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24th

24th

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Jan 19, 2014 6:29 pm

Thanks for posting these Wonderfull photos. Anyone know what " Bridge Testing " is ?
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Jan 19, 2014 7:54 pm

I wonder if the same process was applied to the MH bayonet ?
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Jan 19, 2014 8:07 pm

Looking at the picture, I think this could be a lunger bayonet of the type used with the MH, rather than a Lee Metford bayonet.
You can see what looks like a curved bridge over which the bayonet is being bent, with a short section of a rifle barrel in the testers hands. Above the curved bridge is what looks like a straight triangular section on four struts which I suppose allows for the testing of straightness after bending.
I note the other guy is standing well back !
Neil will probably know.

Steve
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Royal Small Arms Factory Birmingham    Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Jan 19, 2014 11:02 pm

Excellent phot's Steve thanks for posting them
Littlehand I'm not sure what testing procedure was put in place for the MH Bayonet of the AZW or Egypt for that matter , as there are a few accounts during those two Campaigns where the Bayonet was broken or snapped when in use . I'm fairly certain Neil may've posted some of those instances on here a while ago ? .
90th
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 1:07 am

Brilliant pictures, cheers Steve.

Looks like that could be the foreman with his 'blocker' on, and the gaffer wearing his 'topper'. This was a time when men took pride in their work, and I sure wouldn't like to argue with the bloke testing the bayonet and sword, I bet he could give you a thick ear if you gave him a bit of the old lip, umm, he reminds me of the boiler fitter at our old railway steam engine sheds, and no one said boo to him, not even the shed master, ah yes, those were the days,  Very Happy 
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 11:58 am

Great images of the RSAF Sparkbrook, this became a government establishmnet in 1886 after the demise of the National Arms and Ammunition company in 1884.

The testing of both triangular common long socket bayonets and sword bayonets was altered after the Sudan campaign, in particular to re-tempering,originally the common long socket bayonet was bent 10.8" from the tip over a 2" high bridge, the new 1885 bridge test, involved initially bending the bayonet on all three faces on a block 21/2” high, ten inches from the tip, next the bayonet was twisted from point to socket through ninety degrees, and, finally the face was struck sharply with an oak block. Previously only the face of the blade was put through the bend test and struck. In 1884, the 1st Bedfordshire Regiments’ bayonets were tested, issued to them in 1877, out of 817 only 640 passed the test, and those that failed were classed as "soft" and re-tempered by re-heating and being left in vats of molten lead to harden. Once re-tested the blades were marked with a capital "R" on the view mark. It was however a blown out of proportion, 11 bayonets were tested which had been returned from the Sudan at the RSAF, three had been struck by bullets and two had been accidentally broken, the other six were slightly bent.

Sword bayonets were machine tested from 1887 and I have a copy of the Enfield hand written internal instruction from the Head Viewer H Hunter for it.

The rigours of use were deteriorating the blades, however, the common long socket was considered so good, that it was adopted for the Martini Enfield in 1896, and, it was also considered superior toe the 1888 sword bayonet, leading to the cheif inspector of the RSAF to write in 1900 after the Sudan campaign of 1898  “the triangular bayonet on the other hand is far less liable to such an incident, and besides, requires far less force to penetrate the enemy’s body…One other point must be borne in mind, that the long bayonet is of some use to a soldier un-happily deprived of his rifle,”.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 4:11 pm

Steve
The image called browning the barrels is actually historically very important. The rifles they are browning, appear to be MkIV, which would begin to date these images to circa 1888-90, as Sparkbrook was breaking up Enfield Martinis for conversion and it is a fantastic image. The cancellation and the conversion of the .402" Enfield Martini was a national disgrace, over 78,000 rifles had been made, only to be sent to Sparkbrook for conversion back to .450.

Sparkbrook was known as the Royal Small Arms Repair Factory (RSARF) ,and it was on Montgomery St, although it was manufacturing new made rifles in particular to the end of the 19th, In 1886 it had been contracted to produce 450 Enfield Martini's a week, but this was cancelled and it took over from the extensive works known as "the Tower" on Bagot Street Birmingham in 1894 and It's main function was the repair of rifles returning from the regiments and being classified at Weedon depot, plus the alteration of MkII rifles to Martini Henry Artillery carbines MkII, its proof mark was a distinctive B.R. (Birmingham repair), then later SK. Sparkbrook was an extension of the Enfield factory in effect, and the Superintendent at Enfield oversaw both the works.

