Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,352 pages of information and 245,904 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alldays and Onions

From Graces Guide




Nov 1919.
January 1920. Furnace for the Tool Room.
September 1920.
1922. Cupola.
Exhibit at Armley Mill Museum.
1923. Spring hammer.
1923. Drop hammer.
February 1931.




November 1953.
1955. Centrifugal Fan.[1]
March 1957.
Exhibit at Finch Foundry
Exhibit at Finch Foundry

Alldays and Onions, of Great Western and Matchless Works, Small Heath, Birmingham, was a manufacturer of motor lorries, cars and vans, cycles and motorcycles, complete outfits for foundries and workshops, hammers, fans, hearthes, forges, cranes, pulley blocks, etc.

See sub-sections:

1885 Company formed by the merger of William Allday and Sons Ltd with John C. Onions Ltd as Alldays and Onions Ltd[2].

1889 Company reorganised as Alldays and Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co. of Birmingham. The company, Alldays and Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co, was registered on 18 December, to take over and extend the business of Alldays and Onions, manufacturers of bellows, portable forges etc. [3]

1896/7 Directory: Listed under cycles. [4]

1898 The company produced its first car, the Traveller

1900 Maker of Roots blowers, smiths' hearths, grind-stones and troughs, vices, stocks, taps, and dies, and moulders', house, and smiths' bellows.

1903 Started series production of cars followed by vans.

1907 Exhibited a light commercial vehicles.

1912 Alldays and Onions, which had been engaged in the general engineering trade for a long time, had more recently established separate works for car manufacture; had also acquired the Enfield Autocar Co including manufacturing rights and trade mark; manufacture of the two types of car would be kept separate; motorcycles were also built[5].

WWI Munitions production

1916 Issue of shares to fund expansion for war work[6].

c.1919 The name of the company had been shortened to Alldays and Onions Ltd.

1920 First AGM for several years; notification of need to raise additional capital[7]

1922 "An interesting ceremony was performed when the directors of Alldays and Onions, Limited, presented an inscribed gold watch to Mr. Albert Williams, in recognition of his sixty years' uninterrupted service with the company. The function took place in the large concert hall at the firm's Great Western Works, Small Heath, Birmingham, which was crowded by an assembly numbering several hundreds, which included the heads of departments and representatives of all grades. Mr. H. Marks, chairman of the company, presided. The presentation was made by Mr. A. T. Cocking, one of the directors, who outlined the career of the recipient. He told how Albert Williams had entered the concern at the age of eleven, in June, 1862, working under has father at 2s. 6d. a week. At that time the firm was J. C. Onions and Co, the establishment of which was in Bradford-street, the amalgamation with the late Mr. William Allday coming about later. During the whole of Albert Williams's record he had been absent from work only four days, by reason of illness, and had never been late. He always walked to business, and did so still - a good mile and a half.

Williams was, it was explained, continuing the paternal tradition, for his father -like the son, a bellows maker - was with J. C. Onions and Co for a period of between sixty·three and sixty-four years, when he retired." [8]

1925 Until only recently, the company had been conducted by a receiver and manager on behalf of the former debenture holders. In 1925, it was transferred by him by a new company, and the business from August 1925 continued under the name of New Alldays and Onions. The new board consisted of Sir William Mitchell Cotts and Mr A. T. Cocking.[9]

1925 Dec - They moved their London office from Stevenage House, 40-44 High Holburn, to 9, Victoria-Street, Westminster, S.W.I.[10]

1932 Largely owned by Mitchell Cotts and Co

By 1936 was part of Mitchell Cotts and Co[11].

1969 Mitchell Cotts combined the company with another of its subsidiaries, J. C. Peacock (Engineers) also involved in industrial fans, in a new company called Alldays Peacock[12].

1980s Alldays Peacock was acquired by the Spire Group.

2005 Taken over by the Witt Group

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. Volume VIII. Engineering. Oxford University Press, 1955
  2. The Times, 14 January 1916
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Cycles
  5. The Times, 2 October 1912
  6. The Times, 14 January 1916
  7. The Times, April 27, 1920
  8. The Engineer 1922/07/07
  9. The Engineer 1925/09/04
  10. The Engineer 1925/12/04
  11. The Times, 16 December 1936
  12. The Times, Aug 27, 1969
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • [2] CyberMotorCycles web site
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris
  • The Engineer of 22nd June 1900 p650