Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

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Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby dazza » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:46 pm

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"the only virtually complete British example of a concrete framed, multi-storey daylight car factory, built in emulation of American principles."

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The Arrol-Johnston Motor Co., which had been in operation since 1896, opened its Dumfries factory at Heathhall in July 1913. The manager, Thomas Charles Pullinger, had been inspired by the Albert Kahn designed factories of Henry Ford in America.
Kahn provided the design for the Dumfries factory, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to Ford's Highland Park factory in Detroit.

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Highland Park, Detroit

It was said to be the most advanced light engineering factory of its day in Scotland.

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During WWI the factory produced aero-engines for the war effort. However, a lack of capacity at the Dumfries works led to another factory being built in Tongland, Kirkcudbrightshire in 1917. This, too, was built on the same Kahn principle of a reinforced concrete frame with large windows for maximum light.

Tongland factory in early 1920's
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...and now
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It seems truly bizarre seeing what would have been such a modern factory sitting in the middle of a rural backwater.

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The managing director of the works was the daughter of Thomas Charles Pullinger and, after the war was over, she convinced her father to keep the factory open to allow production of cars. This was to become The Galloway Motor Company. The workforce was predominately female, and it was the first company to produce a car aimed specifically at women; "A car made by ladies for others of their sex", as the advertising literature read.

The Galloway Car - For ladies
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The Galloway Car was manufactured at Tongland from 1920 - 1923, then moved production to the factory at Heathhall until 1928. Arrol-Johnston stopped car production completely at Heathhall in 1931.

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The site was purchased by the North British Rubber Company in 1946. It then became Uniroyal Ltd in the 60's, and in 1987 changed yet again to the British subsidiary of the Gates Rubber Company. It has been known as Interfloor since 2002.

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So there you have it... A lil' bit of Deeeetroit in Dumfries.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby banjo » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:04 pm

bravo dazza,fantastic set there.loved the selective colour shot.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby dazza » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Thanks Banjo. I'm sure someone, unlike me, who actually has a gift for photography would have got some amazing results with the light and reflections in there.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby Lucky Poet » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:56 pm

Cracking stuff. It still looks surprisingly modern, despite being about 80 years old. And about the last place you'd expect to see such things - Tongland especially.
All the world seems in tune on a Spring afternoon, when we're poisoning pigeons in the park.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby dazza » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:18 pm

Lucky Poet wrote:Cracking stuff. It still looks surprisingly modern, despite being about 80 years old. And about the last place you'd expect to see such things - Tongland especially.


You never read any of that, did you? ::): The buildings are 101 and 97 years old respectively.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby Lucky Poet » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:28 pm

Well, if you're going to be all accurate about it... It is about 80 though, give or take a, uh, decade or three.

(I saw '1931' and went for it I guess. What can I say? I was distracted by the nice photos.)
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby dazza » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:45 am

Lucky Poet wrote:I was distracted by the nice photos.)


You're full of shite :)

Seriously though, get yourself down to the former chicken battery farm next time your down. It is truly bizarre, and Sharon and me think we may have validated the tales of the roof being used as tennis courts for the female forkforce.
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Re: Arrol-Johnston & Galloway Cars - Dumfries & Tongland

Postby moonbeam » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:42 pm

Book Motor Trials and Tribulations re Scottish Motor vehicle manufacture I bought at the transport museum. Page 84 has a picture of "The Galloway Engineering Works Tongland" The roof top tennis court is clearly visible in the pic as is the impressive entrance gates.
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