Can I ask do you own the book it came from, and what is it called?.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 4:17 pm

By the way "Browning" was the method of chemically turning the barrels blue to offer rust resistancy,the barrels were treated four times: in Victorian times browning solution was made from the following chemicals, I see they have no gloves!
• 1 Gallon rainwater
• 5 oz Methylated spirits
• 8oz Tincture of Steel (Alcoholic Chloride of Iron)
• 8oz Nitirc Acid
• 3oz Sulphuric acid
• 4oz Blue Vitriol (Copper Sulphate Penthahydrate)


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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 5:33 pm

Thanks Neil, I thought you might be the man to know. I do own the publication, it is an 1895 supplement to the Graphic.

The following quote very much backs up what you say.

" The factory consists of six large red brick buildings which are well lighted and perfectly ventilated. Formerly, manufacturing only was carried on at Sparkbrook; some twelve months since the three buildings on the northern side of the factory were set apart as a repairing department, and the plant at Bagot Street - where all the repairs used to be done - were brought to the larger institution. Before any transfer of machinery was made to meet the new arrangements, plans were prepared showing the original positions of the machines, of which there were over a 1000. Then another plan was made showing the position of the machines under the proposed alteration. The machines were then all numbered and marked, so that at any time, if need were, the three buildings could without much difficulty be again devoted to manufacturing. The removal and rebuilding of the machines took three weeks, and at the end of that time all of them were at work again. "

It then goes on to describe the manufacturing of Lee Metfords in the other three buildings.

At the end it says.  

"The Small Arms Factory at present finds employment for 613 hands whose average weekly earnings range from 30s. to 50s. (£1.50 - £2.50 a week for those who do not remember real money), although only a few reach the higher figure. Payment is made at the piecework system and there are over a thousand prices, which vary according to the skill required for each job."

Steve
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 6:03 pm

Very fascinating, and more great images, so glad the forum has Neil onboard to explain things in detail, great knowledge.

Thanks guys.

 Salute 
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 6:29 pm

This is what we like, excellent post Rusteze.  agree 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 7:55 pm

http://www.birminghamgunmuseum.com/RSAF_later_BSA_Sparkbrook.php
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Jan 20, 2014 8:24 pm

I just have this image of them all sounding like the Peaky Blinders.

Steve
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90th

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PostSubject: Royal Small Arms Factory Birmingham    Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyTue Jan 21, 2014 5:24 am

Excellent Post John.
90th
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Jan 22, 2014 6:45 pm

Is this the same factory from which the MH bullets were manufactured, as per the line in Zulu Dawn?:

"come all this bloody way to be killed by a bullet from Birmingham"
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Jan 22, 2014 7:43 pm

Don't think its the same factory. Lion Ammunition Works, Witton, Birmingham - in 1882 the second biggest ammunition works in UK., 400,000 rounds per day capacity. So I guess that all the bullets were from Birmingham!

Steve
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Jan 22, 2014 8:48 pm

Not so, the first ordnance Martini Henry cartridges were manufactured at The Royal Arsenal Woolwich, with RFG2 gunpowder supplied by Watham Abbey, or trade suppliers such as Curtis and Harvey No6 or Hey Merricks gunpowder.

Capacity in 1877 at Woolwich was 500,000 per week, it was ordered uplifted when threat of conflict in Afghanistan was looming, so Snider machines were altered to allow for the 2,000,000 extra rounds ordered.

The former owners of the Sparkbrook works was the National Arms and Ammunition company, these had a cartridge works at the Holdford Works on Belmont Row, Birmingham, plus Birmingham Small Arms and Metal company had a cartridge works, neither managed to negotiate Government contracts, in 1878 the Holdford works was extensively destroyed in a fire, but BSA got close on 1st April 1875 they offered solid drawn cases for appraisal at Woolwich but the ideal was shelved, but re-investigated in 1885, a little late. The two main factories, were producing 10's of thousands of rounds of small arms ammunition for Prussia.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Jan 22, 2014 9:06 pm

I remember going to Waltham Abbey in the 70s when it was PERME (Propellants Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment). Lots of little wooden huts, each surrounded by high earth embankments to localise the effects of any explosion. An old boy was using a modified bread mixer to mix cordite! And a sausage maker to produce it in a long thin tube like toothpaste. That was then cut into short lengths to fit the cartridge cases of the time. All perfectly safe he said!

