Sign in to follow this  
LAZZA

S.A MONK engineers

Recommended Posts

Doe's anyone remember S.A. MONK on deering street in the meadows? They also had a smaller factory on Bell st in the meadows and one on castle boulevard.The main factory was in Sutton in ashfield.It was an engineering factory that manufactured industrial knitting machines.I started my apprenticeship there in 1968. Two years later we were all made redundant, as they closed the Nottingham factory's and moved everything to Sutton in ashfield. They employed a lot of people that lost there jobs.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a tech sales rep I supplied tooling parts to SA Monk Sutton in Ashfield. This would have been C1970. Sutton in Ashfield had developed into an important area for the manufacture of moulds and tools for the plastics injection industry. The area was seeded by a glass mould making company later to become Cinterd Products who made moulds for the 'lost wax ' process that eventually produced such things as aero turbine blades. There were about a dozen mouldmaking companies in the area, the biggest being Preconomy. SA Monk were a mid range toolmaker employing about 20 or so toolmakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Yep - worked for this crowd Pevril. They made hose reels for a place in Hinkley? And clipnote notice boards. Tony Monk recently passed on. Eastfield side? Sutton in A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I worked at Entex Springs we supplied lots of springs as spares for the Bentley - Cotton knitting machines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did they ever find the wax they lost?? Errrr where's me 'at and coat>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Talking to the Monk family yesterday ( sons) will meet and catch up in Mansfield, we got talking about Metal Box Co.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were many precision engineering and toolmaking companies in Sutton in Ashfield. I did my apprenticeship and worked at Preconomy in the late 60's early 70's. I went to West Notts Tech with guys from S.A. Monk and Matthews and Birkhamshaw (Mathbirk) who also manufactured industrial knitting machines. I think that S.A. Monk won the Queens Award to Industry for export in the late 60's and that Mathbirk held many patents for their knitting machine technology.

Re #3 PevrilPeril if you serviced Preconomy we may have seen each other at some time. Who did you work for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did my apprenticeship at Monks in the late sixties and finished just as the Nottingham factories were closed. I started at Deering Street under the watchful eye of Frank Walker in a training centre above the foundry. After nine months we were let loose on the shop floor and I moved over to Bell Street, just off Arkwright Street. It was a friendly place with several real characters working there. There was a good chip shop just round the corner and a pub next door so most were happy one way or another. The first bit of kit we got was a feeler gauge measuring one and a half thousands of an inch thick which was the standard you were expected to work to. It was a happy time in general and I would have not left if we hadn't all been made redundant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#8 Yes I visited SA Monk and Preconomy every month during the 60's. Got to know Tony Monk and Arthur Millward quite well over the years. Firstly as a tech rep for High Grade Steels (RAB1 mould steel) and then as sales manager for DMS. I supplied about a dozen companies in that area.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PeverilPeril #8

We used DMS mould bases when suitable and their guide pins and bushes and other mould components.

Don't know if you remember that Arthur smoked Players Mild and one of the jobs as an apprentice was being sent out into Sutton for 200 players Mild and a box (12) of Swan Vesta's. One day when I went the tobacconist did not have any Swan Vesta's so I bought Three Torches instead and when I got back got such a bollocking and was sent out again to find some Swan Vestas as he reckoned that other matches made the cigarettes taste.

One of the best places I ever worked, Arthur was at the forefront of so many new technologies. Do you remember the works manager, Ray Cooper? He always had a colourful turn of phrase when you had made a mistake one that I remember distinctly was "Steaming sh*t pipes, What have you done laddo?" He called all apprentices "laddo" until you finished your apprenticeship and then you were called by your name.

