

1954 Supplied components to almost all British car manufacturers[8]. Increasing component supply to aircraft industry[9].

1955 Acquired the remainder of the shares in Telehoist[10], having first acquired an interest some years previously.

1958 Wilmot Breeden acquired a majority interest in Wayne Kerr Co, specialist in electronic measuring equipment[11].

1958 Wilmot Breeden acquired (majority of) the Ferrograph Company Ltd; the other subsidiary was Telehoist Ltd, hydraulics company[12] [13]. Wilmot Breeden added higher powered amplifiers, radio tuners and monitor loudspeakers to Ferrograph's range of products.

1961 Products of the group are mainly comprising components parts and assemblies for the following industrial divisions: motor vehicles; domestic appliances; aircraft engines and stationary gas turbines; hydraulics; electronics; air-conditioning and pneumatic conveying installations; petroleum, chemical, nuclear and industrial process plant. 9,000 group employees.

1961 Acquired 45 percent of S. A. F. E. of Turin, an automotive components maker, which would in future make components designed by Wilmot Breeden in Birmingham[14]

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. All types of car components

1977 Falling sales resulted in heavy financial losses for Ferrograph. In order to safeguard jobs the National Enterprise Board arranged a marriage between Ferrograph and North East Audio Ltd (NEAL). Wilmot Breeden sold the Ferrograph company for £500K. Other parts of Wilmot Breedon were also in trouble. In January 1977, the Wayne-Kerr division went onto a 3 day week "due to a run down in orders". Although short-time working at Wayne Kerr only lasted for 3 months, the electronics division made losses of nearly £500k due partly to Ferrograph and partly to Rendar.

NEAL took on the production of the whole Ferrograph product range except for the ARA1 cathode ray tube response unit.

1978 Owned Compagnie Industriele de Mecanismes (CIM), Telehoist, which were doing well and Truflo which had suffered from drop in demand for valves[15]

1978 In response to the oil crisis, Wilmot Breeden (Holdings) was finally split into 2 companies: WB Bumpers to operate the Tyseley factories and Wilmot Breeden to handle the mechanisms and merchandising side of the Stirchley factory[16].

1979 Acquired by Rockwell Standard[17].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 3 June 1952
  2. The Times Sept. 26, 1933
  3. The Times, 7 October 1936
  4. The Times, 8 January 1949
  5. The Times, 27 July 1949
  6. The Times Jun 03, 1952
  7. The Times, 3 June 1952
  8. The Times 26 March 1954
  9. The Times, 15 June 1954
  10. The Times, 16 June 1955
  11. The Times, 2 April 1958
  12. The Times, 12 June 1958
  13. The Times, 11 June 1959
  14. The Times Dec. 8, 1961
  15. The Times May 18, 1978
  16. The Times, 4 January 1978
  17. The Times, 16 June 1980
  • Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill. Published by Sutton Publishing 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2593-0
  • The Autocar of 19th August 1949 Advert outside read cover