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 142,989 pages of information and 229,205 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

R. T. Shelley

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Makers of automotive accessories

See Robert Samuel Thomas Shelley

1908 Private company.

1908 The Norton company was bought by Bob Shelley, who owned R. T. Shelley, an automotive accessories manufacturing business. Most people credit James Norton with the success of the company but actually, without Bob Shelley, there probably would not have been a Norton motorcycle company at all. R. T. Shelley were already suppliers to Norton so the transfer of power was made a little easier - however the relationship between Bob Shelley and James Norton was not a good one.

1913 James Norton was not a business man, his strengths lay elsewhere. His company ran into trouble and was forced into liquidation in 1913, while its owner recovered from an illness contracted on the Isle of Man.

A new company, Norton Motors Ltd, was formed shortly afterwards, with James Lansdowne Norton and Bob Shelley.

1915 Although there was little involvement in the Great War, production of a three-speed gearbox and all-chain drive commenced.

1916 the Shelley company moved to Phillips Street, Aston.

1920 Norton moved to Bracebridge Street, and remained there until 1963.

Bill Mansell moved from R. T. Shelley to take over Norton management and under his guidance the company was reformed in 1926, the new company name being Norton Motors (1926) Ltd.

1953 AMC acquired Norton including its wholly-owned subsidiary R. T. Shelley[1].

1961 General engineers, manufacturing tools and components for automobiles and aero engines, also manufacturers of lifting jacks for private and commercial vehicles. 400 employees. [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Feb 25, 1953
  2. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  • [1] Made in Birmingham - Norton Motorcyles