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Just a query about the Rover plant that used to be round my way. I've realised that there's very little info out there about the Rover factory in Cardiff (other than that there's a road named after it - Rover Way - you'd be hard pressed to know that it ever existed). So, does anyone have any info - AFAIK it made gearboxes, and closed mid 80's, but that's about as much as I can dig out.

Can anyone help - I'm just intrigued really......

Oh, and can you guess what's on the site now - a Tesco's and executive housing......

Alastair
 

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rover_75
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I'd like to know more about it too. I know my grandfather used to work there, but he's no longer alive, so I can't ask him! I didn't even know it was used to make gearboxes. He used to live in Whitaker road, just behind it. I remember it stood there for years, unused, before it was knocked down & the land used for the housing estate.
 

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As far as I Know this was a Land Rover plant, making components and closed in the early 1980's
 

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It goes back to the late 50s/early 60s when the Rover Company (as it was at the time) needed to expand production facilities, to cope with both the forthcoming P6 and to satisfy demand for Land Rovers. They owned more land at Solihull, but were prevented from using all of it by the Government policies of the day, which discouraged development in existing industrial areas in favour of setting up new factories in "development areas" such as South Wales, Merseyside and Scotland. Rover figured that shifting car production to one of these areas was unworkable, but production of gearboxes and transmission components was OK. The same Government policies gave us Speke and Linwood, amongst others.
 

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Bathgate no more, indeed. Wonderful, yet very dark song lamenting Scotland's industrial decline, and the fact that many people have left the principality in search of work elsewhere.

The song also namechecked the former Hillman Imp/Avenger plant at Linwood (Linwood no more) and the once massive port at fife on the east coast, Methil. (Methil no more).
 

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Rover factory in Wales

Austin themselves had a factory in Bargoed in Wales where they used to make the little J40 (scaled downA40 Devon/Dorset) pedal cars. Believe it carried on as Austin Rover/MG Rover etc and died a death cirac 1999 running up to the end of Mini production? (was still stamping out some parts for them right up to the end)

Just a bit of Rover/Austin trivia - the original J40 pedal car was made from offcuts from the Longbridge production line - I sourced one of these cars by accident for a friend a couple of years ago and it weighed an absollute ton! After a while they went over to using thinner steel sourced especially for the pedal cars
 

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Bathgate no more, indeed. Wonderful, yet very dark song lamenting Scotland's industrial decline, and the fact that many people have left the principality in search of work elsewhere.

The song also namechecked the former Hillman Imp/Avenger plant at Linwood (Linwood no more) and the once massive port at fife on the east coast, Methil. (Methil no more).
Baathgeyt, Linwood, Methil, and Irrvin (Irvine) - so what was Irvine?

There is also a sort of watertower at Wellingborough Station with a BL blue swirl on it, becoming increasingly derelict. What was that?

It's such a shame that all this money was wasted on setting up factories on greenfield sites. In the meantime, Dagenham, a long-established factory the size of a small town, no longer makes cars. Another long-established factory we all know and love which has been there much longer has closed down for the moment :(

Whoever would have thought that Halewood would become the main (?) Jaguar factory?

Of course, if the Triumph factory at Speke were still going, it would probably now be called "John Lennon" like the airport...
 

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There is also a sort of watertower at Wellingborough Station with a BL blue swirl on it, becoming increasingly derelict. What was that?
That was a foundry bought by Austin I think in the 1920s and closed in the 1981. It's about a mile from Wellingborough Station.

The industrial estate which now sits on the site is still called the Leyland Trading Estate, but I never realised the connection until my dad pointed out the swirl
 

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That was a foundry bought by Austin I think in the 1920s and closed in the 1981. It's about a mile from Wellingborough Station.

The industrial estate which now sits on the site is still called the Leyland Trading Estate, but I never realised the connection until my dad pointed out the swirl
Thanks. It's funny, I sort of thought "foundry" but fancy it having been there so long! Presumably they supplied ready-made castings...
 

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BL Rover Austin etc in Wales

Rovers alloys used to be made around Cardiff somewhere. Used to pick up cheap brand new wheels all the time around Minishows - they gone back to be smelted down as the car had a duff tyre or puncture on the line and it cheaper just to chuck on another. Got a brand new set of the lat Rover 400 alloys like this for my Dad for £50
 

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Some Welsh componant manufacturers were hit when MGR collapsed last year too.

I never realised Rover Way was named after a Rover factory. Long before my time down here then.

Don't forget, as from next year, Project Kimber will be making AC (Smart Roadsters) just down the road in Bridgend. Does anyone know how advanced these plans are now? I know there was talk of produciton by the summer.
 

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I missed that one! Irvine, Ayrshire, (another coastal town) was the home of the once collossal ICI/Nobel explosives plant, and a huge fitting-out yard for Clyde-built ships - the QE2 amongst them. All gone now.
Amazing really. Reportedly the cranes on the quay at Dieppe were made in Loughborough. It's a sure sign of the times when the reason a British machine is seen in China is because the Chinese bought the contents of the whole factory - good it didn't go on the scrapheap, but heartbreaking it didn't stay in the UK...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The only place making alloys in Cardiff that I'm aware of was Alloy Wheels International, up between Whitchurch and Forest Farm (not far from the site of the old Melingriffith tinplate works, for anyone with an interest in industrial history). I'm guessing it was them that made the alloys for MGR - they closed in summer 2002 as far as I can remember. I remeber cycling along the Taff Trail which used to skirt along the side of the plant as a kid and wondering what went on there - never going to get the chance to see now!!!

Possibly a victim of the Rover downturn, although press releases at the time suggested other factors were more important.

Cheers

Alastair
 

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The Rover factory was built on the site of old wartime Cardiff Airport.

"The original Cardiff Airport operated at Pengam Moors (Cardiff Bay) from 1931 to 1954." (See: http://info.cwlfly.com/en/content/4/229/airport-history.html)

My father went to work there in 1942. As far as I recall they were repairing and servicing fighters and bombers there.

Haha thats right.. my father was just saying they used to play on the wartime planes which were present at the rover site, presumably stored there some time after the rover factory went up? Interesting link btw :)

Apparently the factory itself used to make panels for Rover 2000's, and engine and gearboxes for Land Rover..
 

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Rover factory Rover way

Just a query about the Rover plant that used to be round my way. I've realised that there's very little info out there about the Rover factory in Cardiff (other than that there's a road named after it - Rover Way - you'd be hard pressed to know that it ever existed). So, does anyone have any info - AFAIK it made gearboxes, and closed mid 80's, but that's about as much as I can dig out.

Can anyone help - I'm just intrigued really......

Oh, and can you guess what's on the site now - a Tesco's and executive housing......

Alastair
Hi Clarkea1, The rover car factory Rover way opened in 1962, it produced gear boxes and back axles for the rover 2000, and gears only for landrover, i worked there 1963-1979 as an electrician
 
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