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Pickersleigh Road works

When World War I had come to an end, production of Morgan three-wheelers could resume quite quickly in Malvern. Apart from that, the Morgan Motor Company's finances were in a healthy state, for a number of reasons:
1. despite the war, production had continued quite long;
2. the war activities, to which they were obliged, also brought good renumerances.

Soon after World War 1 the sales got to record level, so the expanded working space was more than welcome!
Early days of the Morgan Factory at the Pickersleigh Road. A brand new Grand Prix at the front gate. Note that the signs on the doors to the different bays are still fresh.
In the 1930s, demand for the three-wheeler dwindled, for two reasons: 1. the difference in price between mass produced cars, like for instance the Austin Seven, and the Morgan was negligible;
2. the tax advantage of paying solely £4 per year, which long had been a strong selling point, was to disappear. Of course the economic crash of 1929 also played a role.

When the production of the 4/4 began, it was obvious the production capacity would be lower than in the heydays of the three-wheeler. The four wheelers required more space ànd more time to be built.

Yet, World War II began all too soon after production of the 4/4 had been started, so this came to an abrupt end.Lovely aerial view of the Morgan Factory from the 1970s. Since then a lot of changes have taken place at Morgan. The Works has been extended considerably. Photo Morgan Motor Company collection.

Instead The Factory was confiscated to participate in war acitivities. Even though H.F.S.Morgan was a pacifist, there was not much he could do about it.

The main activities during war time were the production of munitions, while the firm of Flight Refueling, who devised a system to refuel war planes when in the air, also occupied part of The Factory.

Commercially these war acitivities were good for the reserves of the Morgan Motor Company, as they not only brought income, but also free machinery. The Machine Shop got new equipment then, which served for many years afterwards.

The name on the plaque next to the former public entrance of the Morgan Factory says it all.


Part of the site was still let at that time, while the two bays at the bottom right had been added recently for the activities of the trim shop, the upholstery shop, the final finish and the test driver. At the far left, the building with the light coloured roof is the wood shed, where the wood was left to dry. Just behind it the round fire pond is visible. This has been removed in recent years.

For many years the sequence of the different Factory halls (in Factory terms: bays) was rather illogical and inefficient.


Seen from the street side, the first bay  housed the reception, the offices and the stores. The secondbay was -and still is- the Despatch Bay, where the cars ready for delivery receive the final attention, are filled with petrol and are made ready for either collection by agents, transport companies or individuals.
 
The Factory bay which possibly has seen the least changes over the years is the Despatch Bay. Only the models and the colours of the cars have changed periodically.
This was followed by the chassis erecting shop, where all the work on any Morgan begins. But then, ineffectiveness ruled!
The sequence of the different Factory bays did NOT match up to the production process. This resulted in partially finished cars, on slave wheels, being pushed outside, either up or down the slope, depending on which stage of production they were in.

Below follows a link to a You Tube film, taken in the mid 1990s, which gives a tour round The Factory. People who were around then will see some familiar faces of people who either retired or no longer work there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_gFEMVW9E