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Ryton Shadow Factory

Coventry Rootes Securities Limited Ryton-on-Dunsmore No.2 Factory Aircraft Division. Designed Photographed and Produced in the Studios of the Rootes Group.

The Rootes Archive Centre has an album dated June 1945 with a remarkable collection of some 120 photographs from the Rootes Studio. The preface to this album reads as follows.

These records depict the growth of the second Aero Engine Shadow
Factory which, in early 1939, Rootes Securities Limited, were
commissioned by the Air Ministry to erect and equip for the production
in quantity of Bristol Hercules Engines.

A site of approximately 60 acres was chosen, situated on the London
and Oxford Road junction leading from Coventry. In June 1939 work
commenced levelling the site, road and sewers laying, erecting
steelwork with special gas, water and electricity mains, these being
necessary to cater for this large factory.

Meanwhile, from temporary offices in wooden huts, staff and techicians
organised equipment, machinery, materials and labour ready to commence
production immediately the buildings were available.

Despite the Declaration of War in Sep'1939, bringing innumerable
difficulties, the first units were completed and despatched early in
1940, after which, production steadily increased until the planned
target of ``one an hour'' was achieved. Early in 1943, with the
factory in full production, the war situation demanded that the output
should be doubled.

This entailed considerable re-arrangement of existing plant, additional
buildings, machine tools and labour, all of which, at that period,
were in exceedingly short supply.

Mainly due to the wonderful team spirit which prevailed amongst our
6,000 employees, who worked long and arduous hours consistently, the
target of ``two an hour'' was accomplished and exceeded, later, to
accommodate the production of the latest type Bristol Hercules 100
Engine, further re-arrangements of the factory layout were necessary.

No effort was spared in the layout to ensure for all the most hygienic
and modern working conditions; a Canteen catering for 6,000 meals a
day -- the most up to date Surgery with fully qualified staff and
Works Doctor always available to deal with any injury and look after
the general health of the workers -- social activities, covering
indoor and outdoor sports, with a large playing field adjacent to the
factory grounds.

In Dec'1943, when ultimate Victory was assured, in common with most
Ministry contracts, we were advised by MAP to reduce production
gradually to a finality by 30/6/1945.  As in the case of No.1
Factory, therefore, this factory will change over to the Industries of
Peace as manufactured by the Rootes Group.

This index lists the page numbers in the Album.

  1. .
  2. .
  3. .
  4. .
  5. Plan of Works
  6. Site of Factory - May 1939
  7. .
  8. Model of Works
  9. Aerial view of Site - June 1939
  10. Site Entrance on London Road
  11. Temporary Offices
  12. Block ``A'' Steelwork Exterior
  13. .
  14. Block ``A'' Steelwork Interior
  15. .
  16. Boiler House Erection
  17. Sub-terranean Reservoir Construction
  18. Storm Water Drain Construction
  19. Storm Water Drain Construction
  20. Sewage Farm
  21. Storm Water Effluent
  22. View of Front Offices from N.E. Corner
  23. General View of Offices from S.E. Corner
  24. Aerial View of Works with Painted Camouflage
  25. Aerial View of Works with Camouflage Netting
  26. South Road Camouflage
  27. Gas Producer Plant
  28. View of Camouflaged Works from top of Office Block
  29. Car Park Camouflage
  30. First Machines in Block ``A''
  31. General View of Block ``A'', Dec'1940
  32. Panoramic View of Block ``A'', Dec'1941 (in full production)
  33. Panoramic View of Block ``A'', Dec'1941
  34. Interior Views Block ``AX''
  35. .
  36. First Hercules Components completed 27/11/1939
  37. First Hercules Blower Units completed 16/7/1940
  38. View of Heavy Section Front Covers and Crankshaft Rear
  39. View of Heavy Section Crank Cases
  40. Borematic Operation on Crank Case Assy
  41. Ryder Automatics on Clutch Section
  42. Tool Reclamation Dept
  43. Tool Room
  44. Heat Treatment Block ``E'' and Electric Salt Baths, Block ``D''
  45. General View, Block ``D''
  46. Radiant Heat, Enamelling Plant and Plating Shop
  47. Polishing Shop
  48. Physical Laboratory ``AX'' and Chemical Laboratory
  49. Physical Laboratory in Block ``A''
  50. Final View
  51. Standards Room
  52. Blow Test Rigs and Rear Cover Rigs
  53. Blower Test Rig
  54. Bulkhead Assy
  55. Engine Build
  56. Crankshaft Assy with Bearings, Main Drive Shaft and Reduction Gears
  57. Crankshaft Assy
  58. Composite View
  59. Crank Case and Sleeve Drive Assy
  60. Blower Assy
  61. Hercules VI Front View
  62. Hercules VI Three-quarter View
  63. Hercules VI with Exhaust Ring and Controllable Gills
  64. Hercules ``100'' sectioned Engine
  65. General View of Crane Bay, Quarantine and Bonded Stores
  66. Power Plant Receiving Bay
  67. General Stores
  68. Grinding Wheel Stores
  69. Test Rig Rectifiers
  70. No.1 Sub-Station
  71. Boiler House
  72. Compressor House
  73. Swarf Disposal
  74. Garage
  75. Foyer
  76. Large Conference Room
  77. Small Conference Room
  78. Photostat Room
  79. Drawing Office
  80. Buying Office
  81. Cost Accounts
  82. Merchandised Accounts
  83. Accounts Dept
  84. Employment Office - Reception
  85. Training Dept - Fitting instruction
  86. Training Dept - Machine instruction
  87. Security Police
  88. Home Guard ``D'' Company, 14th, Coventry Battalion
  89. Fire and Ambulance Station
  90. Fire Tender and Ambulance
  91. Roof Spotters
  92. A.R.P. Control
  93. Surgery Reception
  94. One of the Surgeries
  95. Blood Donors
  96. Blood Donor
  97. Health Week: Brains Trust
  98. Warships Week: Rootes Exhibit
  99. ``Salute the Soldier'' Week: Target Board
  100. ``Salute the Soldier'' Week: American Concert Party
  101. Canteen Exterior
  102. Works Canteen
  103. Main Bar
  104. Games Room
  105. Directors' Dining Room
  106. Executives' Dining Room
  107. Staff Canteen
  108. Kitchens
  109. General View: Dilke Farm Hostel
  110. Dilke Farm Hostel
  111. Rootes Group Mobile Cinema Show
  112. Tea Trolley Service
  113. Barber's Shop
  114. Clean Overall Stores
  115. Works Orchestra
  116. Male Voice Choir
  117. Production Supervision Dinner
  118. Entertaining American Wounded Soldiers
  119. Halifax with Hercules Engine over Rootes No.2


next up previous contents
Next: Book 4 Up: Rootes Archive Centre Trust Previous: Book 2   Contents
Rob Allan 2015-02-17