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Wartime factories


Kenilworth played its part in war time factory production; not only did several of the town’s own firms turn their hand to the needs of the day, but several firms moved to Kenilworth due to the air raids on Coventry. The following are excerpts from more detailed accounts in my book Kenilworth’s Engineering Age,  Odibourne Press, 1995

Auto and Aero, an extraordinary Kenilworth engineering firm, moved its machines from its wooden School Lane premises into Alf Wray’s garage in Priory Road. They made bomb tail-fins and Bailey-bridge float parts; the building was demolished to make way for the new railway station.

Clarke Cluley & Co were bombed out of their Coventry factory in November 1940 (by a bizarre coincidence, it was known as ‘The Globe works’) and built a large factory at the end of Moorlands Avenue, complete with four air raid shelters. It was Kenilworth’s first purpose-built engineering factory and during the war virtually all its output was precision parts for Rolls Royce Merlin engines for use in Spitfires and Lancasters.

The Clarke Cluley works in the mid 1960s. Air raid shelters can be seen on the right hand side of the site.


The drying sheds at the Cherry Orchard Brickworks were used for storage of Standard motor car parts. In another shed, a former Coventry firm, All Metal Craft, spent the war years producing sheet metal aircraft parts.

George Rawlings and Partners a precision engineering firm in Station Road, produced the key component for the Mark 6 Ferranti gunsight, used in aircraft and adopted by the navy.

The buildings that were used as a war-time engineering works by George Rawlings and Partners. Today they form the shopping arcade ‘Millar Court’. Photographed c1994