Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Adamant and Western Engineering

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of Reading and Luton

1955 Formation of public company by merger of Adamant Engineering Co of Luton and Western Manufacturing of Reading[1] in order to acquire more capacity to meet demand in face of shortage of labour in Luton.

Business was mainly concerned with manufacture of the Marles steering gear; also continued the Western activities in electrical actuators for aircraft, the Miller printing machine (from USA), high pressure wax thermostats (handled by a new joint subsidiary Western and Thomson Controls)[2]

1956 Formed an electronics division which licensed an automatic weighing device from ICI[3].

1958 Intention to concentrate steering gear production at Reading and sell the Luton factory; new factory opened at Southampton to supply UK Atomic Energy Authority[4].

1959 Had developed a mechanical handling system as a diversification product in view of the reducing demand for components for aircraft[5]. Acquired Steel Fabricators (Cardiff)[6].

1960 Acquired Charles S. Madan and Co[7].

1961 Agreement with Bendix Corporation of USA for manufacture and sale of Bendix manual and power assisted steering[8].

1962 Announced development plans for Reading airport at Woodley, which the company owned; the airport would close in 1963[9].

1963 Acquired Southern Areas Electric Corporation[10]

c.1964 Name changed to Adwest Group[11].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times 12 February 1955
  2. The Times 30 December 1955
  3. The Times 9 November 1957
  4. The Times 27 November 1958
  5. The Times 4 November 1959
  6. The Times 28 November 1959
  7. The Times 12 July 1960
  8. The Times 31 August 1961
  9. The Times 29 September 1962
  10. The Times, 8 October 1963
  11. The Times 16 October 1964