Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,360 pages of information and 245,904 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Belting and Asbestos

From Graces Guide
August 1944.
November 1943.
October 1945.
November 1947.
May 1951.
October 1951.

British Belting and Asbestos Ltd. of Cleckheaton.

1879 Company incorporated as W. Willson Cobbett Limited. Originally a manufacturer of non-asbestos transmission belting, the company later extended its activities into friction materials and asbestos textiles, packings and jointings.

1897 Became public company

For its first thirty years the company's main product was solid woven belting used for power transmission and mechanical conveying in industries such as mining.

1911 The company's name was changed to Scandinavia Belting Co

1925 W. Willson Cobbett acquired the British Asbestos Co. Name changed to British Belting and Asbestos. They removed their London offices, the "Asbestos" Department, from 132, Commerical-Street, E.1. to 59, Southwark-Street, London, SE1.[1]

The company's manufacturing interests grew to include a wide range of industrial and automotive products, sold around the world, including the transmission linings used on the Model T Ford car.

1937 Manufacturers of "Halo" Brake and Clutch Linings. Mintex Brake and Clutch Linings. "Phoenix" Asbestos Packings and Jointings. "Scandilex" and "Scandinavia" Belting.

WWII Supplied materials for Spitfire, Hurricane and Typhoon aircraft.

1960 Conveyor belting for mines.

1960 Formed JV company Morgan-Mintex with Morgan Crucible Co to manufacture sintered friction materials which will be marketed by the Mintex division of BBA[2]

1961 Manufacturers of asbestos textiles, packings and jointings; conveyor and transmission beltings; friction linings and industrial plastics. 2,100 employees.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Mintex clutch and brake pads etc.

1967 Following reorganisation of the group's activities, the parent company became a holding and management company under the name BBA Group Limited. Scandura Ltd. became a wholly owned subsidiary of BBA Group.

c.1969 Cape Asbestos Co acquired BBA's 26 per cent shareholding in English Asbestos Co Ltd, a Trist, Draper subsidiary.

1970 BBA had 20 subsidiaries in 8 countries; the largest was Mintex[3]

At some point BBA supplied the first brake pads fitted to Jaguar production cars.

By the early 1980s the BBA Group, the holding company, was mostly focused on automotive and friction materials.

1985 BBA acquired Cape's automotive division, with a view to rationalising their part of the British friction materials industry and hopefully return it to profit. This brought together Mintex and Don International as Mintex Don[4]

1986 BBA Group acquired Automotive Products, the brake and clutch makers[5]. BBA made its first move into aviation with the UK-based landing gear and hydraulics business, AP Precision Hydraulics, as part of the deal. BBA also acquired a similar business in the US. BBA also acquired its first non-woven fabrics business by buying a part share in US-based Reemay.

BBA became the world's largest supplier of original equipment brake pads to the automotive industry.

1987 Acquired US Ozone Industries, making of actuators, nosewheel steering systems, landing gear and quick release connectors for the aerospace industry, which would link with AP Precision Hydraulics to develop new business opportunities[6]

1988 Acquired 4 industrial textile businesses in Britain[7]

1990s BBA Group continued to grow its aviation and non-wovens portfolio.

1992 Signature Flight Support was formed through the merger of Page Avjet, an executive aircraft interiors business, and Butler fixed base operations.

1995 Sold the car brake and clutch division to its management. This had been acquired 9 years previously as Automotive Products but was now regarded as a failed diversification. Would also sell the aircraft undercarriage business if it received a high enough offer. The company would concentrate on specialist areas where it could attain a global position, such as friction materials, also its specialist electrical business making components for power transmission, its specialist textile business and its airline support business [8]

1995 BBA acquired Fiberweb Group in the USA and Europe, planning to move some production there from the existing Reemay operation[9].

1996 BBA Group took full ownership of Signature.

2000 Sold the automotive friction materials business to private equity[10]

2006 BBA Group demerged its materials technology division, Fiberweb and became a focused aviation support and aftermarket services business, renamed BBA Aviation.

2014 Sale of APPH to a Canadian firm.

2016, BBA Aviation acquired Landmark Aviation, significantly boosting its core Signature Flight Support FBO business

2019 following the sale of its aftermarket services business, Ontic, the group was renamed Signature Aviation to reflect its key focus on serving the Business and General Aviation market.[11]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1925/12/25
  2. The Times, Nov 07, 1960
  3. The Times Aug. 12, 1970
  4. The Times Mar. 16, 1985
  5. The Times Feb. 1, 1986
  6. The Times Sept. 24, 1987
  7. The Times Mar. 1, 1988
  8. The Times Apr. 12, 1995
  9. The Times May 27, 1995
  10. The Times July 18, 2000
  11. Signature Aviation history [1]