Memories of a Former Metallifacture Employee

Malcolm Button

I've been fascinated by your website as I used to work for Metallifacture at their Mansfield Road site, Redhill, from 1979-2002.  I thought you might be interested in some company history.

Metallifacture was established just after the end of WW2.  Originally operating from Baldwin/Dakeyne Streets, Nottinham. They moved from the centre of Nottingham to Redhill some time in the early 70s I believe.  The unit they moved into had originally been used for the repair of excavators, but they soon extended both manufacturing and office facilities on the site.  I joined the company shortly after the owners, Newman-Granger, had sold it to the Bullough Group.  About 1999 Bullough sold it on to the American company Dura Automotive.  I left Metallifacture in 2002 to join another company in the Dura group, Bowden, located in France (also making car jacks). By 2003 Dura, finding it had over-extended itself, sold both the jack manufacturing sites in UK and France (and some other businesses) to Magal Engineering.  Magal continued to operate the Redhill site until around 2010 by which time Magal had transferred the manufacture of jacks to Chenai in India.  The Redhill site was bulldozed shortly afterwards.

 I can tell you that the Redhill site did not exclusively manufacture jacks.  Along with wire handles and ratchet handles there were tail-gate hinges, bonnet latches, spare wheel carriers and hand brakes.  Also, the only colour product I ever saw produced at Redhill was black so I believe any other colour than black pre-dates Metallifacture's move from Nottingham to Redhill.

I've attached an article I found (from an old trade mag I think). Article.  It's about 20 years old but it gives a lot of information about Metallifacture during their 'glory days'.  Interestingly, it also includes ads from companies that supplied Metallifacture.  I have no recollection of the original Canal Street site mentioned in the article.

 However, the article mentions another site at Birmingham which supplied pressings.  This was known as Metallifacture Pressings Division.  Originally it was a Metallifacture supplier called Bayroe Engineering but Metallifacture bought it out.  Eventually the Birmingham site was closed down and presswork machinery and some personnel were consolidated on the Redhill site along with two brand new high-speed progression presses.  I can't remember the date but it would have been around 2000.