Thursday, December 19, 2013

Elizabeth Industrial area

Holden's factory and surrounding industrial area
Elizabeth was planned with an industrial area. In the west and in the south are two large industrial areas totalling some 1,100 acres.  These industrial estates are separated from the residential areas by means of open reserves.  They are easy of access by the employees and are situated near the living areas, as well as road and rail transport.

The largest single industrial site is being developed by General Motors-Holden’s Pty. Limited.  The Company has progressively established an impressive plant on its 312-Acre area since 1958.

Several manufacturers supplying the Australian market (and, in some cases, the overseas market) have begun production in new factories at Elizabeth – Pinnock Manufacturing Co. Ltd., is making domestic sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, oil space heaters, lawn movers and slotted steel angle; Broons Containers (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., makes fibreboard containers and packaging materials; and Texas Instruments Australia Limited, which is a subsidiary of Texas Instruments Incorporated of the United States of America, is producing non-ferrous cold rolled strip and electrical control devices.

Schrader-Scovill Company Proprietary Limited, a subsidiary of the Scovill Manufacturing Company Incorporated of the United States of America, manufactures air valve equipment; Kenwood Peerless Proprietary Limited, a subsidiary of Kenwood Manufacturing Company Limited, of the United Kingdom, is manufacturing a range of food mixers and food processing items.  Caterpillar of Australia Ltd., a subsidiary of Caterpillar Tractor Company of the United States of America, is manufacturing forklift handling vehicles.

Electric storage batteries are made at Elizabeth by South Australian Battery Makers Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chloride Electrical Storage Co. Ltd., of England, the largest battery makers in the British Commonwealth.  Bliss Welded Products Ltd., a subsidiary of Gulf & Western Industries of the United States of America, manufactures intravenous fluids.

Pyrotechnics Pty. Ltd. has established a unit to manufacture fireworks and commercial pyrotechnics in this State.  Ernest Wirth Pty. Limited, and an associate company, Kentish Clothes Pty. Limited, are manufacturing tailors of men’s ready-made suits and sports clothes.  James Hardie and Co. Pty. Limited manufactures “Fibrolite” asbestos cement pressure water pipe.  Australian Liquid Air Pty. Limited a subsidiary of Societe L’Air Liquide of France manufactures industrial gases.

Metal manufactures (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., which is well-known as the largest manufacturer in Australia of non-ferrous wires and cables.  Cable Makers Australia (S.A.) Proprietary Limited is also well-known in Australia and manufactures a range of cables and wires.

Worldwide Cams Pty. Ltd., as subsidiary of Alberta Trailer Company (1961) Ltd., of Canada, is manufacturing industrial trailer camps.  L.B. Stockdale Pty. Ltd., which has a close association with the well-known machine tool manufacturer, Kerry’s (Great Britain) Ltd., is active in machine tool manufacture and reprecisioning.

Some 30 other companies have also established at Elizabeth and between them cover a wide variety of service industry and manufacturing activities such as :- mechanical and electrical engineering; radio, T.V. and electrical appliance repairs; transport and shipping agents; garden nursery supplies; structural, general and precision engineering; printing; crash repairs and spray painting and manufacture of aerated waters; sheet metal products; rotary brooms and concrete products.
How many of these survive today?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TROVE Tuesday


Smithfield has lost its school teacher, Mr. Day after seven years' association with the children of that neighborhood. The residents felt that they should honor the splendid services of the teacher, and Mr. and Mrs. Day were tendered a farewell social in the local hall.  The Chairman of the School Committee, Mr. A. Worden, eulogised Mr. Day's abilities as a teacher. Especially, emphasising the fact that since his arrival in Smithfield every child, put forward had gained the qualifying; certificate, and the promotion record were very high.  Other speakers were the Rev. H. G Dwyer and Mr. El. Rigg, the latter handing Mr Day a cricket bat in appreciation of his efforts towards the cricket club and for having gained the Highest batting average for the season 1927-28.  Mr. Worden, on behalf of the residents, presented to Mr. and Mrs. Day a tea and coffee service in silver on a silver-mounted tray.  The children in grades I, II., and III presented Mrs. Day with a large Fowler's preserving outfit, and grades IV. to VII., to Mr. Day, a travelling rug. 