Steve
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Jan 22, 2014 9:44 pm

http://www.birminghamgunmuseum.com/RSAF_later_BSA_Sparkbrook.php
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyThu Jan 23, 2014 11:17 am

So if the MH rounds were made in Woolwich, London and Waltham Cross, Essex, the line from Zulu Dawn ("come all this way to be shot by a bullet from Birmingham") is yet another historical inaccuracy/mistake?
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyThu Jan 23, 2014 11:27 am

Sadly yes
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyThu Jan 23, 2014 11:30 am

Thanks Neil, great answers.
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Peter35



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySat Mar 07, 2020 4:17 am

I peruse this Forum infrequently (none of my military ancestors served in the Zulu War) and post even more infrequently, so I apologise in advance for my question:

Wrt to the OP: "Thanks for posting these Wonderfull photos ...........",

WHERE are these wonderful photos?

I came upon this thread in my quest to find out what 'happened' to the Royal Small Arms Repairing Factory at Bessborough Place, Pimlico / Millbank / Thames Bank.

..... which started it's 'arms life' as Samuel Colt's revolver factory / London armory in 1853

..... relinquishing it's lease in 1856 / 1857 / 1858 (authorities differ) to the War Office to become the Royal Small Arms Repairing Factory;

..... and the depot of the Corps of Armourer Sergeants in 1858.

All I've been able to come up with is that it "closed in 1870" (Michael Roper, The Records of the War Office and Related Departments, 1660-1964).

Peter
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySat Mar 07, 2020 8:07 am

Peter,

I will venture an answer - which may be incorrect - as to the photographs.

Steve, aka rusteze, is sadly now deceased, it is more than likely that the account that he used to post the photographs has been closed and images no longer available.

Just my suggestion.

JY
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Peter35



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySat Mar 07, 2020 8:28 am

John,

Thank you. I logged on to answer my question and found your post.

(We have exchanged posts on the late destroyed VWF).




Having read the thread properly(!), it is clear the photos were from:

Rifle Making for the British Army. A Visit to the Royal Small Arms Factory,
Supplement to The Graphic, December 21, 1895. (Two unnumbered pages).

Nonetheless, I remain interested in the late Royal Small Arms Repairing Factory, Pimlico / Millbank / Thames Bank.

For example: WAS it closed in 1870"? While I have four, arguably five, sources which say "production" commenced in 1853, Roper says Thames Bank "opened" in 1860.

Assuming 1870 closure of Millbank, were all repairs subsequently undertaken at RSAF, Bagot Street until the transfer of repairing arms to Sparkbrook?

I have seen nothing to suggest Enfield subsequently undertook repairing arms. Indeed, I have this statement from Mr Campbell-Bannerman in the Commons, albeit 1893:

I can give a rough and ready answer to that inquiry; Bagot Street is mainly, if not entirely, a repairing factory. There may be some repairing work done at Enfield,
but I do not understand that there is any repairing branch there in the sense that Bagot Street is a repairing branch
.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyMon Mar 09, 2020 9:08 am

There is plenty on Bagot street, Weedon, and Sparkbrook in my book.  But Pimlico effectively closed in 1866. Its Assistant manager at the time was H T Arbuthnot who rose to become Superintendent of Enfield, Bagot Street, Sparkbrook and Weedon in April 1880.

Bagot street opened in 1797 but by the 1880's it could not cope with demand, thus Sparkbrook was acquired on 1st April 1885 for £55,248.08s.6d, mainly for it forge facilities and its potential to produce the new, but cancelled Enfield Martini .402 arm. It had been mothballed since the closure of the National Arms & Ammunition Co on 10th Jan 1883. It remained operative alongside Bagot st until  22nd Fab 1894 when Bagot street was closed. (Bagot st became the Osmond cycle factory  but was re-set as a gun factory in 1914 to manufacture Mausers for the Belgians). There was a lot in the Birmingham newspapers about Bagot st closure as 300 lost their jobs.

Little is ever reported about the activities of Weedon Stores, which was the huge complex set up in Northamptonshire, which did most of the  assessments, before arms were sent to the RSAR Factories. Its output was huge, and was the base for the Royal Corps of Armourers. In my book I list the output of Weedon in one year 1880 (Arbuthnots report of Jan 1881) the repairing and breaking up the works was carry out is staggering, for example 23,329 Sniders broken up!).

Enfield did undertake the repair of Small Arms,for example it was repairing 200 Snider weekly in 1872, but due to demand by 4th April 1877, which the huge demand to convert Martini Henry MKI arms to MKII all 2nd class arms were sent to Bagot st for repair.

