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The Villiers Engineering Co. Ltd

The Second World War


During the Second World War Villiers again had to turn to making munitions.  They claimed that "some of their production schemes considerably lowered costs compared with the methods then used in ordnance factories". 

The Government urgently needed small four-stroke engines, most of which had come from America until U-boats started to cut off supplies.

Villiers offered to make an entirely new unit to take the place of the American engines, and in four months the first was ready for tests. They passed the tests and the production engines were used by all three Services all over the world. 

A Mark 25C cylinder is being fitted to the crankcase in the final assembly shop at Villiers' works, in 1953. 

In addition to these stationary four-stroke engines, Villiers made many of the engines fitted to the small motor-cycles used by parachute troops.

Another photograph from 1953 shows the operator forging connecting rods for the Mark 25C cylinders in the Villiers forge.  He could accurately judge the temperature of the metal by its colour alone.
A general view of part of the interior of the Marston Road works in 1953. 

Villiers occupied about 16 acres of land.

An advert, from the early 1950s, showing one of the autocyles, the production of which Villiers had successfully promoted.

It seems that Villiers were not great advertisers in the motorcycling press.  They seem to have left that to the users of their engines who usually mentioned the fact that their machine had a Villiers engine.  

An exception, like the 1928 advert, higher up this page, makes a point of saying that agents for Villiers engines and spare parts can be found in many towns in the UK - a fact which may have been a selling point over manufacturers who used their own engines and whose parts distribution may have been less comprehensive.

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