[Perkins of Peterborough] News Review

1950s , Bradford (West Yorkshire)

A newsreel for the staff of F. Perkins Ltd.

Bradford To Cape Town By Diesel Caravan: George Hinchliffe and his wife begin their transcontinental journey from Bradford to Cape Town, South Africa, in their adapted caravan, powered by a Perkin's P4 4 cylinder diesel engine. After a civic send off at Bradford Town Hall the couple, packing a month's supply of food in their wagon, set off for Africa. 27th Paris Agricultural Machinery Exhibition: 90 made Perkins of Peterborough engines attract attention at the 27th Agricultural Machinery Exhibition. Across 20 stands Perkins made power units feature in many of Europe's leading agricultural manufacturers including Renault, Saint-Charmond, Ferguson, Claas and Claeys. Enthusiasts, farmers and industry professionals peruse the stands looking at the latest developments in diesel engine design and manufacture, in particular a cut-away of a 4 cylinder engine and a Perkins powered Renault tractor mounted high up on a stand. Building Diesel Engines In France: In 1954 Peterborough based company F. Perkins Ltd moved some of its engine assembly operation to Coubevoie, a suburb of Paris. The P series diesel engines are built on an assembly line using modern production techniques and tools, which the company are credited as developing. Young Parisians use specially designed labour saving tools to built up the engines, then check the fuel consumption and oil pressure before signing off the machines to be shipped to French speaking nations round the world. A New Diesel Miniature: At Her Majesty's dockyards in Portland the Perkins diesel powered midget submarine is being crewed readt for practise excercises. The X craft's Royal Navy crews served in the Second World War, and five of them ready the X-51, named Stickleback, for a series of dives in the harbour. Under the watchful eye of Lieutenant Commander Todd, the miniature craft undertakes a series of dives and surfaces before a diver practises the repair of a propeller blockage. The Second Submarine Squadron are well pleased with their Perkins P6 Marine Diesel engines. Imperial Defence College Officers Visit Peterborough: Senior Staff Officers of the Imperial Defence Officers, together with two Ministry Officials, visit the Perkins factory at Eastfield in Peterborough. The visitors pose for photographs with Frank Perkins and Perkins staff on the steps of the company headquarters before begining a tour of the factory. Mr. Marvill, the General Works Superintendant, explains the detailled enginering of the Machine Shop Floor to Group Captain Roberts, Colonel Maynall and Lieutenant Colonel Mogg. Group Captain Lane and, Official, Mr. Hazelgrove explore the Finishing Shop where the engines are painted after testing. Lastly, Dr. Adams and the company's Chief Experimental Officer observe the many teired racks of completed engines, running from floor to ceiling. Works At Home 1955: The 4th Works At Home Fair at Eastfields, Peterborough, attracts 13,000 employees, family and friends to the employee organised event. A Summer's day in July begins with a series of speeches lauding the strong relationship between employer and employees from C.R. Waterstone, the Works Convenor and Chairman of the Organising Committee. The Chairman of the company, Frank Perkins, declares a wonderful day is to be enjoyed by all. The stage is packed by dignitaries and senior staff alike, including the Mayor of Peterborough, Lady Benstead and Harmar Nicholls, the M.P. for Peterborough. The children are well entertained with all manner of mechanical amusements; miniature steam trains, round-a-bouts, swings, merry-go-rounds and copious amounts of ice cream and pop. As the children play the staff take an opportunity to look around the company's other departments. Scientists demonstrate the latest developments in the Experimental Department as the Spares Department show off the worldly scope of their business.

Featured Buildings

Bradford Town Hall

Featured Events

27th Paris Agricultural Machinery Exhibition; 4th Works At Home 1955

Keywords

Perkins of Peterborough; Driving; Exploration; Diesel egines; Tractors; Engines; Trade Fair; Innovation; Engine production; Assembly Lines; Exporting; Submarines; Diving; Navy Drills; Tours; Armed Forces; Military Contracts; Funfairs

Other Places

Paris, France; Courbevoie, France; Portland Harbour, Dorset; Eastfield, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Background Information

Bradford To Cape Town By Diesel Caravan: The record breaking Hinchliffe has twice made the journey before. Back in 1952, then 41 years old, the Bradford garage owner drove the route from London to Cape town in 21 days in a Hillman Minx car, and again that same year Hinchliffe took 8 days off of his own record in a Humber Super Snipe. Works At Home 1955: Lord Harmar-Nicholls, who died aged 87, was as Harmar Nicholls an outspoken but popular Conservative MP for Peterborough for 24 years who endured a record number of recounts at general elections [Telegraph Obituary: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1355597/Lord-Harmar-Nicholls.html] [From Modern Motoring & Travel – February 1953 on http://www.maxadventure.co.uk/news_detail.php?article=177]

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