red brick terrace house in Oldham Lancashire

Oldham Battery History-I Told Em Oldham

Oldham Battery History

Oldham Battery History

So the Oldham Battery Company was a British manufacturer of batteries that was founded in 1894 and was based in the Lancashire mill 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 most cars of the time, 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. I will never forget the factory.

It was nestled in between rows of terraced houses made from red brick. indeed, it was from these terraced houses that most of the Oldham battery workforce lived at the time, and is a great part of the Oldham Battery History.

I will never forget the time when I was invited as a guest to visit the factory and see how batteries were made.

The first thing I noticed was the friendliness of the place and how everybody seemed to know each other. Both the bosses and workers had lunch together, many were long time workers, living in the nearby streets of red brick houses.

Supply and demand grew

Of course car production increased in the 60,s and 70,s as workers were paid more they could afford their first cars. so, 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.

During World War II, the Oldham Battery History, 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, like all the UK battery companies faced increasing competition from overseas manufacturers. Including, the rise of disposable batteries (maintenance free) which 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 a very sad part of the Oldham Battery History. The Oldham factory along with the many streets was demolished and today the site is a retail park.

6 reasons why British battery makers had to close down in the 60,s and 70,s

  1. Competition from foreign manufacturers: British battery manufacturers faced stiff competition from foreign manufacturers, particularly from countries like Japan and Germany, which were able to produce batteries at a lower cost.
  2. Lack of investment in research and development: British battery manufacturers did not invest enough in research and development, which made it difficult for them to keep up with the latest technological advancements in the industry.
  3. High labour costs: British battery manufacturers had to contend with high labour costs, which made it difficult for them to compete with foreign manufacturers on price.
  4. Economic downturn: The British economy experienced a downturn in the 1960s and 1970s, which made it difficult for manufacturers to stay in business.
  5. Government regulations: The British government imposed a number of regulations on manufacturers, which made it difficult for them to operate profitably.
  6. Lack of economies of scale: The British battery industry was relatively small, which made it difficult for manufacturers to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs.

Oldham Battery Company’s legacy and Oldham Battery History, 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. The company name was bought by a British battery wholesaler and is still used in todays busy battery market.

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eric roberts
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