Musical items were rendered by Misses Blake, Lillecrapp, Argent, Broster, Twelftree, and Mr. Pederick.  A supper and dance followed.  The young couple's new home will be at Minlaton, on the Peninsula.  Mrs. Day is a daughter of Mr. A. J. Davis, of Walkerville, and, for several years a resident of the Gawler district

The Bunyip 6 April 1928

Monday, December 16, 2013

How Holdens came to Elizabeth

In late 1955, Sir Tom Playford managed to persuade the President of General Motors that any new Holden factory should be sited at Elizabeth.  Housing Trust, General Manager, Alex Ramsay, was told to escort the GM President to Elizabeth and sell him whatever land he liked.  Playford told Mr Ramsay that ‘any reasonable request would be met.’  ‘If they wanted us to bend a road, we would bend it.’  In fact, this was done and explains why the main road, Philip Highway, today has a deviation from the original which ran straight through the Holden plant and was known as Glue pot road. 
Ramsay returned to the city with the news that he had sold GM 324 acres.  But there was a problem; the land he’d sold didn’t actually belong to the Housing Trust.  It was owned by an old farmer, Kevin Judd, who had always refused to part with it.  And it was the only site GMH was interested in.  It couldn’t be compulsorily acquire because it wasn’t for Government purposes.  So Ramsay had to go back to purchase the land.

However, the farmer took some persuading winning over.  He established that the farmer would be making a rare trip to Adelaide to collect a load of barley for his cows at Kent Town malthouse.  Ramsay at once expressed great interest in the operation and offered to meet his new friend at the malthouse and help him load his truck.

It was a very hot day and the farmer was elderly and Alex was not a strong person.  However, between them they got the ancient truck loaded.  The farmer told Alex he knew they could get a couple of pots of free beer from a window at the back of the malthouse.

After several rounds the farmer said:  ‘Ramsay, I’d sell you the land you want but I don’t want to handle all that money.  What do I do?’ 

Alex told him to hang on while he rang the Premier for advice.  It was decided that Ramsay would become his unpaid attorney and  take charge of the money.

The deal was then clinched.

When the Premier told the GM President the story he said they would need only a small part of their 300 acres during the next few years.  So far as the company was concerned Kevin could stay where he was and go on farming for the rest of his life free of any rent or other costs.  And that’s what happened.  Alex Ramsay looked after the farmer’s money until he died.

What Playford usually neglected to add to this entertaining story is that Kevin Judd may have been cannier than he was given credit for.  His obstinate refusal to sell his land until the last moment had gained him a price of £1,030 an acre for it - a record price for that area.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The end for General Motors Holdens
Holden's Elizabeth plant in 1965, producing Holden HD and (bottom left) Vauxhall Viva motor cars.  For more images of Holden's through the years click on the image above

It is sad news this week as we heard that General Motor Holden's will cease production at its Elizabeth plant in 2017.  Holden's has been such a huge employer for the area.  The Holden's factory to Elizabeth was a great catch which consolidated the Housing Trusts plans and enabled it to increase its aim for Elizabeth's population from about 20,000 to 50,000. 

Holden is a South Australian name.  James Alexander Holden set up a leather and saddling business in Adelaide in 1854.  The business grew, became the carriage and body building firm of Holden and Frost, an in 1917 Holden's Motor Body Builders Ltd.  In 19326, General Motors came to Australia, and in 1931 the two firms merged to form General Motors - Holden's Pty Ltd.  Initially the factory was at Woodville from 1924, but it could not expand, and by the early 1950's was looking for a new site.  Elizabeth was attractive as the Housing Trust offered a housing scheme to GMH employees and even promised to turn the course of the Phillip Highway so that the factory buildings could be better positioned.

Sir Thomas Playford was so keen for Holden's to move to Elizabeth that they reversed the usual procedure and sold the land to the firm before acquiring it themselves.

To be continued...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How the Centrals Football Club began

1964 Centrals ground

First meeting
Meeting held January 19th, 1956 ‘Formation Football Club’.
A meeting was held on the premises of Mr Button for the purpose of forming a Football Club at Elizabeth.

Approximately 30 interested supporters attended including the President of the Gawler Football League and representatives from the Salisbury and Salisbury North, Smithfield Football Clubs.

The proposal of forming a Club was discussed and resulted in Mr White moving with Mr McCulloch seconding that a Football Club be formed at Elizabeth.  Carried.

Mr Emery moved, seconded by Mr Dawe that an interim committee of nine be appointed to enquire further into the prospects and report to the General meeting when called.
Nominations for the committee were then called and resulted as follows.

Chairman; Mr T. Croxton
Secretary: Mr J McCulloch
Committee members; Messers Dawe, Elliott, Jenkins, Moser, Emery, McLeod, and Pyatt.

A vote of thanks to the visiting representatives was carried and each visitor outlined the activities of their club and association promising loyal support to any venture the new club may take.

The newly formed committee then decided to meet at Mr Pyatt’s residence on Wednesday January 25th 1956 to further consider the formation of a club.

Meeting ceased 10pm.

Thomas Coxton