Reunion of Aveling-Barford workers to be held at Grantham Museum

Aveling-Barford.
Aveling-Barford.

A reunion of workers at one of Grantham’s largest employers in the last century will be held in the town’s museum.

The museum will be hosting the event on August 8 at 2pm when former workers and those associated with the firm are being asked to take along photographs and other mementoes as well as share their memories.

Museum spokesman Helen Goral said: “We’ll collate them to keep in our local history files. We’ll be showing archive films which have been digitised by Paul Dodd, an ex-Aveling Barford employee who now works at Grantham College. Paul was given the films before the company closed by Brian Hollingshead.”

Aveling-Barford was established in 1933, as the result of the amalgamation of the country’s two leading manufacturers of road rollers, Aveling & Porter and Barford & Perkins. Neither of the two constituent firms had Lincolnshire connections, Aveling & Porter being based at Rochester and Barford & Perkins at Peterborough, but following the merger the company moved its operations to a new factory on the outskirts of Grantham.

During the war the company built Bren gun carriers for the army, shell fuse caps and various precision-made components for tanks and submarines. Aveling-Barford continued to prosper in the immediate post war period, but the 1960s and 1970s were difficult decades for the firm. The workforce was slashed and the company’s range of products was dramatically reduced, but Aveling-Barford is still trading today as part of Moxy Engineering.

At its peak the company employed over 2000 people and was the biggest employer in town.

Entry to the museum and the reunion is free of charge, however donations towards the upkeep will be welcome. The coffee shop will be open for refreshments.