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Wartime and the Blitz

Wartime Shadow Factories

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argon
New Milton
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1 of 19  Sat 15th Feb 2020 5:18pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:366

I found a film on YouTube about the shadow factories in Coventry during the war, whilst I was looking, unsuccessfully, for dispersal factories. It is an hour long documentary and details in the conception and development of the shadow factory scheme. Edited by member, 15th Feb 2020 6:10 pm
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
p fandango
Binley, Coventry
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2 of 19  Sat 15th Feb 2020 7:50pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2019  Total posts:22

My great grandad was a watch maker in Earlsdon, he used to give my nan (a schoolgirl at the time) parcels to give to a man she had to meet at the corner of Hearsall Common. Turns out it was gauges for ships/submarines
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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3 of 19  Sat 15th Feb 2020 8:49pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1789

Very interesting film. Just a brief glimpse of the Jaguar Daimler, Browns Lane, factory where my dad worked. He actually worked for the Gauge and Tool but was sent there to work.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
argon
New Milton
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4 of 19  Sat 15th Feb 2020 9:20pm  
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Anne. My dad worked at the Gauge during the war, I think in the tool room, I believe on naval gun sights. Before the war he was self employed and so it must have been a wartime enrolment.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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5 of 19  Sun 16th Feb 2020 10:19am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1789

Argon. My mum, step grandad and his dad also worked there and would have been there during the war. My step grandad Eric Wilson who I have mentioned on here before, was there until the 1960's and then he went to work at their factory in Poole. Eric and my nan moved down and lived in Highcliffe which I believe is not far from where your profile says you live in New Milton. Was your dad in the Special Police or G&T Home Guard, as I have put pictures of both on here?
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 19  Sun 16th Feb 2020 11:08am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3744

Wartime, you had no choice, you worked where you were told, or sent by the ministry. Eighteen year olds were told the 'pit' or the forces.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
argon
New Milton
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7 of 19  Sun 16th Feb 2020 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:366

Anne, we lived in Warwick for much of that time, after being displaced by the bombing. My dad said that he was sent for firewatching in Warwick but when he turned up the man in charge told him that as they did not have a spare bed for him he might as well go home.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Greg
Coventry
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8 of 19  Sun 16th Feb 2020 3:24pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:301

On 15th Feb 2020 5:18pm, argon said: I found a film on YouTube about the shadow factories in Coventry during the war, whilst I was looking, unsuccessfully, for dispersal factories. It is an hour long documentary and details in the conception and development of the shadow factory scheme.
Watched it last night and it was brilliant. Thank you for the link.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
argon
New Milton
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9 of 19  Sun 16th Feb 2020 5:56pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:366

You're welcome Greg. Nice to find something interesting.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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10 of 19  Mon 17th Feb 2020 12:32am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3556

On 16th Feb 2020 11:08am, Kaga simpson said: Wartime, you had no choice, you worked where you were told, or sent by the ministry. Eighteen year olds were told the 'pit' or the forces.
Kaga, you could tell who went down the pits, by the blue coal dust embedded on their faces many years later.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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11 of 19  Mon 17th Feb 2020 4:22pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3744

Argon, Looking for dispersal factories, may I ask what that means? I heard of factories splitting their sites during the war, but....
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
argon
New Milton
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12 of 19  Mon 17th Feb 2020 4:46pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:366

Kaga. When I started to look at shadow factories was when I found dispersal factories. The shadow factories were originally often sited in the towns, possibly next to an existing factory. After the first bomber raids it was realised that they were still vulnerable and so the follow up plan was to site them away from vulnerable sites, for example in the countryside or old buildings that had been used for something else. I think that a lot of them were smaller units than the original shadow factories and a lot were sub contractors for the main companies. Thus there was less chance of a sub contractor supplying essential parts being destroyed and holding up production. My interest was that my wife's father managed one for precision engineering in Priors Marston or Byfield, she cannot remember which, and I was trying to pinpoint it. I should add that the generic term shadow factory generally included dispersal factories in common use. Edited by member, 17th Feb 2020 4:49 pm
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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13 of 19  Tue 18th Feb 2020 9:05am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3744

Argon Yes, factories broke up into little fragments, spread them around. Dunlop placed a small factory in Exhall - held no more than fifty men, two more only half a mile away held less - dispersal units.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
Potters Green Lad
Long Lawford Rugby
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14 of 19  Tue 18th Feb 2020 8:37pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2015  Total posts:41

This is an interesting topic to crop up! My father Glyn Prewett passed away many years ago but recently I discovered that he was working at Daimler at the beginning of the war making Bren guns and after the Blitz on Coventry, when Browns Lane was badly damaged, he was sent to a shoe factory in Burton on Trent called Eatoughs where he trained the staff to make components for the guns. After the war, he stayed on in Burton, met my mum and we all moved back to Coventry in 1959, to Potters Green which was a new development then. My father was not a chap to talk much so I had no idea he even worked at Daimler until recently but if anybody has information on Daimler during that period of armament manufacture or the dispersal of the workforce I would be very grateful.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories
flapdoodle
Coventry
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15 of 19  Sun 23rd Feb 2020 4:40pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:889

I visited a large German factory a couple of years ago for a meeting. It was in the middle of nowhere. Someone asked one of the German guys "Why did you build this factory in the middle of nowhere?" He laughed and said. "So you couldn't find it during the war!"
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime Shadow Factories

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