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British Industrial History

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Armstrong Whitworth (Metal Industries)

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November 1953.
1961. Armstrong Whitworth (Metal Industries).

Note: This is a sub-section of Armstrong Whitworth.

This entry covers the iron and steel foundry and forge activities of Sir W. G. Armstrong & Co at their various locations, as well as the separate division known as Armstrong Whitworth (Metal Industries) Ltd.

1920 Products included[1]:

  • Extruded rods and sections
  • Castings for rudders
  • Tool and alloy steels
  • Hollow forgings
  • Drop stampings

1922 Operations at the Elswick steel works and forge and stamping departments were suspended because no contracts could be obtained that could be achieved at a profit[2]

1927 'Both Lines Cleared for Giant Casting.
One hundred miles of double railway track will be kept clear for the transportation by special train of a huge casting weighing 30 tons from Sheffield to Sunderland during part of Sunday. The casting will be loaded on a six-wheeled bogie flat wagon at Sheffield today. It is being taken from Manchester to Sheffield by road, as owing to its excessive dimensions railway conveyance could not be arranged from Manchester. The casting is a bed-plate 21ft. 7 1/2in. long. 14ft. 7in. wide, and 5ft. 6in. deep. It has been made by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth, and Co., at their Openshaw Works, Manchester.'[3]

1929 After making heavy losses, two private companies were formed by Armstrong Whitworth: Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth and Company (Engineers) Ltd, and Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth and Company (Shipbuilders) Ltd; the former took over the general engineering businesses at Scotswood and Gateshead; the latter took over the the Devon, Walker and Tyne Iron shipyards. The holding company was renamed Armstrong Whitworth Securities Company Ltd[4].

1930 A third private company, Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Co. (Ironfounders) Ltd, was incorporated.

1937 Sir John Jarvis acquired the whole of the share capital of Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Co. (Ironfounders) Ltd, and that of Jarrow Metal Industries, in order to relieve unemployment on Tyneside.

1937 The activities of the company were General Engineers, Roll-Manufacturers and Iron and Steel Founders. The general engineering, iron foundries and machine shops were at Gateshead; the heavy roll and steel foundries were at Jarrow

1953 Name of Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Co. (Ironfounders) Ltd. changed to Armstrong Whitworth (Metal Industries) to reflect more closely the nature of the business. On 4 December became a public company and acquired the remainder of the shares in Jarrow Metal Industries Ltd that it did not already own[5]. Issue of shares. New areas of work included oilfield equipment, photogravure printing presses and infinitely variable gears.

1956 Public dealing in the shares[6].

1964 Acquired Danforth, Jackson and Co anchoring and mooring consultants; already owned the patents for the Stokes high performance ship anchor[7].

1968 Davy-Ashmore acquired Armstrong Whitworth (Metal Industries) Limited of Gateshead and Jarrow, companies, involved in rollmaking as well as general steel casting, general engineering and the manufacture of rock crushing machinery[8].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times May 25, 1920
  2. The Engineer 1922/02/24
  3. Gloucestershire Echo, 10 September 1927
  4. The Times, 10 July 1929
  5. The Times, 7 December 1953
  6. The Times 5 November 1956
  7. The Times, 7 June 1966
  8. The Times, 14 August 1968