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British Industrial History

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Armstrong Whitworth Development Co

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1923. Ref

of Coventry

1919 Company formed by Armstrong Whitworth to acquire securities and carry on the work of ironfounders, engineers, manufacturers of implements, tools, brass founders, iron and steel converters and electrical engineers[1].

1919 The motor, aircraft engine and aircraft business of Siddeley-Deasy was amalgamated with the motor department of Armstrong Whitworth to become the Armstrong Whitworth Development Co[2]. The principal interests of this holding company were the Armstrong Siddeley activities, especially the Armstrong Siddeley Motors subsidiary.

1922 It is not clear at what stage the shares were listed on the London Stock Exchange but certainly by this date they were quoted.

1926 As one of the responses to its financial problems, partly caused by losses on large construction contracts, Armstrong Whitworth arranged the sale of Armstrong Whitworth Development Co [3].

1927 Armstrong Whitworth's financial difficulties persisted and it merged its heavy engineering interests with Vickers to form Vickers-Armstrongs. J. D. Siddeley bought Armstrong Whitworth Development Co, including its subsidiaries Armstrong Siddeley Motors and Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd., as well as the aircraft engines business, and the shares in Crompton and Co. The name of the holding company was changed to Armstrong Siddeley Development Co Ltd with J. D. Siddeley as chairman[4]. Armstrong Whitworth disposed of their ordinary shares in the company and would not use it for any future development work, although later in the year the chairman of Armstrong Whitworth indicated they still had substantial interest in Armstrong Siddeley Development Co Ltd[5].

1927 Sale of most of the holding in Crompton and Co. Merger of Crompton and Co with F. and A. Parkinson, a private company, which would be effected by Crompton purchasing the issued share capital of Parkinson[6].

1928 Purchased the shares in A. V. Roe and Co that were held by Crossley Motors as a controlling interest[7].

1929 Continued profitability but capital needed for development so no dividend paid. Subsidiary companies included A. V. Roe and Co[8].

1935 Hawker Aircraft Ltd purchased Armstrong Siddeley Development Co and then sold the shares and 50% of the shares in Hawker Aircraft to a new company, Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Co Ltd, which had been formed as a public company for the purpose of combining the 2 largest UK aircraft manufacturers[9]. The companies acquired included the automotive and engine builder Armstrong Siddeley, the aircraft manufacturer Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, A. V. Roe and Co (Avro) and Air Training Services. The constituent companies continued to produce their own aircraft designs under their own name as well as sharing manufacturing throughout the group. The aviation pioneer Sir Thomas Sopwith became chairman of the new company and of Armstrong Siddeley Motors.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 26 April 1919
  2. The Times, 15 March 1927
  3. The Times, 11 December 1926
  4. The Times, 15 March 1927
  5. The Times, 29 November 1927
  6. The Times, 12 July 1927
  7. The Times 2 May 1928
  8. The Times, 26 October 1929
  9. The Times, 15 July 1935