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scrutiny
coventry
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1 of 22  Wed 30th Mar 2011 10:09am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

Hi, is there anybody out there with information of when The Singer factory changed hands, also when it was demolished in Canterbury St? Any photos maybe? Anything would be of help. Thank you.
Singer Company
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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2 of 22  Tue 30th Aug 2011 3:35pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Hi, I have no idea when the Canterbury St. factory went, but Singer changed hands twice, once in 1936 following, I think, near bankruptcy, becoming Singer Motors, and then again in 1955, when it became part of the Rootes Group. There is a very good potted history of the company on www.britishmm.co.uk. Hope this helps!
Singer Company
scrutiny
coventry
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Thread starter
3 of 22  Thu 1st Sep 2011 3:53pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

Thanks Rojwhittle, as you say, a nice little potted history. The Singer factory was at the bottom of our back yard and the roof was part of our playground (until my mate fell through the roof). Luckily he was not hurt. Also the Glass factory roof, but that became out of bounds too! It's a shame I did not know more of the history as I could have included it in my book A Coventry Kid's Tale. It's in the book reviews. Thanks Thumbs up
Singer Company
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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4 of 22  Thu 1st Sep 2011 10:17pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Hello mattash, you are more than welcome. I am looking for snippets of information about the motor industry in Coventry for a book. Any personal memories of living near a car factory would be really welcome. I am about to order your book, and look forward to reading it - the reviews are excellent.
Singer Company
InnisRoad
Hessle
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5 of 22  Fri 2nd Sep 2011 8:28am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:126

On my 1927 OS map, Singer had a number of factories in Lower Ford Street, Alma Street, Hood Street, Read Street and Raglan Street. After the war they became BTH factories and later BTH was absorbed into AEI. They made electric motors, magnetos and other similar products. I worked for a short while in the press and machine shop in the Ford Street factory. Many different presses were used, from small hand presses for making small washers to 100-ton presses for stamping out copper blanks. The machine shop had BSA autos and Petermann automatic lathes.
Regards Innis Road

Singer Company
scrutiny
coventry
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Thread starter
6 of 22  Sun 4th Sep 2011 10:16am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

Thanks to both for the information. My dad worked at the BTH Alma St through the war up until the 70s. Also a little ditty for Rojwhittle, my uncle (no names mentioned, don't want a libel suit) worked at the Standard-Triumph, Tile Hill Lane, all his working life. Although the word WORKED is a bit of exageration. He became shop steward and then a convener, this entitled him to an office and no more work on the shop floor. His role was to sort the problems of the men out. The one ditty I remember is when the men on the section of track my uncle was over came with a grievance about one of the men who had smelly feet! They said that unless my uncle did some thing about it they would refuse to work with him (the one with smelly feet), in effect go on strike. which in those days was a regular occurrence. My uncle, not wishing to offend anyone, tried to think of a way of doing it. He came up with the idea of buying the man a few pairs of socks and presenting them to him, thinking he might take the hint. He didn't, he took them as a nice gesture and carried on having smelly feet. The men he worked with then gave my uncle an ultimatum, saying they would be on strike by Friday. My uncle then took the coward's way out and had a word with the nurse (they had full-time nurses in the first-aid post). The nurse then took the man to one side and explained how to stop his feet from smelling. Problem solved and one strike averted. My uncle loved his job and went on to become a Magistrate. Oh my Thumbs up
Singer Company
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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7 of 22  Sun 4th Sep 2011 10:37am  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:57

Hi Mattash. Thank you for the story. I would like to use it in my book if you have no objections, in purely anecdotal form, and without references. I also worked at Standard on placement in about 1965. It was certainly a comedy show.
Singer Company
Chaingang
Tile Hill Village
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8 of 22  Fri 11th Nov 2011 5:26pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:60

My father in law worked at the singer in the 1920's.
adopted coventry

Singer Company
K
Somewhere
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9 of 22  Fri 11th Nov 2011 6:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:560

I too remember an anecdote about Standard Triumph in the 60s. It was said that a Herald was unfinished on a Friday afternoon, and finished on the Monday. When it came to be driven off the line, it was found to have the steering wheel on one side and the pedals the other. (A bit like the MCP Morris Ital 2.0HLS that one of my colleagues at Jaguar ordered. When it came it had HLS trim one side and L trim the other. It took months to get it sorted - the computer said it was OK, so it must be!) In the late 60s, I worked at Eddystone Radio in Alvechurch Road, in Brum, which joined Longbridge Lane. A lot of Austin wives worked on the line at Eddystone, and you could always tell when there was a lay-off or a strike by the queue of women at the door, looking for a job! Some shops at Longbridge never worked more than one day a week for all the time that I was employed at Eddystone, though, and the men's wives had no option but to work. I well remember the Singer SMC 1500 in the 50s. A very nice car in advance of its time; but being in advance of its time doesn't mean profits - as BL often found out - and if I remember correctly, if anything, it hastened their demise. It just didn't sell in large enough numbers. Singers were always quite pricey in an era when you couldn't afford to be, unless selling to the well-off; and Singers didn't have the right image for that. Armstrong Siddeley was another maker bound to fail. The Sapphire, for instance, had hand-fitted parts, even the carburettor, which meant that you couldn't buy one and fit it; the car had to go back to the factory. Suicide in an era like the 50s.
Singer Company
Adrian
UK
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10 of 22  Fri 11th Nov 2011 6:53pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:191

I think Singer also had a factory in Days Lane where the Singer Le Mans was made. It may still be standing.
Singer Company
Tricia
Bedworth
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11 of 22  Sun 1st Jan 2012 7:04pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2011  Total posts:545

My husband worked at Rootes Group, in the Experimental Department, in Canterbury Street circa 1966, one or two years later the department moved to the Humber Road works. He's not sure if the Canterbury Street factory closed then.
Singer Company
charabanc
Coventry
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12 of 22  Mon 17th Sep 2012 7:53pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:167

The Singer Halls offered a limited amount of student accommodation in September 1994 and opened fully in 1995. The two closes within the complex are named after models of Singer cars, the Gazelle and the Vogue.
Singer Company
Foxcote
Warwick
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13 of 22  Mon 17th Sep 2012 8:27pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:901

I don't know whether this link (Commemoration of the Centenary of George Singer's death) will be of any help to anyone.
Singer Company
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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14 of 22  Tue 18th Sep 2012 2:45am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3557

That is a tribute to be proud of. Thank you for showing the link Foxcote Thumbs up
Singer Company
Memories Of Coventry
Coventry
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15 of 22  Sun 24th Mar 2013 11:42pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:26

Here is a photo that someone uploaded onto "Memories of Coventry" - Canterbury Street
Singer Company

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