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Report - - N C Joseph Ltd, "SonA", Stratford, 2006. | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - N C Joseph Ltd, "SonA", Stratford, 2006.

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
I'm putting this report up again for the sheer lack of information anywhere on the net about this firm...

N C Joseph were a pressworks. They manufactured "Swan" and "SonA" brand kitchenalia from their Stratford on Avon works. (SonA stood for Stratford ON Avon)

The firm made Jelly moulds, percolators, kettles, saucepans, irons etc. In the 1990's something happened and the firm switched to the manufacture of motor car body in white components.

As an apprentice I used to have to go to N.C.J with the blokes I was shadowing to discuss changes to parts they were making for the firm I work for. I was captivated as I walked into the retrotastic enterance, greeted by a glass case filled with the firm's old wares. Inside the factory had not changed in decades. The suspended conveyers which took the appliance pressings from the press hall to plating shop were all still in place. The presses themselves, many over 50 years old and still banging away were a sight to be seen!

The company came close to making appliances again towards the end of its life, in the form of components for a new design of washing machine, which had a removable drum. You used the drum as a washing basket, simply slipping it in the washer on wash day. The problem was it 'walked' on spin cycle, several yards according the the bloke that was telling me, and the company that patented it ran out of money for development.

N.C.J was bought by a larger company, along with CovPress Ltd. The Stratford works was by now largley unused. It was closed and the two firms were merged.

The works was flattened almost instantly, most of the presses scrapped. Not even the road name bore the name "Joseph" and today all traces of the works have gone.

I really owe N.C.J for my interest in photographing industry today. Even then I thought that the inside of the factory was amazing, almost a thing of beauty in a certain way. I fully think my photos could be the only internal shots of the works from its closure.

In the glass display case I mentioned above, there was a book on the firm, I assume published for an annaversary of its founding. I have searched and searched for a copy, or even the title, in vein. Even the Stratford Library have never heard of it,but then its nothing to do with Shakespear, so why would they care:rolleyes:

If anyone reading this has that book, or knows what its called please please E-mail me lightthedark@hotmail.co.uk

Lame photos,I was a n00b and only had a 3mp canon ixus (I know, CANON!!:freak)

SONA22of24.jpg


SONA1of24.jpg


SONA23of24.jpg


SONA2of24.jpg


SONA20of24.jpg


Dispatch, where the finished appliances were stored ready to go to the shops. Note the barbed wire, to stop any would be thieves getting at the completed goods!
SONA12of24.jpg


SONA7of24.jpg


The chain conveyer, which carried the pressings to their next stage of manufacture
SONA10of24.jpg


The demolition of a later extention revealed this old wall painting
SONA3of24.jpg


Wilkins and Mitchell, one of the biggest makes of press in the country. This was an 800 tonner. The dial shows if the ram is up or down, TDC "Top Dead Centre"
SONA17of24.jpg


The offices, sadly the door was locked...
SONA13of24.jpg


The walking washing machine!
SONA11of24.jpg


SONA15of24.jpg


SONA16of24.jpg


SONA21of24.jpg


SONA24of24.jpg


SONA4of24.jpg


SONA5of24.jpg


SONA6of24.jpg


SONA8of24.jpg
 
Last edited:

caiman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
You know much about it mate?
A bit. The company that made them - Monotub Industries - was set up by the inventor, Martin Meyerscough and was very popular with investors for a brief while - they thought they were buying into another Dyson. But it was not to be - the machines had serious design faults and were unreliable - most got returned. "Which" magazine tested several - all of which broke. Production stopped in February 2002 and Monotub went bust in January 2003.

The inventor bought back the rights to the design for £1 and in 2003 set up a new company - Titan Washing Machine Ltd. In 2006 or thereabouts the new company started manufacturing the machines in Zhongshan, China. They claimed to have fixed the problems but apparently they are still very unreliable.

http://www.titanwashingmachine.com/
 

Southoman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
G day I was looking for information on my teapot a, J.414 Made By NCJ Ltd at SonA Chrome The Aluminium Works Stratford - On - Avon England, and found your site !
We too had lots of great industrial manufacturers here in Australia using great machines made in Great Britain, anything British made was always superior in Australia !
BSA, Whitworth etc sadly many have gone the same way as your great manufacturing buildings and contents, lost forever ! Is it silver plated aluminium, polished or chromed aluminium. Anyone with info regarding the teapot would be much appreciated.

Craig Whitby
Beechmont Queensland
Australia
 

Attachments

bluebedouin

Here to help.
28DL Full Member
#4
G day I was looking for information on my teapot a, J.414 Made By NCJ Ltd at SonA Chrome The Aluminium Works Stratford - On - Avon England, and found your site !
We too had lots of great industrial manufacturers here in Australia using great machines made in Great Britain, anything British made was always superior in Australia !
BSA, Whitworth etc sadly many have gone the same way as your great manufacturing buildings and contents, lost forever ! Is it silver plated aluminium, polished or chromed aluminium. Anyone with info regarding the teapot would be much appreciated.

Craig Whitby
Beechmont Queensland
Australia
I went to work at Josephs in 1971,my first job after leaving school.I worked in the spinning shop which basically made the smaller items,sugar bowls,teapots etc from a flat aluminium disc.
An idea can be got from this video.
The teapot in your picture would have been made in a similar fashion but the mould was metal & in sections.(Think of a terry's chocolate orange!)
The segments would have the pattern cast on them which would be pressed into the aluminium from the inside.As far as I'm aware your pot wasn't made in my time there but I did see some of them laying around various sections of the factory.
I left in 1974 so unless they re-issued them after that,your pot would be pre '71.It's only polished aluminium,I'm afraid,not silver plated.
I have found a couple of items at car boot sales.A couple of months ago my brother found an old payslip of mine in a drawer at home.
 

Attachments

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#6
See this kind of stuff shows why what we do is important. Try finding photos of the inside of that factory anywhere else on the net!
 

Southoman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
G'day mate thank you for the vids, pics and info on my teapot . I use it everyday using Billy Tea leaves it makes the best cup of tea !
Regards
Craig Whitby