Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,124 pages of information and 233,665 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Motor Boat Manufacturing Co

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March 1946.
September 1947.
1959. Exhibit at Lakeland Motor Museum.

of Britannia House, Ampton St, London WC1

1922 Advertised Elto outboard motors and complete motor boats[1]

1933 Manufactured design of outboard motor which exhausted underwater and so was quieter than most - letter from J. W. Shillan[2]

1934 J. W. Shillan and his chief engineer designed and built the Rytecraft Scootacar which was sold at £70[3]

1935 Made 1.5 bhp outboard motor[4]

1936 At the Motor Show, exhibited the Swedish Solo marine engine and a small (9ft) river craft[5]

1947 J. Brockhouse and Co completed the purchase of British Motor Boat Manufacturing Co (B.M.B.)[6], maker of small cars, tractors and engines, which formed the BMB Division of Brockhouse Engineering (Southport).

1955 The Brockhouse Engineering (Southport) factory had not been profitable since WWII and was closed; a new machine shop was established at West Bromwich to manufacture hydraulic transmissions.


The Rytecraft Scootacar was a British microcar built by the British Motorboat Manufacturing Company in London between 1934 and 1940. The company later changed its name to BMB Engineering. It is possible that some might have been assembled after 1945.

This very small car originated as a fairground Dodgem and was electrically powered. In 1934, the designer Jack Shillan changed the engine to a 98 cc Villiers Midget single cylinder engine and sold it for road use. The transmission was single speed and operated by a single pedal which opened the throttle on being pressed down and applied the brake and when released. The clutch was automatic. There were no springs. Drive was to one of the rear wheels and the single brake operated on the other. It was said to be capable of reaching 15 mph (25 km/h). The body was open and had a single seat.

Later cars from about 1939 had a larger 250 cc engine, a three speed gearbox and normal pedal controls. Top speed was 40 mph (65 km/h). Two seats were fitted along with electric lights. A commercial version, the Scootatruck, was also made and for publicity some were styled to look like Vauxhall and Chrysler models.

About 1,000 Scootacars were made. In the 1960's Jim Parkinson drove a 98 cc model one 15,000 miles around the world. Several survive and one is on display at the Brooklands museum.


Built the Britannia Stalwart single-cylinder marine engine

1944 producing three types of marine engine based on the Hercules road transport model and marketed as Kermath [7]


1930s British Motor Boat Manufacturing Co of London (and later of Banbury) made the two-wheeled B.M.B. Cult-Mate, Hoe-Mate, and Plow-Mate garden tractors powered by JAP engines.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jul 27, 1933
  2. The Times, Aug 22, 1933
  3. The Times, Jul 11, 1934
  4. The Times, Oct 19, 1935
  5. The Times, Oct 22, 1936
  6. The Times, Jan 01, 1948
  7. The Modern Diesel edited by Geoffrey Smith. Published by Iliffe & Sons 1944