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Old 12th May 2010, 1:17 pm   #1
chrislane86
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Question Philips Factory Croydon

Hello all,

I am currently involved in a research project focused on the history of television manufacturing in the UK. I have chosen to use the Philips factory which once occupied Commerce Way in Croydon as my case study. This thread is intended to gather any information on the site that people are willing to share. If you have any stories or facts however trivial, they would all be very much appreciated as so far I only have a limited resource of information. So far I know that the factory opened in 1957, it produced colour television sets (G6, G8, G9, G11) and no longer stands where it once used to be. I still can't even find out when it closed?

So if you have any info at all, please do comment.

Regards,

Chris
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Old 12th May 2010, 6:03 pm   #2
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

Before anyone suggests that I might be able to help directly, the answer is 'not really'. I never worked at the factory and by the time I started Philips, it was a mere shadow of it's former self. However I have some contacts that may be able to help or at least fill in some details. A lot of the people who worked there though are, sadly, no longer with us. As it happens, I am seeing some ex Philips colleagues tomorrow for a social gathering so if the conversation permits, I can ask some questions. As to when it closed, probably about ten years ago but the exact date is unknown to me. Try Googling?


Best regards. SB
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Old 12th May 2010, 7:00 pm   #3
AidanLunn
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

http://www.croydononline.org/history.../purleyway.asp
Says that the site opened in 1956 and says it was "enormous"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12064036@N04/4075379491/
Photo of two Philips delivery lorries collecting goods outside said factory

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12064036@N04/4075351755/
Info about the Philips Croydon factory from a promotional flyer from the 70s.

http://www.glias.org.uk/news/156news.html
Philips factory built from 1955-1957 by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners.
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Old 12th May 2010, 7:09 pm   #4
Peter.N.
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

I used to visit CES the parts and repairs arm of Philips in Purley Way fairly regularly in the '50s, the only connection I have had with the main factory was returning under guarantee CRTs, and it was a massive place.

Peter
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Old 12th May 2010, 7:39 pm   #5
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

Some Philips info to be found here

http://www.philipstv.org.uk/

The Forum does not load any longer, but the info that we uploaded is still available.
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Old 12th May 2010, 7:46 pm   #6
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

I spent some time there in the late-60's-early 70's, but only a few days at a time, on a number of occasions.
Yes, it was big, and could be confusing. Heck, you could "lose" yourself for considerable periods without being missed!

Oh, the food from the canteen was far better at Purley Way than at Commerce Way.
(Both were subsidised, as was common at that time.)
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Old 12th May 2010, 7:49 pm   #7
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

I'm pretty certain that I used to go there in the early 1980s to get spares. Then again my memory isn't what it was.

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Old 12th May 2010, 8:03 pm   #8
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

During my stint at Mastercare one of my colleagues was an ex Philips engineer who had worked at Croydon and Lowestoft. He did night shifts working on new sets that came off the production line faulty. He was there during the G6/G8 era at Croydon and the Pye dual standard 691 days. Everything ran pretty well at Croydon and he can remember the day that a smudge was noticed on the BBC testcard F transmission, a call to the BBC from the management soon had this put right. Croydon was in complete contrast to the Pye Lowestoft factory where stoppages were all to common with disipline non existent. On the nightshift he and his mates would have to take cover as the rival gangs on the production line would have running battles throwing valves at each other often ripping them out of new completed sets. I think he said that he managed to transfer back to Croydon factory where they enjoyed far better industrial relations. Unfortunatley this engineer died a few years ago taking to the grave many stories from his past including those years spent at Philips.
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Old 12th May 2010, 8:08 pm   #9
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

I visited the Philips factory as a school lad in 1962. At that time they were manufacturing the 19TG122A series 19" 405 line television. I was very surprised that such a large number of the components were actually made at Commerce Way. Scan coils, Line output transformers, I.F. coils, tuners and inductors were produced together with all the metal bits. I remember the CRT's passing overhead on a long conveyor belt.
I had my own television business from the age of 18 and visited the spares dept on hundreds of occasions. [I wonder if Ivy is still with us?] They were always helpful and willing to sort out problems. 604 Purley Way, next to Bowaters with the WW2 'pill box' overlooking the Purley Way. [Croydon By Pass] They used to open early allowing me to collect spares before I opened the shop. Happy days! regards, John.
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Old 12th May 2010, 9:43 pm   #10
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

They certainly did make a lot of their own parts at the factory. One girl I knew that worked there made scan coils and another tested them. There was a lot of female labour doing jobs like that. Over at CES (where I started) 604 Purley Way it was mostly girls who repaired tuners and G8 panels. These became 'service replacements'.

The G11 was developed at Croydon, anyone remember the slogan?? 'We took it everywhere so you can take it home'.

SB
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Old 13th May 2010, 7:51 am   #11
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

The scan coil department is still very vivid to me. I seem to remember a squared off section with coil winders and girls assembling the intricate coils. There was a sort of header board with something like' Mrs xxxxx Scanning coils section' but it was 50 years ago. I remember seeing another lady stamping out the aluminium station indicator for the VHF tuner, later painted red and cream with the number 1-13 printed on it. The railway station nearby was/is called 'Waddon Marsh Halt'. Strange how you soaked up all this fine detail as a young lad and never forget it. [I also visited A.E.I. at Woolwich that left me in a daze for weeks after but that is another story and not for this thread.]
Regards, John.
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Old 13th May 2010, 1:40 pm   #12
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Default Re: Philips Factory Croydon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
The railway station nearby was/is called 'Waddon Marsh Halt'.
That was on the main railway route from West Croydon to Wimbledon. The track is now used by the Croydon Tramlink and I pass through Waddon Marsh every day on my way to work. The original station is no longer there.

SB.
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