Author Topic: Industrial Birmingham  (Read 8040 times)

Peg Monkey

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #99 on: June 20, 2019, 10:11:24 PM »
Looks like a Trotter mobile from Reliant. O0
I was studying at the Birmingham Business School, UCE and was seconded to The Reliant when it went broke for the last time, it was really weird, one day the factory was buzzing with about 80 employees, the next day I went in and there was only me and a couple of managers finishing off some cars, I reckon you could have got a Scimitar sportscar dirt cheap if you'd put an offer in to the liquidator.
I once had a lift in a Reliant Van - unbelievable noisy and rough ride.
Peg.
P.S. No connection between me being there and them going broke - at least I don't think there was!.

Sidecarsid

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #100 on: July 19, 2019, 07:15:34 AM »
I have just come across this.
Bournbrook is an industrial and residential district in southwest Birmingham, England, in both the Selly Oak Council Ward and the Parliamentary District of Selly Oak. Prior to what is commonly termed the Greater Birmingham Act, which came into effect on 9 November 1911, the Bourn Brook watercourse was the North Eastern boundary of Worcestershire, and the area was locally governed by the Kingís Norton and Northfield Urban District Council. The Ariel Motorcycle factory was situated in Seeley Road.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #101 on: July 19, 2019, 02:00:56 PM »
......... The Ariel Motorcycle factory was situated in Seeley Road.
By the early 60s the company was producing 3 models - The Ariel Leader (sort of a GT with windscreen, legshields, pannier cases and an enclosed engine) the Arrow and Golden Arrow, these two being stripped down sporty versions of the Leader. Ariel had its fans but I wasn't one of them, all their bikes had 2-stroke engines, simpler than a 4-stroke but they were "Smokey Joes" and sounded tinney.
Head down Peg, incoming from Ariel fans! :-\
Peg.

AWJD

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #102 on: July 19, 2019, 02:44:50 PM »
The Ariel Motorcycle factory was situated in Seeley Road.
I believe the Ariel factory was originally located in Dale Road but expanded into Grange Road prior to being taken over by BSA in 1962 and transferred to Small Heath. The Ariel Leader was their idea of what future motorbikes should look like and protected the rider from the oily mechanics although it took some getting used to especially at night because its headlight was fixed to the monocoque frame and didn't point in the direction of travel when going around corners! I remember that the Ariel Arrow had very impressive acceleration for a 250cc learner bike, given that it was a 2-stroke twin, but it's somewhat futuristic design wasn't most riders cup of tea, including mine!

Sidecarsid

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #103 on: July 20, 2019, 06:30:48 AM »

Hi folksI do recall going through Bournbrook on a bus along the Bristol road where the rail bridge is situated and just as we were about to go under the bridge I happened to look up the road to the left and I'm 100% sure I saw the Ariel sign, on a building on the left of that road, I looked it up in the A-Z which says it's Seely Rd. This was going back to the late 1990s. I was quite surprised because Ariel had closed down years before. It might have been a service centre, I don't know but I certainly saw the Ariel sign.
I was on my way to the BMW motorcycle dealers up Rednall way to pick up my K75s after having it's 6000 ml service at the time. I wil certainly stand to be corrected as I'm now pushing 73, and people of my age do tend to forget certain elements of life.                         (This is my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)     

mike mancott

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #104 on: July 20, 2019, 12:57:03 PM »
Does anyone remember Eric Oliver, the sidecar racing champion? He used to live opposite my parents, and he tinkered (sorry - tuned) his machine, working on the short driveway in front of his house.

Sidecarsid

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #105 on: July 21, 2019, 06:28:51 AM »
Hi Mike.
You certainly don't  need too go far to find someone who remembers Eric Oliver as I certainly do remember Eric Oliver, I must have been in my early teens and still wet behind the ears. He is one of many sidecar racers from the Midlands, ie Chris Vincent, Bill Bodice, Fred Hanks, Denise Keen to name but a few.There are bound to be some that I may have forgotten, I will have to put it down to my age.
Can I ask where your folks lived?

mike mancott

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #106 on: July 21, 2019, 07:22:48 AM »
They lived in Sandhurst Avenue, B`ham 34 (near to Hodgehill Common).

Sidecarsid

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #107 on: July 21, 2019, 09:33:10 AM »
When I was a sprog 70+ years ago we lived in Bellbarn Road our dad worked in some of the small engineering companies within in the Area of the Middleway, and Broad St, there used to be a lot of small engineering business around that area in those days. Our dad was a toolmaker by profession, He worked at one of these engineering companies within this area, I recall him walking to work as it was so near. He played in this companyís football team, in fact I recently saw a photo of a team and he was in that photo, his name, Vic Drumm. I do recall some of you guys who knew him as his name popped up in several of the comments.
I then read with dismay that some evil Cretin had somehow deleted these photos, I did intend to make a copy and send it to my older brother in OZ as he too had been looking into our dadís life from his work aspect.                                                                            He did go on to work for many of the bigger companies, Wilmot Breedon was one of the first big companies he worked at. From there he went into the aircraft industry as we had by then moved into our first new house built by Dareís, this was in Briddsland Rd Tile Cross. The Aircraft manufacturer was originally called Armstrong Whitworth at Baggington just outside of Coventry, It then became Armstrong Siddeley. After that the name seemed to change every year and so on until the last name change which I think was to Hawker Siddeley Argosy. That closed in the late 50s.
After this he went straight into the Standard-Triumph Motor Company, then after several years he got me a job there in the early 60s working on the 2000cc-2500 PI and the Dolomite range. I recall going for a spin with a roller tester called John Harvey who I found out later he was a rally driver. I had ten minutes to spare so I got into this Police Dolomite Sprint, He took it up to 70mph and by then it was bouncing all over the place, then he said hang on and put his foot down, he got it up to 125mph and it was jumping about something terrible and was scaring the hell out of me. Needless to say I never sat in a car with him again although we ended up being good mates.
What a place that was, I must have met a lot of guys from all branches of motorcycle sports, Ex Sidecar Motor Crossers, Sidecar Grass track racers and two international Motorcycle Road Racers one was an Endurance Racer Gary Green who rode for Japauto the French Endurance team while the other was Ron Hackett a 125 & 250cc GP Road Racer. His brother John was the only person within the UK who was allowed to touch a Works Ducati Road Racing engine.
Then there was me, I was a sidecar passenger and also a solo racer with a Royal Enfield GP5 rolling chassis with a Les Williamís 500cc Suzuki tuned engine grafted into the Enfield GP5 chassis solo racer. The power to weight ratio was stunning as I could beat many on BSAs, Triumphs &  Nortonís.
Wonderful memories. By the way Mike the area code was B26!!
 

mike mancott

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #108 on: July 21, 2019, 11:54:57 AM »
Very interesting. Oh, I thought Ward End where my parents lived was B34, always was as far as I know. Not that it matters too much. My dad had a very small factory in Garrison Lane, making spray pressure vessels, mostly I think for export, and I think that the factory closed down either because some foreign country renaged on payment, or the brit government at the time didn`t like the countries he was exporting to, and closed off his opportunities to expand.

Peg Monkey

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Re: Industrial Birmingham
« Reply #109 on: July 23, 2019, 02:58:43 PM »
Anybody been the victim of Fast-Tracking? I have, looking back I can't believe I didn't see it coming, but then again I couldn't have done much about it anyway.
Here's the irony, when the Londoners took over, the beneficiery and me (the victim) both got called into the new boss' office and were told We've completed our plan for the re-organisation and you don't form part of it.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Peg.