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British Industrial History

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Alfred George Beech Owen

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Sir Alfred George Beech Owen (1908-1975) of Rubery Owen and Co and the Owen Organisation

1909 Born the son of Alfred Ernest Owen.

He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge

1923 His father bought the New Hall Manor estate in Sutton Coldfield. New Hall remained the Owen family home until his son's death in 1975.

1929 After the death of his father Alfred became, jointly with his brother, managing director of Rubery Owen.

Sir Alfred was a lay preacher for much of his life

Proprietor of the BRM motor racing team from the early-1950s to 1974.

1959 Chairman and Joint Managing Director, Rubery Owen and Co; and Chairman of the Owen Organization. Owen is a Director of the following companies forming the Organization: Rubery Owen and Co. Ltd., Electro-Hydraulics, Ltd., Rubery Owen (Warrington), E. Camelinat and Co., Motor Panels (Coventry), Hudson Brown, Bentley Hall Brick Co., Easiclene Porcelain-Enamel (1938), A. Warden and Co., Rubery Owen and Kemsley Proprietary, Rubery Owen Housing Association, Rogers and Jackson, Salopian Engineers, Shuker and Son (Shrewsbury), R. and J. Wrexham (Wholesale), J. W. Baker and Co., Nuts and Bolts (Darlaston), C. and L. Hill, Brooke Tool Manufacturing Co., A. G. Sutherland, Chains, Darlaston and District Housing Co., T. S. Harrison and Sons, lnvicta Electrodes, Kleine Co., Eaton Axles, Associated Constructional Engineers, New Hall Farm, Waddington Tools, G. R. Smithson and Co., Port Hamble, Luke Brothers, B.T. Developments, Gasel Appliances, Denfords Engineering Co, Rubery Owen, Kepston, Conveyancer Fork Trucks, Conveyancer Fork Trucks (Australia), Pty., Electro Hydra ulics (Canada), Ltd., Gasel, J. E. Brassey and Son, The Castra Electric Washing Machine Co., Ltd., Cardinal Steels, Ltd., Leabank Office Equipment, Ltd., Bowser International, Ltd., Charles Clark and Son, Ltd., Charles Clark and Son (Stafford), Ltd., Shorrock Superchargers, Hodgkiss Oilburners, Walsall Football Club, British Overseas Boat Co., Hill, Alzen (Sales), Rubery Owen and Scott (S.A.), Rubery Owen (Canada),

1961 He was knighted in 1961.

1960s Owen was impressed by Donald Campbell's courage and became a leading sponsor of the world land speed record attempt at Lake Eyre, South Australia. Rubery Owen supplied Bluebird's advanced monocoque body.

1963 The relationship between Owen and Campbell was uneasy. In the course of a business visit to Australia Owen appeared to criticize Campbell for delaying the record attempt and wasting time by exhibiting the car. Furious, Campbell sued for slander claiming damages of £80,000. The matter was not pursued; with Owen's continued support, Campbell went on to break Sir John Cobb's seventeen-year-old record in July 1964.

Sir Alfred was prominent in the local affairs of his home town serving as a Councillor (1937–1974) and Mayor (1951)

1975 Died at Sutton Coldfield


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