Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,801 pages of information and 211,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Royal Small Arms Factory (Birmingham)

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Royal Small Arms Factory at Sparkbrook, Birmingham

  • c.1885 On liquidation of the Small-arms and Ammunition Co Ltd, the government purchased the factory in order to secure the production of small arms. Over the next 2 years about £40000 was invested in re-equipping the factory[1]. Presumably this was added to the Royal Small Arms Repairing Factory in Bagot Street (otherwise known as "The Tower") as there was great need for extra repairing capability[2].
  • 1887 Report by Lord Morley's committee into the Manufacturing Departments of the Army, which consisted of 4 establishments: Woolwich, Waltham Abbey, Enfield and Birmingham; the committee made a number of recommendations for reorganisation, having taken account of modern industrial practices[3].
  • 1888 About 100 men were employed on new work and 600-700 on repairs. Removal of plant to Enfield caused concern that the Sparkbrook factory was to be moved to Enfield[4].
  • 1893 The government-owned gun factories in Birmingham were at Sparkbrook and Small Heath; debate in Parliament focussed on the question of Enfield versus Sparkbrook[5].
  • Late 1890s The Lanchester Engine Co purchased part of the site, the Armoury Mills, for car manufacture.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 5 May 1888
  2. Birmingham Daily Post 1 April 1885
  3. The Times, Saturday, Jul 30, 1887
  4. Birmingham Daily Post, 5 May 1888
  5. Birmingham Daily Post 13 March 1893
  6. Leicester Chronicle 10 February 1900
  7. The Times, 28 January 1919