WW1 Great War Centenary - Manufacturing in Wolverhampton

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Villiers Engineering Ltd


Villiers Engineering on Upper Villiers Street was an offshoot of the Sunbeam Company developing pedals and freewheel mechanisms for bicycles. By 1914 the firm was producing motorcycle engines. Like many companies not involved with supply of motor vehicles to the military production was switched to munitions in particular fuses for 75mm shells. Engineering work was also tappet gears for all types of petrol engines, gudgeon pins and other high class precision work. Of the 279 employees 165 were women.

The company continued to develop motorcycle engines, magnetos and other components for the post-war period. Post-war the firm opened a new factory on Marston Road and was a major supplier to the motorcycle industry.


SO9197 : Factories on Upper Villiers Street by John M
Edward Bullifant opened the Blakenhall Tin and Japan works on this greenfield site by 1884. John Marston bought the premises in 1898 and set up a factory to produce pedals for his Sunbeam Works on Paul Street as Villers Cycle Company and run by his son Charles. John Marston built his first Sunbeam car in an adjacent building and went on to build the extensive Moorfields Works from 1900. It is interesting to look through the archway to see the typical scale of workshop manufacturing of the late 19th century.
SO9197 : Factory yard in Upper Villiers Street
by John M



SO9197 : Factory yard in Upper Villiers Street by John M
Typical small manufacturing premises used by Blakenhall Tin and Japan in 1890s. Contrast this with the vast scale of the Sunbeam Car Company's Moorfields Works built some 10 years later.
by John M


KML
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