Some years ago, I bought a copy of a booklet about Scout motor cars for my late father, and found a letter inside. From a Stanley Grey, to – I am guessing – the author of the booklet. It included the following:
“23 June 69
20 The Coppice, Watford
Please forgive me for not writing you before to thank you for the History of Scout Motors Ltd which I find very interesting especially the pictures. Albert Burden’s picture, I remember him as portrayed and the near lathe is the same I worked on I think. If not there were similar lathes the other side of the shop. One of these was worked by Mr Radcliffe and could be one of those shown.
I note two errors though: I was present at the time of Mr Radcliffe’s tragic death, the date being 16th Sept 1915, not 1920 as stated in the booklet. The works were closed in the afternoon, and Norman Smith & I took a trip to Bournemouth to try and forget the tragedy. To make matters worse we went to the Palace in the evening & the news showed the burning of a Zeppelin. 1 day I shall never forget.
The other one which is not quite correct is “that the machinery was ripped up and transported to France” in 1915. I well remember officials visiting the works & taking details of most machines; and most machines were there when nearly all the staff were seconded to various places in June 1916; to Reading, Clydebank, Dartford, Derby & Bristol. I was transferred with Norman and about 13 others to Reading H E works; & hadn’t been there long with not much to do, till a lot of the machines which were at Salisbury arrived, then there were plenty of jigs to make and work soon commenced on Clergy [?looks like Cleryy], Gnome, & Le Rhone engines.
It was a great pity the Scout works had to close; with the staff and machinery there, it was the general opinion of employees that had munition contracts been obtained & carried out, it could well have been in the forefront of work for the war effort with existing staff.
I have a photograph of about fifty of the staff taken before I went there in Sept 1914 but I can only recognize seven of them; a lot went to Reading in 1916, two joined the army, and the foreman aged between 50 & 60 remained at Bemerton….”
Thank you Nikki!