CVA: later Kearney & Trecker

I worked at the Kemp Town location of CVA, until the move to the Hollingbury Industrial Estate, from 1949 through 1962 (with break for military service in the R.A.F. 1952-1954). I remember the smallpox outbreak; I was in the planning office at Kemp Town, when the head of the office got a phone call informing him that his daughter (or grand daughter) had been in contact with someone with or carrying smallpox. I think it was her husband or boyfriend in the R.A.F. who had just returned from the far east.

Everyone vaccinated
Anyway, we were all restricted to the office until the health department sent out people to vaccinate us. I think the whole factory was done, even the town  and maybe the whole country. I hope that I have got the facts straight. It happened such a long time ago, circa 1950 I think.

Are you on the photos?
I am attaching some photos of my co-workers during my time at CVA.  Maybe some
old timers will see themselves and it will bring back some memories. Two of the photos are at a Christmas dinner that I arranged at the Royal Albion Hotel (not sure of year). I was on the No 2 factory sports & social committee. One photo of myself (on left ) and Geoff Berry. One of my last day at CVA  with the lads from the tool room (No 2 factory, Hollingbury).

Comments about this page

  • Alan Bundy is the only one I recognise, seated on the right 4th one in from the right. I worked with him in the 1970s and 1980s.

    By Peter Groves (19/01/2009)
  • Does anyone remember my father – Charlie Gladwell – who worked there?

    By Jackie Soutar (09/02/2009)
  • My Grandfather worked at the second factory in the ‘Tool Room’. His name was Fred Bray-Cotton.

    By John Horn (03/09/2009)
  • Hi Henry (John), I think you have got the story correct about the smallpox outbreak, and the whole factory being held in isolation whilst health officials carried out tests and vaccinations. I was told the same story by Les Roberts who worked in the Kemp Town factory after the war, c early 1950s.

    By Peter Groves (16/06/2010)
  • Searching the web for Milwaukee drills, I seemed to follow various links which lead me to Kearney and Trecker / CVA where my tool maker father worked. His photo is the second left – George Pettit.

    By Alan Pettit (01/02/2012)
  • My father, Jim Trangmar, was an inspector at Kearney and Trecker, he left in early 1970. Might be a bit after the dates mentioned here.

    By Neil Trangmar (15/08/2014)
  • Is that the same Jim Trangmar who sadly passed away in September 2015? If it was, I knew him from the  Brighton Trades & Labour Club. He was a very pleasant person.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (03/10/2015)
  • My father Dennis Bayford worked for Kearney and Trecker for 50 years until he retired around 1982/3. He sadly passed away in 1984. Does anyone remember him?

    By Teresa Williams (08/03/2019)
  • My name is Derek Coppard the pages have stirred a few memories. I started with C V A at Bedford St Kemptown moved to Hollingbury no2 when it opened. Foremen I can remember Ted Gilbert Ernie Vynal. Jimmy Gental. Lionel Hinkley, Ron Walsh. Worked with Ernie Took, Harold Goodman, Dave Taylor, George Solly was manager no 6. Hope this, in turn, stirs memories.

    By Derek coppard (09/03/2019)
  • My father in law worked there bur not sure what year, would have been 60s.

    By Lee Siffleet (11/03/2019)
  • I forgot to mention his name, lol Michael Barker

    By Lee Siffleet (11/03/2019)
  • By Mr Peter Groves (11/03/2019)
  • Does anyone remember my grandfather William Ash, generally referred to as ‘Jack’. I believe he worked in no 2 factory at hollingbury before or after a period at Alan West just off the Lewes Road?

    He was an electrical engineer/machinist as far as I know. I still have and use many of his machine tools from those days, although sadly I did not get a chance to talk to him about his experiences there before he passed away some years ago.

    By coincidence, I’m now part of a wider team responsible for the redevelopment of the site and have explored the buildings and site prior to it’s partial demolition. It was more than a little eerie!

    I do feel it is a shame that there are not more engineering companies around now.

    By Matthew Ash (16/08/2019)
  • My Dad worked at hollingbury for many years, his name was Derek Porter he sadly died in 1988, does any one remember him?

    By TREVOR PORTER (21/04/2020)
  • Hi Derek, we all knew Mo Porter, could he be the same person?

    By Mr Peter Groves (22/04/2020)
  • Hi ,Guys
    I was a Machine Tool Fitter at Otis Elevators Liverpool, in the late 60’s early 70’s I attended sevice courses on Milwarkee matic EA/EB and HMC 1500 machines. I remember Barry Midgely one of the instructors. Otis took delivery of HMC 1500 [4] I was on the first course together with Kearney and Trecker lads I also worked on CAV hydraulic copying lathes.
    Sad to see the loss of British Machine Tool Factories.

    By Bob Macdougall (17/05/2020)
  • Good to hear that Bob, I worked in the manufacturing of some of the first HMC1500’s in the early 1970’s and know that machine well, but I dont know about the CVA copying lathes, perhaps its one of these:

    I would like to know more if you have any further information, kind regards. Pete.

    By Mr Peter Groves (17/05/2020)

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