Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

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XS650
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Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #1 by XS650 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:57 am

Being talked about on Chaseside thread , but how did UK plc go from still being the workshop of the world in the early 1960s to basket case Britain by late 70s.
Most here have a soft spot for the many old Brit makes of construction kit , just like old Brit trucks,bikes,cars have a strong following BUT virtually all makes now dead .
This cut across all swathes of maunfacturing (with the happy exception of JCB) so something must have been fundamentally wrong with UK industry. :?:
In same period German and Far East manufacturing went ever upwards and continues to do so.
Craig
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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #2 by Jeremy Rowland » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:24 am

There is no single answer to this Craig but several reasons for the general demise which stem from poor industrial relations between the management and unions to arrogance on behalf of the management so far as quality was concerned. The irony is that the Quality gurus like W Edwards Deming and others who were either American or European preached their Quality message to a country that listened and that country was Japan.
Then of course there is the thorny question of paying for things and the Brits have never liked shelling out cash particularly if they cannot see an instant result for their investment, this does not just apply to industry but projects overall HS2 being the latest example. I despair of this country. :cry:

Jeremy


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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #3 by essexpete » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:11 pm

Jeremy Rowland wrote:There is no single answer to this Craig but several reasons for the general demise which stem from poor industrial relations between the management and unions to arrogance on behalf of the management so far as quality was concerned. The irony is that the Quality gurus like W Edwards Deming and others who were either American or European preached their Quality message to a country that listened and that country was Japan.
Then of course there is the thorny question of paying for things and the Brits have never liked shelling out cash particularly if they cannot see an instant result for their investment, this does not just apply to industry but projects overall HS2 being the latest example. I despair of this country. :cry:

Jeremy


Are you pro HS2 Jeremy?

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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #4 by XS650 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:15 pm

Thanks Jeremy , I know its a 'curates egg' question but would be interested in peoples thoughts , it grieves me that millions of pounds of taxpayers money is now spent on imported trucks because we don't make any .
I remember being shocked in the early 80s when our local Coastguard received a Daihatsu 4wd . Every government/council/ nationalised industry vehicle I had ever seen before this was British made . I remember questions been asked in Parliament when British Rail bought a few very specialised Mercedes Unimogs.
We did lack investment ,thinking of some some vehicles that were top of the game in 1965 for quality and price , the world could not get enough of them .
Mini , Triumph Bonneville , Land Rovers , Bedford TKs
What were we producing in 1975 ,virtually exactly the same product (with added poor quality) -
What was the world buying -
Nissan Cherrys , Honda CB750s , Toyota Land Cruisers , European trucks

Craig
Last edited by XS650 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #5 by FOWLER MAN » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:50 pm

Hi,
You can certainly blame both management, the trade unions, and successive governments too, for the demise of our proud Indusrtrial Herritage.

I can see most sides of the arguement having viewed it from all sides!!
I was an AEU, (later the AUEW), member for many years, and shop steward when I worked on the spanners for The Cardiff Plant Group.
I then went on to start my own business at one time employing over seventy staff. I have even stood as a Conservative candidate in the local county council elections.
I think we must also all accept some responsibility for not fully supporting British Industry.
I allways felt it my duty to buy British wherever possible, hence my alleigence to Priestman, Hymac, JCB, Marshall / Fowler and British Leyland trucks.
Eventualy it became impossible to source British products, but even now in retirement I have just bought a Jaguar XF car in prefference to a Merc or BMW. Though Indian owned at least it is British designed and built creating employment in Britain for British Workers.
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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #6 by martyn williams » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:23 pm

The company that I work for mainly run Canadian built locomotives but, on the plus side they are now refurbishing the British built class 60 powered by a Mirlees 8 cylinder 3300 bhp engine because they are better than the class 66 in load hauling. But Mirlees are now owned by BMW Man. I work for a German nationalised company, D B, that own D B Schenker, Arriva, and Chiltern rail plus a number of smaller companies.All our road vehicles are Fiat. :dizzy:
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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #7 by essexpete » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:31 pm

This was a good read, partly tongue in cheek but factual truth as well.

http://www.jamesruppert.com/british-car-industry.html


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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #8 by martyn williams » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:46 pm

I was lucky enough to have a weeks course at the Stoddart and Pitt factory at Bath.A very impressive place,They were building cranes for oil rigs and dumpers and rollers for the construction industry.I also had two weeks at the CPT compressor factory at Frazerburgh. What I did notice in both places was that there was not that much new investment in the factory equipment.Both plants were run down and eventually closed.The compressors we coming from Japan in kit form to our depot after that.But they were not that much better quality that UK built machines .It was so sad to see the Scottish factory close as the people that worked there were fantastic,committed to the company and has great skill.
Now we have all our major industries in ownership of Germany France India etc. Now look whats happened to the Royal Mail.
Shares were sold off too cheap ,government advisors suggested the value.Now we find that the majority of the shares are in the hands of,you have guessed it, the same people that advised the government :dizzy:
I think that a charge of treason should be put to the banks for undermining the UK .
Martyn

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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #9 by modelman093 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:34 pm

The rot started when Lego replaced Meccano !


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Re: Whatever happened to the British Engineering Industry ?

Post #10 by Jeremy Rowland » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:47 pm

essexpete wrote:
Jeremy Rowland wrote:There is no single answer to this Craig but several reasons for the general demise which stem from poor industrial relations between the management and unions to arrogance on behalf of the management so far as quality was concerned. The irony is that the Quality gurus like W Edwards Deming and others who were either American or European preached their Quality message to a country that listened and that country was Japan.
Then of course there is the thorny question of paying for things and the Brits have never liked shelling out cash particularly if they cannot see an instant result for their investment, this does not just apply to industry but projects overall HS2 being the latest example. I despair of this country. :cry:

Jeremy



Are you pro HS2 Jeremy?


That's a good question Pete :think: In real terms the population is only getting larger therefore the greater the need for more infrastructure, so I guess HS2 is needed whether we agree with it or not; I also don't think that the cost should come into the equation because if you consider when the M5 was built with only two lanes to save money when in reality all of our motorways should have been built with four lanes so in the end we still had to add lanes to the M5 at an even greater cost. So on that basis I would argue that the reality is with the roads and railways already at breaking point we do need HS2. :think:
Okay so it won't directly affect me but if its in the countries best interest then it should be built.

Jeremy


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