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Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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1 of 61  Wed 31st Mar 2010 9:40pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1478

I don't have any information about what was behind the gateway, but coincidentally I was contacted a while ago by a chap who knows the owner of an Alvis photographed outside those very gates in 1923. He sent me scans of the photos which I've put below. The current owner, Robert Hunt, is hoping to have the car renovated within the next year or two, and is planning to bring it back to Coventry to recreate a "now and then" in that same place in St. Columbas Close. I'm hoping that he'll remember to contact me again when he's ready - I'm looking forward to seeing that occasion! It will be especially nice if he doesn't mind other interested folk dropping by to see it. Post copied from topic Middleborough Terrace on 27th Mar 2021 12:15 pm
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 61  Wed 26th Oct 2011 11:14pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2688

Circa 1930: Interior:
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
19FoleshillRd
Allesley
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3 of 61  Sat 29th Oct 2011 7:12pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:31

I remember the Alvis bridge had an illustration of the "Leonides" aero engine on it for some time and when the factory closed, the panels on the bridge where removed to reveal the original iron structure which is visible today - well, when the road isn't closed that is! Lol
If all else fails, read the instructions!

Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
heritage
Bedworth
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4 of 61  Sun 30th Oct 2011 11:45am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:346

Not a nice recollection but one of my late father's brothers was killed under the bridge in 1933. Returning from a dance to the family home at the Paybody Hospital, Allesley he ran into the back of a lorry. The driver of the lorry had stopped under the bridge to shelter from driving rain and switched his lights off to save his battery.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
NeilsYard
Coventry
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5 of 61  Sun 30th Oct 2011 12:00pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

Sorry to hear that heritage - hope the driver was done for that - Its never been very wide! Did the lorry have a leak Sad I found a great photo on the web the other day showing Holyhead Road westbound when there were fields where the BMW/Mini dealers are now! If someone (OK Dutchman!) finds it - please post. As someone who only knows the city centre with the Ring Road/Precinct, I really love seeing old photos which include a little bit of today. It's very hard to picture areas like Broadgate/Smithford Street in its former fantastic setting when there's so little left.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
NeilsYard
Coventry
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6 of 61  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:47pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

On 31st Mar 2010 9:40pm, Rob Orland said: I don't have any information about what was behind the gateway, but coincidentally I was contacted a while ago by a chap who knows the owner of an Alvis photographed outside those very gates in 1923. He sent me scans of the photos which I've put below. The current owner, Robert Hunt, is hoping to have the car renovated within the next year or two, and is planning to bring it back to Coventry to recreate a "now and then" in that same place in St. Columbas Close. I'm hoping that he'll remember to contact me again when he's ready - I'm looking forward to seeing that occasion! It will be especially nice if he doesn't mind other interested folk dropping by to see it.
Out of interest looks like the car is still off the road being restored - this may help to date the photos: ALVIS Reg.: HP6161 Date of First Registration : 27 07 1923 Year of Manufacture : 1923 Cylinder Capacity : 1496cc Fuel Type : PETROL Vehicle Colour : RED
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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Thread starter
7 of 61  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:54pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1478

Hi again Neil, It looks like you've found out more than I had! I'd nearly forgotten about all that, and when I saw that you'd revived this topic I suddenly remembered that it had been an awful long time since I'd heard from that chap about the car. I assumed that either it had still not yet been restored, or that he'd forgotten to tell me about it. Looks like the former is true then - well done for finding out! Interesting to see RED as the colour, I thought they only made cars in black and white on those days! Lol
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
NeilsYard
Coventry
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8 of 61  Sun 30th Oct 2011 4:55pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

Wow - actually the car has its own website!! How fantastic to see
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
Alvisnick
France
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9 of 61  Tue 1st Nov 2011 6:21pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:21

Re Alvis Bridge - that would have been early 20's as they are advertising the first 2 Alvis cars, the 12/40 & 10/30, both about 1921/22. Photographed from the old car factory. This was built by Holley Brothers in 1917 for WWI production of carburettor parts for vehicles and parts for bullets and shells. Bought by Alvis in 1919 and turned into the car factory. As well as the first Alvis cars in 1920 there was a weird cyclecar called the Buckingham made there, but was not successful and quickly discontinued when Alvis success became evident. Ther 'new' factory, or 'Aero-Side' as it was called was begun about 1935, but car production remained at the old works until bombed in 1941.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
Alvisnick
France
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10 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 12:43pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:21

Before the Holyhead Road works (ex-Holley Carburettor Co) on the town side of the railway became 'Alvis', it was called 'T.G. John Ltd'. They built Hillman engines under license and installed them in lighting sets for country houses under the brand name of 'Electra' and also a motor scooter known as the 'Stafford Pup'. Not many made. The pic of Holyhead Road looking towards town is about 1934 - Claridge Holt were shippers and became known later as the Motor Packing Co where cars were crated for shipping abroad. Always looking for snippets, anecdotes, pictures and references to do with Alvis & their early days, a pic of the Holyhead Road works with the Holley name on it eludes me.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
dutchman
Spon End
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11 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 2:21pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2688

