Batteries made in Britain-Short History

Batteries made in Britain

Batteries made in Britain
Batteries made in Britain

Batteries made in Britain

As an old guy and a garage owner, I often look back and reminisce about the good old days in the motor trade. Much has been forgotten, but I often try to reflect on the names of the old companies and their locations.

In particular, my long involvement in the tyre and battery trade, especially my fondness for batteries Now in my middle seventies, I have covered many years of a thriving British manufacturing industry with today’s love of China for making our goods.

So, this article is of course, starting off with batteries

So I do remember most battery manufacturers who have long gone. Simply because I used to go to them and collect batteries that we had bought on some deal or other. Most manufacturers had their own waggons for transport in the early 1960s and 1970s. Pallets were not invented then!

However, it is a sad fact that, in the last century, the battery manufacturing industry in the UK faced a significant decline. Of course, a number of factors contributed to its demise. Including increased competition from overseas manufacturers, a shift towards disposable batteries

During the 1980’s, the UK battery companies did witness a sort of “Indian summer” as far as sales were concerned. The British car market was booming due to regular workers, and changes in finance laws helped blue-collar workers afford to buy cars.

This is the period of growth-Batteries made in Britain

that I can recollect vividly. I visited many British battery manufacturers as guests of the companies and potential customers for them. One in particular was Oldham Batteries in Lancashire, UK. Oldham Batteries was a very family-oriented company.

I will never forget the hospitality forwarded to my business partner and me on our visit with the managing director. We were amazed as a dinner lady unfolded a tablecloth and spread it across the boardroom table.

Yes, we were having lunch on the boardroom table! Of course, we were very impressed and started to buy and stock Oldham batteries until their demise in later years.

A short history of Oldham batteries: batteries made in Britain

Oldham Battery Company was a British manufacturer of batteries that was founded in 1894 and was based in the town of Oldham, in the north of England. The company was known for producing high-quality batteries that were used in a wide range of applications, including automobiles, motorcycles, and radios.

In the early years, Oldham Battery Company focused mainly on lead-acid batteries, which were commonly used in automobiles at the time. As the demand for automobiles grew, so did the demand for Oldham batteries. The company expanded rapidly, and by the 1930s, it had become one of the largest battery manufacturers in the UK.

Batteries made in Britain

During World War II, Batteries made in Britain

Oldham Battery Company played a crucial role in supplying batteries to the British military. The company was also involved in developing new technologies, such as the first sealed lead-acid battery.

In the post-war years, Oldham Battery Company continued to grow and expand. However, the company faced increasing competition from overseas manufacturers, and the rise of disposable batteries also had an impact on the business.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Oldham Battery Company struggled to adapt to the changing market and was eventually forced to close down in the early 1980s. The Oldham factory was demolished, and today the site is a retail park. No more batteries are made in Britain.

Oldham Battery Company’s legacy lives on

through the many vehicles and radios that still use their batteries, and the company remains a fondly remembered part of the town’s industrial heritage. Incidentally, the name Oldham Batteries carries on to this very day. A Manchester-based company purchased it and has been using the trading name for some time.

The batteries used, though, come from South Korea and not Oldham.

eric roberts
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