Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Wellington factories

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Wellington factories

    Hi,

    after searching for quite a while I am still a little confused about which factories existed which produced the Vickers Wellington bombers.

    I understand that there have been:

    1. Vickers own factory "Brooklands" at Weybridge
    2. shadow factory at Blackpool
    3. shadow factory at Chester, Hawarden, Broughton

    Is that correct?

    Sometimes the last two are called a dispersal factory and sometimes a shadow factory ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...8incomplete.29
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawarden_Airport

    Thanks.

    Marcel
    Last edited by Marcel L.; 1st May 2016 at 12:41.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,557
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Default

    Marcel,

    Blackpool was at Blackpool/Squires Gate airfield.
    Chester was at Broughton and what was Hawarden airfield.

    I don't know, but I suspect that Wellington production possibly followed the same pattern as the Spitfire when Supermarine's factory at Southampton was bombed in 1940. All sorts of organisations (garages, coach-builders, etc, etc,), spread over a wide area, were set to making small bits (wiring looms, fuel tanks, wing/fuselage panels, etc). These all came together at the production factory and were assembled into the complete aircraft. Obviously, for the Wellington there were no wing/fuselage panels, but the system of dispersed part production was followed by both sides in WW2.

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Peter,

    thanks for your reply. It seems to be difficult to distinuish between shadow and dispersal factories, but maybe that is not necessary to do so.

    Marcel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Canada, eh
    Posts
    1,217
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    My understanding is that the terms are interchangeable. "Shadow factory" was just another name given to dispersal factories.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    51
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Walker View Post
    My understanding is that the terms are interchangeable. "Shadow factory" was just another name given to dispersal factories.
    IMHO not, the shadow factory scheme was gov funded and the idea was to use motor industry and its experience in mass production to boost aero engine and a/c production. Dispersal factories were what their name implied.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,026
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    "My" understanding is that the terms might APPEAR interchangeable, but that their origins were quite different. The British "shadow" factories were built pre-war in the guise of factories for producing other products, and were partially (wholey?) funded by the Government of the day, but being specifically intended, in time of war, to be converted to aircraft production, when production of civilian good would be severely cut back. Dispersal factories could occur when it was realized that many of the locations of the pre-war aircraft factories were too well known (confirmed by enemy bombing of same) and the government was forced to order dispersal of production by taking over existing factory buildings (in addition to the shadow factory scheme) to lessen the visibility of aircraft production to aerial reconnaissance. This sort of thing also took place in the USA to a lesser extent, although they were never subjected to actual bombing (unlike Germany, Italy and Japan!). The American government-owned factories seem to have been erected at taxpayer expense to relieve industry of the burden of building additional plants which everybody knew were unlikely to be required postwar for their designed purpose. Although this sounds like the old story of the poor old (US) taxpayer having to carry the risk, having the government initially funding such ventures probably allowed these buildings to be put up much faster to relatively standardised, designs thus freeing the manufacturers from al least one problem so that they could concentrate on many others of design and production, and training huge new workforces. So shadow factories were built well (most in peacetime I imagine) before they were needed for their ultimate purpose, while dispersed production was something which took place during a war and was often forced on the nation by events, such as also happened in Germany, Japan, Soviet Union, as well as the UK. Of course much of the componentry required for aircraft production was built in specialised factories anyway, such as engines, propellers, undercarriages, fuel tanks, canopies, instruments, radiators, hydraulic componentry, etc., purely as a result of specialisation of the more complex needs if these items. IN fact aircraft have always been built that way, as are most large and complex items.
    David D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    525
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    I'm not sure how many, if any, of the UK shadow factories were built for pre-war production of civilian goods. They were generally far oversized for such, by British standards. I believe they were built at government expense because the established aircraft companies were unwilling (they largely didn't have the resources) to build such large production sites and establish the aircraft lines, for a demand that not only would not outlast the expected war but might even disappear should a prolonged peace occur instead. Had the initial expansion of operational squadrons stopped, so would the orders for that generation of aircraft. The government had to take the risk.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    101
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Marcel
    During W W 2 there was a large factory at Sywell also an airfield, the factory was just across the road from the air field,they used to bring al the parts for the Wellington Bombers and assemble them there, I had a friend who used to work there, Sywell is in Northamptonshire and the airfield Is still used Harold Dummer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi,
    thanks for your answers. Sometimes it is really confusing.
    Marcel

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •