Engineers of Radford, Nottingham.

By John Pownall


          The above company was established during the 1830’s in Radford. It was located just off Ilkeston Road, with the main entrance located on Norton Street. It closed in 1970 and moved to Scotland.

          I chose to work in engineering and was fortunate enough to be employed by Manloves as an apprentice. It had a reputation for making world-class products and also had one of the best Apprentice training schemes in Nottingham.

          There were several trades catered for, Engineering Fitters, Lathe Turners, Tinsmiths, Platers and Boiler makers, etc.

          However, a big surprise to me was that Manloves had its own Foundry. This was quite a large facility with Cupolas, which would supply the molten iron for castings of up to about 3 tons. I’m not too sure about the weight, but they could be quite large, often several feet long.

          In the 1st attached picture, probably from the 1950’s, is a good example of the foundry facilities. The liquid iron in the ladle is about to be poured in to the mould. Note the concentration on the men’s faces, and also, the man with device is checking the iron temperature – it’s not a camera he’s holding. Not a process to make an error with!

          Manloves was famous for its products which were exported all around the world. The two main machine types were the Flatbed Ironing machine and Autoclaves.

The Ironers were used in industrial sized laundries, such as Sketchley’s in Arnold. They were also often supplied to Convents and were used along side industrial washing machines to generate an income. This was achieved by the laundering of sheets, etc, for Hospitals and Hotels.

          The other type of machine produced were Autoclaves, known as sterilisers. This is where I spent months of my apprentice involved in their construction. There were again several sizes and models. For instance the small “Bowl and Instrument” models being used in the operating theatres to sterilise surgeon’s instruments. The much larger types were used to sterilise stainless steel boxes containing materials used during in operations. The largest were capable of cleaning a complete bed mattress. One design that I helped to construct was to be set into a wall with a door at each end. This allowed hospitals to have what was known as “clean and dirty” sides. This was to help prevent cross contamination from items being in the same area.

The steriliser in the photo is of the single door type. Note the polished aluminium insulation. Some pipe work was often chrome plated if visible and not hidden from general view.

 It was standard practice for machines for export to be photographed. This was important because it would be of assistance to the engineers on site. The machines on completion of test in Nottingham would be broken down in to small sub assemblies for packing. Supplied with each machine was an array of drawings, service manuals and of course the photos, which were of help to the engineers reassembling the machine abroad.

The photos were loaned to me for this article by another ex-apprentice Keith Rodda; he became a Section Leader Design Draughtsman for the Ironer machines.

The last picture is a scan of the Manlove Alliott company logo.

Alas there is so much to write about Manloves, especially the people that I worked with during my formative years as an apprentice. Unfortunately, I will have to leave that until another time.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MANLOVE ALLIOTT & co Ltd.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MANLOVE ALLIOTT & co Ltd.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MANLOVE ALLIOTT & co Ltd.' page
This page was added by John Pownall on 22/06/2016.

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