A Little Piece Of ( Radiator) History

Old stories, photographs, videos etc
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Rick Cobley
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Posts: 578
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:32 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK
Great Britain

A Little Piece Of ( Radiator) History

Post by Rick Cobley »

Hi, I was sorting through some radiators the other day to find one suitable for project 272H.

On one of the radiators, I came across this tag and decided to google it!


I found a very interesting story done by the Oxford Mail

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/commun ... ufacturer/

Here is the text of the original article incase it is removed at some time by the original poster.


THE Oxford firm which supplied thousands of radiators, heaters and other parts for Cowley-built cars, didn’t start life too promisingly.

The cooling elements of the early radiators were made of brass, steel and cooper, soldered together. But when Osberton Radiators opened in 1919, most of the 10 workers employed there had never seen or used a soldering iron.

Bosses issued them with instruction sheets and ordered parts for a metal toy aeroplane called a Joey so that they could practise and develop their soldering skills.

When the First World War ended, William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), creator of the Cowley car industry, asked Mr H A Ryder, who ran the Doherty Motor Company in Coventry, to start a radiator factory in Oxford.

The new company moved into an old roller skating rink and bus depot in Osberton Road, off Woodstock Road, taking its name from the road where it was based.

Despite their initial lack of skill, the 10 workers were soon producing radiators for the Bullnose Morris.

As demand increased, more space was needed and the firm took over an old shirt factory in George Street.

William Morris bought the firm in 1923 and two years later, started work on the former brickworks site off Woodstock Road it was to occupy for 75 years.

In the 1930s, the factory diversified into producing exhaust systems, petrol tanks, bonnets and sumps and during the Second World War, it made radiators and other parts of Spitfire aircraft.

At the height of the war, 3,000 people worked there on day, night and twilight shifts. Boys from St Edward’s School often delivered Spitfire parts in their handcart.

The factory, which had its own Home Guard platoon, also produced radiators for the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine mounted on Lancaster, Halifax and Mosquito bombers and an assortment of military hardware.

After the war, the success of the Morris 8 and later the Morris Minor marked a busy era for the factory, but by the 1970s, it survived closure at the expense of huge job cuts. In 1987, by then known as Oxford Automotive Components, it became part of the Unipart Group.

The factory had its own sports and social club. In their spare time, workers turned out for the works’ football and cricket teams, while others put on stage shows.

The factory closed in 2001 and the site has now been developed for housing. But the story of the Radiators – or the Rads as it was affectionately known – lives on in the Morris Motors’ section of the Oxford Bus Museum at Long Hanborough.

Among the exhibits is a diamond jubilee booklet on the firm’s history from 1919 to 1979 with a large picture of Mr HA Ryder, known to everyone as HA, whose foresight and determination did much to start Osberton Radiators on its road to success.

I found a "Joey" also https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/42225061

Regards Rick Cobley

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