CAV/CVA:the early years
Hove based Machine Tool company CVA, was founded just before the end of World War I. It’s headquarters was in Portland Road, Hove, near the bottom of what is now Olive Road, on the site currently occupied by Seeboard Energy. Prior to World War I Aldrington Farm occupied the land on the north side of Portland Road.
Originally a temporary site
In June 1917, Hove Town Council approved plans for a ‘temporary building’ for Messrs C. A. Vandervell & Co Ltd (CAV) on the north side of Portland Road, directly opposite the current position of Glebe Villas. It appears that plans were less than temporary, as this was quickly followed by further plans for a “munitions shop,” which were approved in February 1918.
A change of name
Following the end of World War I the Company name was changed to CAV Small Tools Ltd. At this time the Company manufactured small hand tools for engineers. It was in the mid 1920’s that the Company first started its association with metal cutting Machine Tools. One of the first machine tools manufactured by the Company was the Wade Bench Lathe.
Expanding the business
Expansion plans for a foundry were approved in January 1926, and it’s rumoured that during the subsequent building work, the bloody soil of the old Aldrington Farm slaughterhouse was unearthed. Next in December 1929 plans for a hardening shop and a much larger foundry were approved. The new foundry was opened in early 1930, this enabled the manufacture of larger more complex tools and machines which became core products for CAV.
A new Managing Director
After a split with CAV of Acton in 1934, Eric Aron became Managing Director and the company name was changed to CVA Jigs Moulds & Tools Ltd. Eric Aron was a particularly astute businessman. Under his direction the Company were always able to find a market for one or more of its product range, when many other business failed. It was in 1934 under the new direction of Eric Aron that plans for a new engineering shop were approved. The Company were now more or less self sufficient, the majority of products could be manufactured fully in Portland Road. Although this was a period of difficult times, under Eric Aron, prospects were looking bright for the future!