Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,113 pages of information and 245,598 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.

Hawker Siddeley

From Graces Guide
June 1953.
1958. Orenda Iroquois engine for Avro "Arrow" .
04th March 1961.
July 1961.
December 1961
December 1961
Feb 1962.

Hawker Siddeley was a group of British manufacturing companies


1935 Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Co was formed as a public company to purchase Armstrong Siddeley Development Co and 50% of the shares in Hawker Aircraft Ltd [1], bringing together the 2 largest UK companies involved in manufacture of aircraft. The companies acquired included the automotive and engine builder Armstrong Siddeley Motors, the aircraft manufacturer Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, A. V. Roe and Co (Avro) and Air Training Services. The constituent companies continued to produce their own aircraft designs under their own name as well as sharing manufacturing throughout the group. Sir Thomas Sopwith was chairman of the new company.

WW2 Hawker Siddeley was one of the United Kingdom's most important aviation concerns, producing numerous designs including the famous Hawker Hurricane fighter plane that, along with the Supermarine Spitfire, was Britain's front-line defence in the Battle of Britain. During this campaign, Hurricanes outnumbered all other British fighters, combined, in service and were responsible for shooting down 55 percent of all enemy aircraft destroyed.

1945 Hawker Siddeley purchased Victory Aircraft of Malton, Ontario, Canada from the Canadian government, renaming the company, A.V. Roe Canada, commonly known as Avro Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley. During its operation, Avro Canada produced the Avro Jetliner, Avro CF-100 and CF-105 Arrow.

1948 The company name was changed to Hawker Siddeley Group. The aircraft division would become Hawker Siddeley Aviation (HSA) and the guided missile and space technology operations as Hawker Siddeley Dynamics (HSD).

1957 Hawker Siddeley purchased the Brush group of companies[2] which included Brush Electrical Machines and Brush Traction who manufactured electromotive equipment and railway locomotives; the engine builder Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day was acquired as part of the Brush acquisition. Other railway engineering assets were acquired. Brush Traction's Falcon locomotive was also known as HS4000 (Hawker Siddeley 4000 h.p. engine).

1957 Collaboration formed with John Brown and Co to apply nuclear power to marine propulsion, electrical generation and industrial applications [3]. Hawker Siddeley John Brown Nuclear Construction was registered as a private company in September.

1958 Formed joint venture with Beyer, Peacock and Co to manufacture diesel hydraulic locomotives; this was called Beyer Peacock (Hymek) Ltd[4].

1958 In the late 1950s the British government had decided that, with the decreasing number of aircraft contracts being offered, it was better to merge the existing companies, of which there were about 15 surviving at this point, into several much larger firms. Out of this decision, came the "order" that all future contracts being offered had to include agreements to merge companies. Hawker Siddeley merged all its aviation interests into one division, Hawker Siddeley Aviation; these companies were Hawker, Avro, Gloster, Armstrong Whitworth and Armstrong Siddeley[5]. The other part of the company was Hawker Siddeley Industrial Division which was formed to hold the industrial assets; this division had 4 main lines of business - electrical, engines, alloys and constructional engineering[6]

1959 the aero engine business, Armstrong Siddeley, was merged with that of the Bristol Aero-Engines to form Bristol Siddeley Engines.

1959 Folland Aircraft was acquired, followed by de Havilland Aircraft Co and Blackburn Group in 1960.

1959 Announcement of joint venture with J. Lyons and Co called Primapax to make, hire and sell vending machines; the machines would be made by Gloster Equipment Co[7]

1960 As part of a general consolidation in the aircraft industry, Hawker Siddeley acquired Blackburn Group and de Havilland Holdings, making this one of the 2 large airframe manufacturing groups in Britain[8]

1960 Hawker Siddeley Industries included[9]:

1961 Mirrlees National was created from the amalgamation of Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day with the National Gas and Oil Engine Co.

1961 Hawker Siddeley Group was split into separate, autonomous divisions: aviation and industrial; it comprised 30 major manufacturing companies. Employed 90,000 persons. [10]

1961 Group consisted of 3 major operational units: HS Aviation, HS Industries and A.V. Roe Canada, plus subsidiaries in South Africa and Australia. Annual sales of £324 million, compared with £6 million 25 years earlier when the Group had been formed[11]. Diesel engines were supplied by Petters, Mirrlees and National; electrical equipment by Brush Electric and Fuller as well as supply of Brush locomotives to British Railways.

After the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, the Canadian company began to unravel.

1962 A.V. Roe Canada was dissolved and the remaining assets were transferred to the now defunct Hawker Siddeley Canada. The heavy rail manufacturing business, based in Mississauga and Thunder Bay, Ontario, have been acquired by Bombardier Transportation.

1963 the names of the constituent companies were dropped, with products being re-branded as Hawker Siddeley or "HS". In this period, the company developed the first operational and most successful VTOL jet aircraft, the Harrier family. This aircraft remained in production into the 1990s and remains in service.

