Friday, 3 December 2010

Elliott Brothers Lewisham - collections

We have received the following information about documentation of Elliott Brothers Lewisham - who made electronic equipment on the site now covered by Tesco. We hope to have Mr. Bristow as a speaker some time next year.

"The history of this Company which moved to Lewisham from central London in 1900 is fairly well documented though not in a single volume. Bulletin No 36 of the Scientific Instrument Society includes articles by Dr. Gloria Clifton, Head of Royal Observatory at the National Maritime Museum and by myself. Additionally I have published articles on this Company in subsequent issues of this Bulletin. I delivered a lecture on the Company History to the 2002 Summer Conference of the Institution of Electrical Engineers at Greenwich University and to the Lewisham Local History Society, amongst other organizations.

I was employed by Elliott Brothers in technical and management positions until retiring from Rochester. After the closure of the Lewisham site I took responsibility for the Company's Historic Collection and Archive. These collections cover documents from 1795, and instruments from 1840, to the mid - 20th century. After being exposed to risks of disposal and dispersal, they were taken in by the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford where they are accessible for academic and general research.

The present collection at British Aerospace Systems plc at Rochester to which you refer consists almost entirely of aircraft electronic equipment produced by Elliott Brothers and its successor companies at Rochester. It is not open to the public. The web site uses unacknowledged historical information from the sources given above.

I should be happy to answer questions or to provide information about the Company if required.

Ronn Bristow


Alan Burkitt-Gray said...

Sad to remember the decline and fall of yet another victim of the mismanaged GEC. The country is littered with the sites of former centres of industrial and technological expertise that were closed as a result of that company's actions over 35 years: Trafford Park, Rugby, Chelmsford, Lewisham, the Hirst Research Centre in Wembley, and so many more.

Anonymous said...

Re:-Comment from Ronn Bristow. Tesco do not cover the old Elliott Brothers site at Lewisham they cover part of the car park and part of the old Whitbread site. Flats now occupy most of the old site, the rest being taken by the DLR from Lewisham. I worked at Lewisham from 1966 to 1973.

David Riddle said...

Anonymous.. you wrongly attribute the mention of Tesco to Ron Bristow. If you check the posting you will see that he is beng quoted by Mary and that is her comment, not his.

Unknown said...

I was also at Elliott Brothers 1966-1974, one point that is never mentioned is that M.Thatcher when PM stated that Great Britain does not need Engineering, she said let somebody else do that. Germany and others did not adopt that stupid short sited attitude. Hence that is why we (GB) are in the mess we are in today.

Chris Bartlett said...

I am the Curator of the Rochester Avionic Archives which tells the story of Elliott Bros through to BAE Systems at the Rochester site.
I worked closely with the late Ron Bristow to establish the Collection and Archive held at Rochester. You will see acknowledgement of his contribution on the website. There is very little material written about the Lewisham site so good to see a few comments here

Anonymous said...

do you know if Elliott bros and cable and switchgear installation was the same company