Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,372 pages of information and 233,518 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of Headlands Road, Liversedge, maker of plastic parts for telephone industry
1953 Company incorporated to acquire and carry on the business of Birkbys
Specialists in synthetic resin insulation, electrical and electronic and wireless engineers
1958 The last family tie, Freddie Birkby, retired and Birkby’s was sold to its biggest customer - Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. The Birkby name was kept due to its local associations.
Birkby’s expanded with a new thermoplastic moulding shop.
1961 Birkby’s was taken over by the Plessey Co with the rest of Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. This took it into the defence, avionics and electronics industries. The ownership lasted 28 years during which sales increased tenfold.
February 1968, a disastrous fire caused £2.5m worth of damage. Within 48 hours 10 presses were working and whatever work could not be done on site was subcontracted out. A new injection shop was completed by the end of the year with three times the original area.
In the 1970s, 1.8 million telephone sets were produced per year.
1975 Viking were bought out by Birkby’s and the company name reverted to Birkby’s Plastics Ltd. The main sales were in telecommunications, as far afield as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
1980s Birkby’s made major investments in its site, buildings and technology. Its relationship with Ford strengthened, getting all Ford’s instrumentation business. They became pioneers in the use of CAD in the plastic moulding industry.
1990 Sold to the Marubeni Corporation