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British Industrial History

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Kearney and Trecker Marwin

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1973 January. Kearney and Trecker Marwin was formed by the merger of Kearney and Trecker UK and Marwin Machine Tools.[1]. Walter Norton was appointed chairman

1974 KTM needed to restructure earlier than intended due to effects of the three-day week. KTM approached the Department of Industry for assistance under the Industry Act.[2] The government took a half share in the business and brought Vickers in to provide management[3]

1976 The company had returned to break-even. Vickers decided to exercise its option to take a majority share in the company[4]. W. E. Norton's subsidiary Pressroll opposed this in a court action, and proposed that KTM Machine Tools (Holdings) should be wound up[5] but were unsuccessful.

1977 Was working on a transfer line for a Fiat factory in Poland and had completed an order in conjunction with a tractor factory in Poland[6]

1980 Awarded Queen's Award for Export

Michael Bright was managing director

1983 A leader in Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS)[7]

Early 1990s there was a management buyout led by Michael Bright, and the company became F. M. T. (Flexible Manufacturing Technology); the business was concentrated in part of the earlier factory complex.

New products were developed and the Company was involved in many high tech projects for the likes of Jaguar, Rover, JCB and Shorts of Belfast. Additionally exports were doing well, with the Company working on projects in Belgium, China, the U.S.A, and with government approval, Iraq.

In order to increase the product range acquired 2 machine tool companies: Noble and Lund of Newcastle, and Kearns-Richards of Manchester, both of whom were in receivership.

The Company also purchased a derelict building on Crowhurst Road, which had been empty for some years. It was perhaps these investments, along with a decline in sales, which was to be the downfall of the Company.

1994 In February F.M.T. went into receivership[8]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1974/01/24 p 20.
  2. The Engineer 1974/06/13
  3. The Times, Oct 30, 1974
  4. The Times May 27, 1976
  5. The Times, Jul 27, 1976
  6. The Times, Feb 23, 1977
  7. The Times, May 16, 1983
  8. [1] 'My Brighton and Hove' website - 'CVA and the Hollingbury Industrial Estate' by Peter Groves: a good summary of the history of the factory, with personal recollections