In my book I study the repair works in depth from 1870-1900, but also the Trade manufacturers at the RSAF Enfield, BSA & M Co, N.A & A Co, LSA Co, HRB Co and B.E. 156,000 words 256 full colour pages.

signed copies may be obtained £49.95 or £99.95 by emailing me neilaspinshaw@sky.com

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Peter35



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Mar 11, 2020 6:18 am

Neil,

Thank you very much for your detailed reply.

Unfortunately, no Australian public library holds the title. Presumably, it is too early for Acquisition Librarians to catch up with your late 2019 publication. Can’t find in a Sydney bookshop. I note that Amazon does not ship to Australia.

My particular interest is Millbank / Pimlico, about which I remain uncertain.

On my reading of various Hart’s, Royal Kalendars, contemporaneous newspaper reports and Cottesloe, JSAHR, 1933, pp 197 – 212,

Arbuthnot was:
1861 – Oct, 1866 Assistant Superintendent, Enfield
Oct, 1866 – 1871 / 1872 Assistant Superintendent, Birmingham

With respect to Millbank, from an incomplete series of Royal Kalendars (Hart’s does not go down to Assistant Superintendent level) for the period 1860 – 1869:

Assistant Superintendent of Small Arms, Millbank:
1860 – 1862 Captain Jervis
1866 – 1867 Captain TP Warlow
1869 Major HCS Dyer

1870 – 1877
….. presumably pursuant to the 1870 reorganisation of Manufacturing Establishments …..
while the title of Superintendent, RSAFactories (Enfield, Birmingham and Millbank) is retained (from at least 1860), that of Assistant Superintendent of Small Arms, Millbank ceases to appear.

1878 Superintendent, RSAFactories (Enfield, Birmingham and Millbank)
        becomes
        Superintendent, RSAFactories (Enfield and Birmingham)

So, adding to the puzzle, the Royal Kalendar has Millbank Factory operating until 1878.

I was unaware of any “Arbuthnot’s report of Jan 1881”. Could you advise some short details, please?

Thank you for the information regarding Enfield in the 1870s. I presume that was a Snider specific activity for whatever reason. I further presume this was an exception to the ‘rule', per my earlier post, and that with the closure of Millbank (whenever that was!), repairs subsequently were undertaken at RSAF, Bagot Street until the transfer of repairing arms to Sparkbrook?

I have sent a PM

Regards,
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90th

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PostSubject: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham    Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Mar 11, 2020 10:58 am

Hi Peter35.
I'm from Victoria here in Aust , Neil's book is ONLY available through himself , which is why he put a link to the book at the bottom of his post , I have a copy ordered from Neil , as do several other Aussies who ordered directly through Neil's Website . Hope this saves you any more fruitless searches online . agree agree
90th Salute
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Peter35



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Mar 11, 2020 11:23 am

Thanks 90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham    Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Mar 11, 2020 11:04 pm

No problem Peter35
90th Salute Salute
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

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Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySat Mar 14, 2020 10:22 am

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Peter

I did do you a detailed reply but for some reason it just didn't go. But in a nutshell small arms repairs ceased In 1866, but there is not doubt the clothing store continued for some time.  In fact it wasn't until the new clothing store was built at Weedon in 1902 that most stores were centralised.

My book as 90th mentions can be purchased from my website, or if anyone wants a signed copy, by emailing me at neilaspinshaw@sky.com.  Ive got some regular plus the leather bound collectors editions left. £49.95 & £99.95 respectively. + Post.
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Peter35



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Join date : 2019-11-17

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Mar 15, 2020 3:12 am

Thanks Neil.

A shame your detailed reply disappeared.

To be clear, I never questioned the continued existence of Weedon. It was your statement

“Weedon Stores ….. was the base for the Royal Corps of Armourers”

that is contrary to my research, as I documented in my PM.

I’m sure you’re correct in saying “Pimlico effectively closed in 1866” (Your Post, March 9). It accords with the letter of a former Armourer Sergeant to the RAOC Gazette; and circumstantial bits and pieces I’ve come across.

However, I have been unable to unearth any authority to that effect. On the assumption your 1866 date is based on either such an authority or your research I would be very grateful if you provided some details for it.

Peter
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyTue Mar 17, 2020 6:48 pm

Peter.

Arbuthnot states in his meeting with director of contracts E.C. Napean Aug 1881 when describing his career "I moved to the Tower when my department closed in September 1866". Which is odd, he was only appointed assistant superintendent there only on Jan 5th 1866, replacing Capt Jarvis.