I thought Holley were based at 17 Hertford Street before being taken over by T.G. John?
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
19FoleshillRd
Allesley
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12 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 7:09pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:31

On 26th Oct 2011 9:11pm, Alvisnick said: I am looking for pictures of the Alvis car factory on Holyhead Road and anecdotes from people who worked there.
I worked at the Alvis as an apprentice to a local electrical contractor during the late 1960's. I remember the last of the TF21 rolling chassis leaving the shop in which we were working. I presume it was sent to Park Ward to have its body fitted. Part of the shop was then converted into a machining centre for the Rover V8 engine, this would be 1967. Other projects that I was involved with included the rewiring/relighting of machine shops and installing infra-red security along the front fence on Holyhead Road (not very successful I recall!). Although I never worked there, I seem to remember there was a test track at Baginton for the fighting vehicles. I made a lot of friends during my time there and have some happy memories. Probably the saddest though was driving past and seeing the demolition taking place Sad - gone but not forgotten Thumbs up I was a member of the Alvis Caravan Club for a number of years whilst my kids grew up. I believe it's still in existence today. Cheers
If all else fails, read the instructions!

Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
Alvisnick
France
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13 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 8:04pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:21

Thumbs up Thanks for everyone's response. Thanks Dutchman - Both T.G. John and Holley Brothers had their businessess registered at Hertford Street - this was the office of Peirson's, the accountants, not their factories (this is/was common business practice). The existing pics of Hertford Street as it was show it to have been the 'business' or 'downtown' street for Coventry with banks etc prewar. I am informed there is a Town Planning Application in existence at Coventry Records showing Holley Brothers' planning application for the Holyhead Road factory. I haven't seen it yet - will have to wait for my next UK visit! 19FoleshillRd - Thanks for your anecdote - great - it is said that the last few TF21 chassis were assembled individually at the Alvis Service Department at Jobs Lane as the main works was needed for assembly of military vehicles? Does that ring a bell?
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
K
Somewhere
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14 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 8:27pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:522

Hello all Another Alvis anecdote. My father, who was a panelbeater, worked for a Coventry sheet metal company whose name I don't know, in the late 1920s, making "duck's back" bodies by hand, in polished aluminium. The owner of the factory was named Ernest (Ernie) Roche, and my father worked for him for several years up to 1931, when he went to the Experimental Department at Humber. Roche's factory did all sorts of work, including repairing the weathercock on the cathedral spire after it blew down in 1927. That job was apparently contracted to a firm in Yorkshire, who then subcontracted it back to Roche's firm, and my father was given the task of doing the actual repair. But I digress from Alvis; in the 1920s they appeared to have had virtually all of their bodies made outside, and of course, Cross and Ellis were well known for that activity. I well remember the Alvis works, and the year before I left school, which would have been 1961, I spent an afternoon in the hull machining and fabrication shop where they built the Saracen hulls. The noise in there was incredible, and so was the large machinery,used to bore out the various holes in the thick plate hulls after they were welded up as effectively completed chassis. I should think that 19FoleshillRd's comment about the last TF21 chassis being made at Job's Lane (which I presume became Henlys' service department at a later date) would be accurate, it's very hard to see how they could have been made at Holyhead Road amongst all the military stuff.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis
NeilsYard
Coventry
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15 of 61  Sat 5th Nov 2011 9:00pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

Really interesting guys - found this on the British History website: 'Between 1919 and 1926 twelve other Coventry firms began to manufacture cars for the first time. (fn. 97) T. G. John Ltd. in 1919 took over the engineering works belonging to the American firm of Holley's Brothers, (fn. 98) produced the Alvis car, and in 1921 became the Alvis Car and Engineering Company and in 1936 Alvis Ltd. (fn. 99) Clarke, Cluley and Company, although it had produced a tricar in 1904, (fn. 1) manufactured the Cluley light car only between 1921 and 1928. (fn. 2) Wigan-Barlow Motors, connected with the Lewis Ordnance Manufacturing Company, produced a few cars between 1923 and 1924, some probably at Coventry. (fn. 3) The others were the Dawson Car Company (which began production 1920), Marseal Motors (1919), the Williamson Motor Company (1916), Albatros Motors, (fn. 4) the CoventryVictor Motor Company (1926), the Cooper Car Company (1923), Emms Motors (1923), W. J. Green, motor cycle manufacturers who produced the Omega three-wheeler in 1925-7, (fn. 5) and the Triumph Motor Company, which began to make cars in 1923.' I thought it could not be a coincidence regarding Holley and Carburettors the famous American firm. Chaingang - My parents and aunt were at Renold - we may have some photos somewhere.
Industry, Business and Work - Alvis

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