Items `Made in Shrewsbury` over the last 100 years are going on display in Shrewsbury`s new Museum later this week. The exhibition includes photographs and products from a number of local manufactures. The exhibition is a result of the work done by an informal group of local history enthusiasts who have researched the companies and have come together under the banner of Made in Shrewsbury, a web based research project.
The project was started in 2006 by Nigel Hinton who worked at Shrewsbury Electronic Engineers Ltd in the 1970s. “When I joined the Company I was really interested to hear the history of the former Hartley Electromotive which in 1955 took over Baird Television and TVs were made in the factory on Monkmoor Road. The take-over included an original `Baird Drum Televisor` and the dummy`s head that John Logie Baird had used in his early experiments.” Nigel added “The Company also made electrical wiring kits for use in electric milk floats made by Wales and Edwards. Some of Hartley`s products from the 1950s and 1960s are on display including a portable radio, tape recorders, and a mini record player, the Wondergram. The taperiter system features an early steel cassette and from the 1970s there is a Microsee microfiche reader that was made for Barclays Bank.”
Other researchers have worked with other companies such as Sentinel who manufactured steam vehicles, trains, buses and lorry`s and in WWII they made a small tank and bren gun carriers. The successor company Rolls Royce made commercial diesel engines and today CAT re-engineers plant and equipment.
Morris`s Lubricants has been manufacturing oils for over 100 years and took over the factory built by Thomas Corbett and the perseverance Iron Works, manufacturers of agricultural engineering products in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The research on the story of Silhouette resulted in a book written by Nigel and a play by Chris Eldon Lee. The play was a sell out when performed at Theatre Severn.
With contributions from Woodvine Norton Asquith by John Jones, Thomas Corbett by Elizabeth Morris and Wales and Edwards by Sue Overy, the exhibition gives a glimpse into the past when manufacturing was an important part of our local economy.
There is still much research to be done and we hope the exhibition will stimulate the interest in other people to tell their stories. Other events are planned for later in the year.
On Saturday at about 11.30 there is a chance to see a Sentinel as it steams into the Square in Shrewsbury to formally open the Exhibition which runs to November 2014.
For more information visit www.madeinshrewsbury.co.uk.