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History of Laycocks

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I'm thinking of writing a history of Laycocks for our Sports club newsletter.

We are still a thriving Sports Club on Archer Rd, Sheffield, but the firm is long since gone.

Are threre any memories you would like to share with me.

Who started the firm?

When did it start?

What did they first make?

What did they make during ww2?

The list is endless.

 

Get your thinking caps on!

 

Roger@laycocks-sport

 

::confused:

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I did my apprenticeship at Laycock and worked there from 1977 - 1988, during which time Laycock celebrated their centenary in 1980. I believe the company was originally called W.S Laycock, it was GKN Laycock when I worked there.

W.S Laycock produced the Charron Laycock motor car some time in the 1920s.

Laycast - Charron Laycock

When I worked there the company had three sites in the Millhouses - Heeley area.

The clutch manufacturing and main offices at Victoria Works on Archer Road where Sainsburys car park, MacDonalds etc now stands.

LUK

Garage Equipment on Camping Lane (Off Fraser Road) which is now the Periwood housing estate.

Overdrive factory, foundry and forge(Hardy Pick) on Little London Road, now vacant land which has been intersected by a new road linking Broadfield Road and Little London Road.

Laycock Overdrive

Old Heeley Link :

Heeley History Workshop

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I was a turret lathe operator at Laycocks during he second world war when they still made garage equipment and a host of other bits and bobs. We had a fire there, which all but destroyed the garage equipment bay, and I recall working all weekend to get it ready for production on the Monday morning. Spanners were necessary items to turret lathe operators and I rrecall the firm insisted on my buying my set from the company’s store. I paid for them weekly. The money was quite good. On a good week piece-work I could earn a fiver. In those days we still had the old white fivers which most shops wouldn’t accept. I always had to call at the Post Office to get mine changed.

 

To answer the original question, I think they first made car engines. The firm still had some concrete blocks with iron bolts in them, to hold the engines when they were being tested. Apparently, they were forced to stop testing when everyone living around them complained.

 

Just before you got to Laycocks, there used to be a 1930s office block, a grand design for those days, which was the HQ of Thorntons Toffee. As I write, I’m eating a belated Christmas present of a box of their liquorice toffee. The box tells me they are now based in Derbyshire.

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My husband worked at Laycock's for 31 years.

Started late 1950 until March 1982 when we came to Canada. He worked on the Overdrive which was made mainly for Volvo cars.

 

Cynthia, Ontario, Canada.

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I also served my time at Laycocks (GKN Laycock as it was then known) Itwas a member of the 'Birfield' group at that time.

I worked in the design office involved in the R&D off HGV clutches.(1967-71).

I have never since known a firm so full of 'characters'.

There was not one person in the entire work force, (it must have been over 2000 at that time) who was not barmy in one or another. It was a great place to work, but then again as a young bloke you always see the funny side of everything I suppose. One guy who sticks out in my mind is Bill Beet. He was a R&D engineering fitter and the greatest cynic I have known. During the War he was a Flight Sergeant and like all blokes of his age had great dislike of us apprentices, in fact he had a great dislike of everyone, but with a twinkle in his eye (either that or it was murder)

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I worked at Laycock's in the Cutter Grind Department from 1959 until about 1965. The boss was a guy named Maurice Rogers. He didn't smoke.drink or swear but never tried to impose his beliefs on anyone else. He was a pefect gentleman and an all round nice guy. Don't know whether he's still around or not.

There used to be two guys who worked in the stores, Lou and Ron. who both had one arm missing. They used to delight in getting us younger persons trapped between their stumps. You couldn't move too far when they did that. All in good fun then but would probably be frowned upon nowadays.

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I remember those blokes they were as strong as bulls. They could lift a tote box of a shelf with one hand. I think they had lost their arms in WW2. Do you remember the Machine Shop Foreman Sam Startup, as I say the place was unreal!

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See Peter Harvey's first "Abbeydale and Millhouses" book.

 

There some photos of staff in 1940s/50s and and a photo of the car that Laycock Engineering made for a while after WW1.in partnership with the French firm 'Charron' as well as a good aerial shot of the Millhouses works.

 

Edit: and a visit to the Local Studies section of the Central Library should be quite rewarding too ;)

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Originally posted by artisan

I remember those blokes they were as strong as bulls. They could lift a tote box of a shelf with one hand. I think they had lost their arms in WW2. Do you remember the Machine Shop Foreman Sam Startup, as I say the place was unreal!

 

Don't remember that guy but I do remember Braithwaite the bookie. I also rember a Sam Marsden who was a setter on the automatic lathes and another guy (name eludes me) who used to talk about his beer consumption in gallons e.g. he only drank three quarters of a gallon last night instead of his usual one and a half.

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Originally posted by chuffinel

Don't remember that guy but I do remember Braithwaite the bookie. I also rember a Sam Marsden who was a setter on the automatic lathes and another guy (name eludes me) who used to talk about his beer consumption in gallons e.g. he only drank three quarters of a gallon last night instead of his usual one and a half.

 

 

There was another man his name was Harry Sherburn (so my husband says). Do you recollect ?, apparently he died some long tiime ago.

Cynthia, Ontario.

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I dont remember Harry but had probably met him as I used go all over the works. What has happened to the firm now? A few years ago I drove past to show my kids where I worked and it was completly demolished

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Originally posted by chuffinel

Don't remember that guy but I do remember Braithwaite the bookie. I also rember a Sam Marsden who was a setter on the automatic lathes and another guy (name eludes me) who used to talk about his beer consumption in gallons e.g. he only drank three quarters of a gallon last night instead of his usual one and a half.

 

Was his name Raymond ? I can't remember his surname, but the story rings a bell.

 

You could tell which night shift you were working because he wore the same T shirt all four nights, right way on Monday, back to front on Tuesday, inside out with the label at the back Wednesday, and inside out with the label at the front on Thursday. :gag:

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