Made in Coventry...

A list of local reference sources and other useful information

Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby dutchman » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:04 pm

Alvis Salamander, also known as a Mk6 Fire Tender:

Image

I think this was the last Alvis fire tender to be made in Coventry and it shares the same six-wheel arrangement as their armoured vehicles of the period.
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby rebbonk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:38 am

Image

See what we did have locally?

We discussed it a little here http://icserver.no-ip.biz/coventry/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=747&p=1508&hilit=wing#p1508
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby PoundShopPeter » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:43 am

http://www.facebook.com/notes/echo-community-newspaper/stuck-for-words-you-need-pocket-comms/186173778127069

PocketComms ... from the chaos of Afghanistan / Iraq came this great idea :thumbsup:
The Coventry Telegraph is the best Newspaper in the world. Honest.
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby rebbonk » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:25 pm

PoundShopPeter wrote:http://www.facebook.com/notes/echo-community-newspaper/stuck-for-words-you-need-pocket-comms/186173778127069

PocketComms ... from the chaos of Afghanistan / Iraq came this great idea :thumbsup:


I hope he does well with that. Like all good ideas, nice and simple. :D
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby Spuffler » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:24 pm

It seems to me that there are some more organisations that were in Coventry that it would be interesting to find more information about:
the Royal Naval Ordnance factory. I know they made the excellent 5.5 inch naval gun in WWI, which gave our destroyers far more clout than expected for such small ships.
Smart and Brown (machine tool makers)
Grey and Rushton, vernier makers. I rented part of their premises for a while at 93 Far Gosford St in 1973.
Wickman (machine tools) How could they have been allowed to go under with a full order book by Thatcher's government?
Coventry Movement Company - after they abandoned watchmaking, they make stuff for bicycles, and later, cars. Somewhere I have a small adjustable spanner made by them (must find it!); it's a rather crude device, but nonetheless a bit of history now. I know they were absorbed into Callow and Maddox in later years, but their history from say 1900 through to the post war years appears rather sketchy.

And I'm sure there are a lot more!
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby dutchman » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:29 pm

Spuffler wrote:It seems to me that there are some more organisations that were in Coventry that it would be interesting to find more information about:
the Royal Naval Ordnance factory. I know they made the excellent 5.5 inch naval gun in WWI, which gave our destroyers far more clout than expected for such small ships.


They made a lot bigger guns than that Spuffler! :) See this post: viewtopic.php?p=3989#p3989
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby Spuffler » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:28 pm

I know they did - I've seen the classic photo of one being moved across the road! But that 5.5 was a brilliant product. Most of ourdestroyers had used a 4 inch gun which simply didn't have enough hitting power to be effective (even against other destroyers); the 5.5 meant that destroyers equipped with it could take on at least light cruisers and do some real damage. Obviously, the weight of the armament was an issue for destroyers, which is why they'd previously been fitted with the 4 inch, but the 5.5 was only very little heavier and indeed bulkier, so it was deemed quite revolutionary at the time. HMS Chester (cruiser) was fitted with the 5.5 and performed well at Jutland.

Just as an aside, an Acasta-class destroyer, HMS Ardent, strayed into the German High Seas Fleet in fog after Jutland. One of the German battleships, Derfflinger, brought its A turret round, and fired at the destroyer with its 12 inch guns, but they wouldn't depress enough - the destroyer was too close. The muzzle blast from the 12 inch discharge blew most of the light superstructure off the destroyer - and its forward gun - over the side into the sea, complete with many of the crew. The next muzzle blast capsized the destroyer, and it went straight down.
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby dutchman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Fascinating stuff Spuffler :thumbsup:

Here is one of the actual guns from HMS Chester on display in the Imperial War Museum:

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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby Spuffler » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:52 pm

A little story about AWA. One of my contemporaries at college worked at AWA, and I remember him talking about the ridiculously high costs of things there. the example he gave was a 3/8 inch washer. These bog standard steel washers were bought in by AWA for about 1 penny or less each. Each washer had to be inspected. Then it went for cleaning, then plating. It had more than one coat of plating, and had to be inspected and passed off at each stage. After plating, it had to be subject to further batch inspection, then counted and catalogued. The finished washers were then counted into boxes, and labelled. They then had to be certified, and passed to stores, where they were stored in date order. At the end of all the processes, each washer cost 9 shillings! And was it anything special? No, it wasn't deployed anywhere critical on the aeroplane! You can only wonder at the logic.......
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Re: Made in Coventry...

Postby Spuffler » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:05 pm

I like the photo of the gun from Chester - thanks. I have a photograph somewhere of a 12 inch gun, taken at "Explosion!" in Portsmouth, the museum of Naval Ordnance - all 150 tons of it! If I can find it, I'll scan and post it. There really was some large-scale engineering on warships around the time of WWI!!

Incidentally, ironically, if 1 or even 2 12 inch shells from Derfflinger had hit Ardent, they probably wouldn't have sunk it, but almost certainly have gone straight through - the impact with the thin plates wouldn't have triggered the fuses! Destroyers were quite hard to sink with shellfire; in one of my books there is a photograph of a destroyer with all its bow section blown off, still afloat and level. Its 4 inch shells would have bounced off the Krupp armour on Derfflinger; if you wonder why the German ship opened fire, it's because the role of destroyers in WWI was to fire torpedoes at battleships, so it would have been risky to ignore it. Having said that, surface-ship deployed torpedoes in WWI were notoriously inaccurate, with only about 1% finding their target. Whitehead torpedoes were also slow and had very limited range compared to the type used in WWII, giving their targets plenty of time to turn out of the way. At the same time, British fuses were also notoriously unreliable, with only some 55% working as intended!

This may not be the right thread, but if anyone is interested, I can talk post quite a bit more about naval technology of that period.
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