Did you know the foremen? one of them was, Ron Davies, I think I heard that he died not so long ago. The "Preco" lads were a great bunch of guys and I owe a lot to the sound engineering grounding that "Preco" gave me. Here is a picture of one of the guys working a DSG lathe (the Rolls Royce of lathes) in the apprentice training shop circa 1966/67

1967 Sutton Preconomy.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a small world Oztalgian. Arthur was a wily old fox. It took me a while to realise that the cups of tea and chats were his way of doing market research and finding out what the competition were up to. Learnt to keep me trap shut. His area sales engineers from the 60's went on to form their own design and toolmaking companies. Harold Hales, Mick Simms, Denis White, Reg Lees, Harry Proctor? etc. 

I almost ended up in Adelaide as a toolmaker! Was turned down as a 'ten pound Pom' at the last minute due to health insurance probs. I visited Adelaide a few years ago to see my mate John Rushton, an ex Pressac, lad who went there in the 60's. . 

That pic of the DSG brought back memories. As an apprentice I needed to make a bit of fishing tackle requiring a 3/8"BSF thread. The only lathe available was a huge 8 foot between centres gap bed. That big lathe was so precise that I was able to screw cut that fine thread.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pevril, I learned early in the piece that the best way to find out what was going on was to talk to the reps of the steel suppliers and the machine tools as many would freely boast about what they had sold to whom. At one stage we got to the point that we would not let them into the plant if we were doing anything new or exciting as if we did it would be all over the industry the next day.

A mate told me that Preconomy have opened a brand new facility on the site of the old Crown Farm pit at Mansfield, a long way from Eastfield Side in Sutton. When we came to Adelaide from Sydney in the mid 90's the were almost 100 toolmaking companies doing press tools, plastic moulds, casting tooling and patternmaking, today you would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find a dozen and many of those have moved into defence and aerospace work as tooling has moved to China, India and Korea. In around a year following the total closure of our car manufacturing industry I guess that there will only be a handful left. A sad and irreplaceable loss of trade and technical skills.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2016 at 9:20 PM, woody said:

Did my apprenticeship at Monks in the late sixties and finished just as the Nottingham factories were closed. I started at Deering Street under the watchful eye of Frank Walker in a training centre above the foundry. After nine months we were let loose on the shop floor and I moved over to Bell Street, just off Arkwright Street. It was a friendly place with several real characters working there. There was a good chip shop just round the corner and a pub next door so most were happy one way or another. The first bit of kit we got was a feeler gauge measuring one and a half thousands of an inch thick which was the standard you were expected to work to. It was a happy time in general and I would have not left if we hadn't all been made redundant.

It’s possible that I worked with you as I was in the training school with Frank walker.not long after coming out of the training school was made redundant.Charlie Ellis was the machine shop forman, his son Chris went into the fitting shop.we were the same age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small globe it is..Tony was a nice bloke..i went and visited the home on Little Ricket Lane last year...have many many happy memories at Lane House. Sadly all passed on..though i am mates with one of the sons...Did they take on Jardines old works?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep served my apprenticeship at H.M.B.C. Bell st, Peter Valentine Heron was my forman another name I remember was Tom Charleton, worked my way through the factory, most memorable was the hardening shop, the blacksmith taught me how to do scrolls etc and we used to case harden components in molten cyanide pots, he used to keep his chips hot on the side of em.

Soon after Stibbe took over Monks I was made redundant just as I had completed my apprenticeship and was due to go out installing the M/c's.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have been doing my apprenticeship at the same time Chris. I did a short spell at Deering Street before being transferred to Bell Street. If you are the Chris I remember you had a Reliant, maroon if I remember rightly. I  remember Pete Heron, also Claude Lawrence, Gordon Walker, Ben Brentnall and various other characters. I enjoyed my time there and learnt a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Woody, My first car there was a Bond 3 wheeler with a 250cc villiers on the front wheel, great fun to drive if a bit slow it was red, after I was made redundant I went to Bancrofts on Roden St as a sewing m/c mech, eventually was chief mechanic at Speedo in Gedling and Bobbers mill, now retired but Voluntyeering at Papplewick Pumping Station.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this