1965 Acquired R. A. Lister and Co, so Blackstone's became a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley.

1968 Acquired Crompton Parkinson

1970 Acquired Brook Motors with the help of the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation[12] and the 2 were combined as Brook Crompton

1972 Sold the communications division of S. G. Brown[13]

1973 Hawker Siddeley acquired Aberdare Holdings including the industrial electronics firm South Wales Switchgear[14], Opperman Holdings, Washington Engineering, the power equipment division of Bowthorpe Holdings, the aluminium forging business of Alcan Booth Industries, William Aitkenhead. Decided to proceed with the new aircraft, the HS 146[15]

1974 Mr. T. J. Loveland was appointed to the board of Hawker Siddeley Holdings. He was the managing director of F. W. Brackett and Co, Colchester, Essex.[16]

On 29 April 1977, as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act, Hawker Siddeley Aviation (HSA) and Hawker Siddeley Dynamics (HSD) were nationalised and merged with British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and Scottish Aviation to form British Aerospace (BAe). HSA and HSD accounted for only 25% of the Hawker Siddeley business by this time.

Industrial Activities post-aerospace

1977 In August, L. Gardner and Sons was acquired by Hawker Siddeley as the result of a cash offer for that company's shares[17].

1979 Acquired Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co[18]

1980 The non-aviation and foreign interests were retained in a holding company known as Hawker Siddeley Group Plc after 1980. Subsidiary companies included[19]:

The group was rationalised in the 1980s, focusing on railway engineering and signalling, industrial electronics and instrumentation and signalling equipment.

1981 Acquired a majority interest in Carlton Industries, principally for its car battery activities

1984 Hawker Siddeley acquired the remainder of the shares in Carlton[20]

1985 Battery interests included Haddon-Oldham, Oldham Batteries, Tungstone Batteries[21] as well as Crompton Batteries and K. W. Battery[22]

1985 Hawker Siddeley, which had held one third of the equity, acquired the whole of the electric cable and accessories business of the Aluminium Wire and Cable Co[23]

1985 In order to strengthen the offering in the small diesel market, Petters and Listers were merged as Lister-Petter

1986 The group had major interests in:

  • Electric motors and generators
  • Electrical distribution and controls
  • Electrical specialised equipment
  • Diesel engineering
  • Mechanical specialised equipment

1988 Formed Delta Crompton Cables, 64 percent owned by Delta Metal Co and 36 percent by Hawker Siddeley (Crompton Parkinson ), to pool most of their cable interests[24]

1989 Formed Hawker Batteries to hold the battery interests

1989 Purchased GEC Small Machines Co.

1989 Hawker Siddeley acquired GEC Alsthom Electromotors with works at Bradford, Birmingham and Newcastle under Lyme[25]

1991 Acquired Chloride's industrial battery division[26]. The management planned to concentrate on manufacturing electric motors and batteries, and servicing of aircraft engines[27]

1991/2 South Wales Switchgear was merged with Brush Switchgear and renamed as Hawker Siddeley Switchgear (HSS). It had an Australian subsidiary, Hawker Siddeley Switchgear Australia.

1991 Hawker Siddeley Group Plc was acquired by BTR.

1996 FKI acquired the Hawker Siddeley Electrical Power Group of BTR Plc[28]

Another company which retained the HS name is Hawker Siddeley Power Transformers. Orenda Aerospace, as part of the Magellan Aerospace Corporation, is the only remaining company from the Avro Canada / Hawker Siddeley Canada era, although greatly diminished in size and scope of operations.

Aircraft Models

The Hawker Siddeley name was not used to brand aircraft until 1963. For Hawker Aircraft Ltd. aircraft see Hawker Aircraft.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 15 July 1935
  2. The Times, 7 May 1957
  3. The Times, 16 July 1957
  4. The Times, 21 May 1958
  5. The Times, Oct 16, 1958
  6. The Times, Jan 16, 1959
  7. The Times, August 26, 1959
  8. The Times , February 6, 1960
  9. The Times, February 18, 1960
  10. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises
  11. The Times, 6 July 1961
  12. The Times, May 02, 1970
  13. The Times, July 19, 1972
  14. The Times, 2 November 1973
  15. The Times, April 29, 1974
  16. The Engineer 1974/05/30
  17. The Times, 24 April 1978
  18. The Times Monday, Apr. 21, 1980
  19. The Times, March 3, 1980
  20. The Times, Mar 08, 1984
  21. The Times, October 15, 1988
  22. The Times, March 25, 1986
  23. HS 1985 Annual report
  24. The Times, December 22, 1988
  25. The Times, October 13, 1989
  26. The Times March 16, 1991
  27. The Times Friday, October 11, 1991
  28. The Times (London, England), Friday, September 13, 1996