Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Accles and Pollock

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1939 Exhibit at the Black Country Living Museum, originally displayed at the New York World’s Fair
1939 Exhibit
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1960. Issued by the National Coal Board.

A and P Chrome Molybdenum of Oldbury, Birmingham, a tube manufacturing and manipulation company. Telephone: Broadwell 1500. Telegraphic Address: "Accles, Oldbury". (1937 and 1947)

Importance in Bicycle Making
Accles and Pollock was Britain's other lightweight bicycle tubing manufacturer, competing with the more famous Reynolds Tube Co.

Many leading bike builders in the UK during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, preferred to use Accles and Pollock tubing as it was air hardening, unlike the manganese-based Reynolds product which was not. Air-hardening tube-sets actually become stronger when brazed, unlike the normal steel tubing sets, such as 531, which are weakened by heating. Air hardening products were not introduced by Reynolds until well into the late '90s, and are now being marketed to cyclists as the latest thing in steel. Accles and Pollock's Kromo tubing was used by Hobbs of Barbican, Rattrays of Glasgow "The Flying Scot" and Thanet in their "Silverlight" model.

1898 After Accles went into liquidation, Accles secretary, Charles Barlow, took over, forming Accles Tube Syndicate a venture unconnected with George Accles [1].

1900 A new company Accles Turrell Autocars was registered to implement an agreement to acquire the business of motor car and motor cycle manufacturers carried on at Holford Works under the style of Accles-Turrell; the first directors appointed were J. G. Accles, Charles McRobie Turrell, Thomas Pollock and Joseph P. Bedson [2].

1900 The Accles works were advertised for sale by order of the High Court [3].

1901 Pollock Engineering Co acquired the rights to make the Accles-Turrell car.

1901 The name of the company (presumably Accles Tube Syndicate) was changed to Accles and Pollock, after financial backing was provided by Mr. Tom Pollock[4].

1902 The Company was forced to leave Holford Mill, moving to Oldbury in February 1902[5].

1905 Produced the first tubular box spanners[6].

1907 Produced the first tubular sections for aircraft and the first tubular furniture[7].

1909 Two acres of land were acquired in Rounds Green, Oldbury which became Paddock Works[8].

1910 Incorporated as a limited company for the purpose of amalgamating Accles and Pollock, Oldbury Tube Works Co., Oldbury Steel Conduits Ltd. and Merriman Ltd. The latter 2 companies were then put into liquidation; C. T. Barlow was chairman of Merriman Ltd and Thomas Pollock was chairman of Oldbury Steel Conduits Ltd[9]

1910 Accles and Pollock built the world's first all-metal aircraft, the Mayfly, in their Oldbury factory, using a steel tubing structure.

1914 Manufacturers of steel tubes and electrical conduits and fittings. Specialities: steel tubular parts for cycles, motors, aeroplanes etc. and steel for press work, tubular box spanners, Oldbury system of electrical conduits and fittings. Employees 700. [10]

1919 Advert for tubular box spanners and steel tubing.

1919 The company was purchased by Tube Investments (TI). [11]

1927 Advert for cold-drawn weldless steel tube and tubular components. [12]

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Seamless and Stainless Steel Tubes; Cold Rolled Metal Sections, for all purposes. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand Nos. D.915 and D.812) [13]

1937 Makers and manipulators of weldless and stainless steel tubes, and cold rolled metal sections. "A. and P." and "Ankh" Weldless Steel Tubes. "Apollo" Tubular Box Spanners and Wireless Masts. [14]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1939 Exhibit displayed at New York World’s Fair (see photos), an astonishing demonstration of Accles and Pollock’s range of tubing and their ability to manipulate tubes (note the internal fins in the third 1939 photo), not to mention the maker’s ability to fit everything together perfectly in the case! Now on display at the Black Country Living Museum

1947 British Industries Fair Advert: 'Sporting tubes take their stand'. "True-Temper" and "Apollo" Tubular Steel Golf Shafts, "Apollo" Tubular Steel Fishing Rods and accessories, Archery Bows and Arrows, "Roberts-Apollo" Javelins and Ski-sticks. (Sports Goods Section - Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. F.1829) [15]

1963 The company's stainless steel interests were incorporated in T.I. Stainless Steels together with Talbot Stead Steels and Chesterfield Tube[16].

1968 Supplied zirconium pressure tubes for the Winfrith power station. [17]

1996 TI sold the company to the Hay Hall Group.

1998 Sold to the Senior Engineering Group.

1999 Acquired by Tyco International.

1999 Stainless steel mill closed; T45 and Alloys and Manipulation Department became part of Tyco Tube Components (UK) Ltd[18]

2001 Accles & Pollock ceased manufacturing tubs to concentrate on manipulation projects for the aerospace and nuclear markets

2004 Caparo Group Plc acquired Accles and Pollock.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Black Country History [1]
  2. Birmingham Daily Post, 1 February 1900
  3. London Gazette 23 March 1900
  4. Black Country History [2]
  5. Black Country History [3]
  6. Black Country History [4]
  7. Black Country History [5]
  8. Black Country History [6]
  9. London Gazette Issue 25 January 1910
  10. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  11. Mechanical World Year Book 1919. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p114-5
  12. Mechanical World Year Book 1927. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p165
  13. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p595; and p325
  14. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  15. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 419; and p5
  16. The Times, 4 February 1969
  17. The Engineer of 8th March 1968 p399
  18. Caparo Accles and Pollock [7]
  • [8] Wikipedia
  • Black Country Archives [9]