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British Industrial History

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Marshall Motor Bodies

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September 1954.

of Airport Works, Cambridge

Commercial Coachbuilders.


Post WWII Marshall Motor Group flourished in the post-war era and steadily grew to include garages in Peterborough in 1946 and Bedford a few years later, as well as a number of operations in smaller towns.

1946 Following the Second World War, the reduction in aircraft work led to a diversification into vehicle body building, as Marshall Motor Bodies Division, which later become Marshall Specialist Vehicles (Marshall SV). Aircraft fitters built the first bodies on commercial vehicle chassis which were sold to number of local and national companies including Chivers, Millers and Whitbread. Also made Black Marias for the Metropolitan Police, outside television broadcasting vehicles for the BBC, as well as radar vans for Marconi, ambulances for the Scottish Ambulance Service and military ambulances for the British Armed Forces.

1950s Marshall SV manufactured a wide range of buses; took over bus production from Mulliners. More recently the company built a number of buses for London Transport and other bus operating companies around the country.

1953 Marshall's Motor Bodies Ltd. Directors: A. G. G. Marshall, O.B.E., M.A., F.I.M.I. (Chairman). M. St. Clair Marshall, M.B.E. (General Manager). Provincial Sales: H. D. Baird. London and South East Sales: G. Collett, M.B.E. Chief Designer: D. G. McMillan.

1957 Marshall SV and Tom Bacon, the inventor of the fuel cell, developed a 3 kilowatt fuel cell powered by hydrogen and oxygen which was demonstrated on an electrical forklift truck.

From the 1960s to the end of the 1990s Marshall SV worked on a wide range of projects, including the manufacture of a large number of support vehicles for the Armed Forces, including in particular bodies for Bedford Trucks, which was later bought out by Marshall SV

More recently the company built a number of buses for London Transport and other bus operating companies around the country.

1970 National Bus Co ordered 134 new bus bodies from Marshall of Cambridge (out of total order of 1895)[1]

1995 Marshall produced their first minibus.

1996 Chester City Transport accquired two models.

1997 Glossopdale bought four models.

1999 Marshall sold the business to ERF.

Since 2000 Marshall SV has developed a number of new and innovative projects, including a range of modular medical facilities for the National Health Service, and supplied of these to hospitals, also Incident Response Units and Prime Mover vehicle systems for the Fire Service, and counter-measures equipment for the UK Government's National Resilience programme

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jul 31, 1970
  • Marshall Group [1]