by S. A. Barnett

with Frank Sharman and Reg Aston

A Note on Sources

There is no published history of the company as a whole.  “A Century of Thompson’s in the Motor Industry, by S. A. Barnett, privately published by the author in 2004 and distributed by GKN to employees and associates when the Wolverhampton works closed covers only the motor pressings side of the business.  There is a copy in the Wolverhampton City Archives.  This book  is copiously illustrated and gives considerable detail on the firm's products products, their customers and their employees;  but, very importantly, it gives details of the shops, their equipment, production systems and methods and it is therefore an unusually complete picture of how a great engineering works actually operated throughout the 20th century.

The outline account  of the company given here is largely based on Stan Barnett’ book.  Material has also been supplied by Reg Aston and by Frank Sharman and gleaned from various Wolverhampton Official Handbooks from the 1950s and 60s.   Frank Sharman edited the whole thing and is responsible for its content.  The curator is obliged all of them for permission to use their material. 

The Wolverhampton City Archives contains a deposit of materials (mostly at catalogue reference DB-5) made by N.E.I. John Thompson Ltd..  This seems mostly to cover the later period and much of it is subject to a 30 year closure period.  The Staffordshire Record Office contains what seems to be an older and larger collection of material, from the Records of the Horseley-Piggott Group (mostly catalogued at D1288).

This seems to be a case where much further work could be done to produce a comprehensive company history.


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