OK another from the archives...
In 1850 the company was described as "manufacturers of sheet brass and tubing".
Later known as the Birmingham Battery Company. Additional premises were constructed in Selly Oak in 1871 and by 1876 all work had been transferred from Digbeth. The site expanded with the addition of a copper refinery, a tube mill, a rolling mill and a canal wharf on the Dudley Canal.
In the Diary published by the firm, the following interesting account of its history is given:—
"Nearly a century ago the founder of the firm established in Digbeth, Birmingham, a business for the manufacture of Brass Pans, which were raised from the flat sheet by what was termed a 'Battery ' of Tilt hammers. The process was called the Battery process, and the pans were spoken of as ' Battery ' or Battery Pans.
"The hammers were driven by wheels which contained wooden cogs; the heavier hammers being- used for shaping, and the lighter ones for finishing. The pans ranged from a few inches to several feet in diameter, and varied in depth. The hammers were originally driven by water power and varied in weight. The light hammers would give upwards of 200 blows per minute.
"The introduction of stamped and spun pan, which could be produced more cheaply, caused the gradual decline of the demand for the hammered pan, and about the year 1885, the trade in the latter article was discontinued by the Company.
"The Company by this time possessed well equipped Rolling and Tube Mills, both at Digbeth and at Selly Oak, and the name was so well and favourably known in connection with the manufacture of Brass and Copper Tubes, Sheets, etc., that it was decided to retain the word 'Battery' in the title of the Firm."
The company fell into difficulty in the 1980s and closure became inevitable. The Selly Oak site was redeveloped as the Battery Retail Park.
A guy once told me this was known locally as the "Blood tub" due to the high number of accidents
Raddog used to tell me this place was shit, so for a long time I never bothered with it. It eventually turned out he had never actually been in there and one day I found myself in Selly Oak alone without him to put me off. I dumped the car and looked for a way in.
Well it turned out to be incredibly interesting... despite the works being demolished many years earlier there was still much to see. Paperwork from 100 years before, antiquated office machinery and some very beautiful woodwork. It's just a pity I hadn't visited a couple of years before as it may have been even better! I still have a sheet of paper written on the dining car of a LNER train in 1887, with a dirty great boot print on it from where it had been just lying on the floor.
In one of the rooms I met the resident cat, who gave out an almighty hiss when I walked into the room. I snapped a quick pic of him and then left him to it!
The building didn't meet a great fate. Sainsburys bought the land and claimed they would restore the building, however it was demolished on the quiet in about 2009 - 10. A great shame as it was a beautiful building which could have been easily converted.