The Farnborough Engineering Works were in Starts Hill Avenue; up beyond the Methodist Church. I had a friend in the Avenue (we both went to Chislehurst  & Sidcup Grammar School) and sometimes we would walk up to the tall iron gates to the Works, which were almost always closed. They had beautifully tended gardens. When I was very young I used to think it must be a royal palace! It seemed so grand.

The photograph above is almost at the end of the Works tenure there - judging by the extensive buildings. The photo below is of a works outing.

The Works were there from just before World War 2 began, but very small in comparison with later. They expanded considerably after the war. I remember there were coaches that brought people in to work from all over the area. There was consternation when the Works were moved to the midlands, some time in the 1980s, I think. Many people were put out of work. A housing estate was built on the site. My father thought the bomb that was dropped in the scout camp field, opposite the butchers, might have been intended for the Engineering Works. 

My father's engineering works were directly opposite the Farnborough Engineering Works on the Farnborough By-Pass.  My father's works, The Gearmark Company, ran up behind Waller's, Hill's and Pearce's, between them and the rear of the Orchard Road houses. It is surprising how much was crammed into that triangle of land; it had its own little road access. My father made not dissimilar components but there was no competition because the Farnborough Engineering Works dealt in huge quantities and my father dealt in small turn-arounds and one-offs. He also patented some of his components.

Susan Tebby

This is an aerial view of the location today. The houses in Starts Hill Avenue shown in the upper photo are still there, although many have now sprouted extensions.  The factory has been demolished, and that site is also now housing.


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