What confused the matter on the 18th September Brvt Major H.C.S Dyer was appointed as assistant superintendent at Pimlico, replacing Arbuthnot?? (he later became Asst Supt at Enfield under Fredk Close in Aug 1871) . Now whether it was the closure of the repair department I don't know, and its Arbuthnot quote which I draw my evidence from. What I do know is that in March 1868 360 odd Enfield rifles belonging to the Royal Irish Constabulary were sent there for conversion to Sniders.

I digress, As Pimlico didn't come under any of my research I have little to help otherwise background, I have 2500 pages of primary source documents post 1869 and I can't put my hand on the RCA info but If I can I'll have a look where it originates, Its most likely in the Government Manufacturing Department records 1874-1899. (leeds Royal armouries and Kew) but be aware these are 3" thick.

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Peter35



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptySun Mar 22, 2020 6:56 am

Neil,

Thank you for your reply.

I did recognise Pimlico was a sidetrack to your major research.

Your reference to Arbuthnot’s meeting with Nepean was very helpful. Further, it is one of those rare situations where two parties debating a set of facts can say: We are each correct.

I had tracked Arbuthnot’s RSAF career through Hart’s and Royal Kalendars and specialist literature, such as Cottesloe (whose account of Enfield is “compiled from notes written by Mr GH Roberts, Superintendent, Enfield, 1922 – 1931”).

i) Cottesloe and Hart’s have Arbuthnot finishing his appointment as Assistant Superintendent, Enfield, in 1866 (date unspecified).

ii) Newspaper report advising Arbuthnot had held the appointment of Assistant Superintendent, Birmingham “since October 1866”.

Your advice that Arbuthnot advised Nepean that he “moved to the Tower when my department closed in September 1866” prompted me to consult various Newspapers data bases:

iii) Identical reports in eight papers (but nothing in The Times), February, 1866:

“(Pursuant) to general regimental order, dated the 1st instant ….

"Brevet Major HT Arbuthnot, to be assistant superintendent of the Small Arms Factory at Pimlico, vice Captain Jervis”

(Nothing in London Gazette).

iv) London Gazette, 16 October 1866:

(No mention of Arbuthnot, but)

“Lieutenant WS Curzon to be Second Captain, vice

“Brevet Major HCS Dyer, removed to the Supernumerary List on being appointed Assistant Superintendant of the Small Arms Establishment at Pimlico.

“Dated 7th September, 1866.”

(No report in any Newspaper).

In short, Arbuthnot was in and out of Pimlico in seven months.

I agree such a short appointment is odd. My best judgement (aka: guess) is that a senior and experienced Arbuthnot was either appointed before the decision to close Pimlico was made; or was ‘deliberately’ appointed to supervise the closure.

Again, thanks for the information.

If, and when, you come across anything on the Corps of Armourers I would very much appreciate your further advice.
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FROGSMILE



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PostSubject: Re: Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham   Royal Small Arms Factory Sparkbrook Birmingham EmptyWed Mar 25, 2020 2:39 pm

Neil Aspinshaw wrote:
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Peter

I did do you a detailed reply but for some reason it just didn't go. But in a nutshell small arms repairs ceased In 1866, but there is not doubt the clothing store continued for some time.  In fact it wasn't until the new clothing store was built at Weedon in 1902 that most stores were centralised.

My book as 90th mentions can be purchased from my website, or if anyone wants a signed copy, by emailing me at neilaspinshaw@sky.com.  Ive got some regular plus the leather bound collectors editions left. £49.95 & £99.95 respectively. + Post.

Neil, I wanted to thank you for helping with this research into the Pimlico Millbank Repairing Manufactory and the part that it played in the story of the British Army Armourer Sergeant.
 
As you might know, the Armourer Sergeants, who informally existed since the 1700s at least (probably before) and were formalised from 1802, have never had their story properly told. This seems a great injustice given that without them the muskets and rifles would never have been able to function as they did.  In short, without them there might never have been an empire.  The old adage, 'for the want of a horseshoe nail', comes to mind.

Placed in a corps of their own from 1858, the Armourer Sergeants were the Cinderella’s of the Army, needed and yet virtually ignored historically. Placed in the OSC/ASC in the late 1890s and then REME in 1942, the division of their historical timeline between the archives of the contemporary Royal Logistics Corps and REME has led to much information and interest falling between the two stools and to a degree lost from sight.  

Anything that you can do, please, to tease out hidden details of the activities and personalities at the Pimlico Millbank Repairing Manufactory, as requested by Peter above, will help to throw some light into very dark corners indeed.
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