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British Industrial History

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Camp Bird

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Camp Bird Ltd, general mining company and holding company, of Dover St, London

c.1902 Public company founded[1].

1934 Acquired the property and assets of the Santa Gertrudis Company, in liquidation[2]

1955 Proposal to concentrate on the company's main asset of the Camp Bird mine and its holdings in the Lake George and Fresnillo mines and dispose of its holdings in the gold and industrial markets[3]. The Board was voted out and a new one appointed. Camp Bird Investment Trust was registered[4].

1956 Close relationship with R. H. Windsor announced[5].

1956 The J. Langham Thompson Group was part of Camp Bird; it included 4 companies, one of which was responsible for the Courtney-Pratt High Speed Camera, capable of 125,000 pictures per second; another was making the Sorensen Voltage Regulator[6].

1956 Pulsometer Engineering Co was acquired by Camp Bird[7]. The foundry was said to be 146 years old.

1956 A minority interest in R. H. Windsor was owned by Camp Bird[8].

1956 E-V Ltd company established by Camp Bird to make microphones, loud speakers and gramophones designed by the US Electro-Voice Inc. Shares owned 75% by Camp Bird and 25% by Electro-Voice[9].

1956 Hanworth Engineering acquired by Camp Bird. Name changed to Cold Forging Ltd. Part of the factory would be used to develop the Steiner steel cold forging process acquired by Camp Bird[10].

1957 Hampton and Sons acquired by Camp Bird; the estate agency chain was sold to Mr P Hampton[11]. The subsidiary, Robson and Sons of Newcastle, was sold to Maple and Co[12]

1957 Acquired majority share in Hartley Baird; this completed a chain of electronic automation and communication companies that the company set out to acquire 12 months previously. The chain included all stages from R&D to retail. An R&D centre, to be built at Watford, would be under the direction of Mr J. Langham Thompson, MD of J. Langham Thompson Group.[13]

1957 Acquired controlling interest in Limit Engineering Group[14]. Acquired Coolers and Venders, licensees of US designed vending machines which were made under licence by Hartley Electromotives[15]. Merged Photo Printed Circuits Ltd with P. C. D. Ltd of Farnborough, Hants[16].

1957 Hartley Baird transferred Tenaplas and Creston Electric to Camp Bird for a nominal sum[17].

1957 AGM told that now had 44 subsidiaries - mining companies and the industrial group. Acquired H. Morris and Co Ltd, furniture makers of Glasgow. Cold Forging Ltd had displayed its products at an international exhibition for the first time; Hanworth Engineering made the presses for the process. Limit Engineering had motors suitable for portable record players which was seen to be a growth market; Hampton's main shop in Kensington dealt with radio/TV[18].

1958 AGM told about continued expansion of the group. New companies acquired included 2 German companies involved in plastics and a British distributor, a minority interest in Rubber Plastics, Automation Systems and Controls and further companies involved in vending machines; R. H. Windsor Ltd had been sold to Webley and Scott. The whole group had around 3000 employees[19].

1959 Acquired shares in Harland and Wolff and requested seat on the board which was rejected by the chairman[20]. Production of Electronic Reproducers Ltd and Electronic Reproducers (Components) Ltd was transferred from Bletchley to Limit Engineering Group's premises at St. Albans. The arrival of stereo had caused major disruption to several parts of the group as suitable products were not available; rapdi work had been done to develop stereo pickups, etc. Massive and unexpected demand for presses for cold forging from almost all pressmakers worldwide, as well as demand for cold forgings from several motor manufacturers, had caused major change in operations at Cold Forging Ltd's Sunbury-on-Thames facility. Formed a JV with Automatic Canteen Co of America called Rowe Automatic Merchandising Co Ltd. Licensed Hawker Siddeley the rights to Aake and sell Automatic Canteen's products.[21]

1960 Change of company status to that of an investment company[22]. The Automatic Canteen Co of America acquired Camp Bird's share of Rowe Automatic Merchandising Co[23].

1961 The electrical and electronic interests were being concentrated in Hartley Baird. Had established 3 factories for making cold forging plant and limited production runs, 2 in Germany. [24].

1962 Sold for cash the 80% interest in Hartley Baird and the company's West German interests[25]. After a fractious AGM, partly due to much delayed accounts, a proposal to appoint a "company doctor" did not receive clear support[26].

1963 Company wound up on the petition of Hartley Electromotives[27].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 11 November 1957
  2. London Gazette 31 August 1934
  3. The Times, 25 January 1955
  4. The Times, 5 December 1955
  5. The Times, 15 February 1956
  6. The Times, 11 May 1956
  7. The Times, 11 May 1956
  8. The Times, 11 May 1956
  9. The Times, 4 July 1956
  10. The Times, 16 July 1956
  11. The Times, 17 January 1957
  12. The Times, 6 March 1957
  13. The Times, 4 March 1957
  14. The Times, 18 April 1957
  15. The Times, 29 July 1957
  16. The Times, 27 July 1957
  17. The Times, 21 September 1957
  18. The Times, 11 November 1957
  19. The Times, 1 December 1958
  20. The Times, 21 May 1959
  21. The Times, 14 December 1959
  22. The Times, 23 January 1961
  23. The Times, 6 January 1961
  24. The Times, 23 January 1961
  25. The Times, 29 March 1962
  26. The Times, 19 October 1962
  27. The Times, 8 October 1963