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Avro Ltd Aircraft Plant, Newton Heath
Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath, Manchester, UK
associated engineer
Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon-Roe
Avro Ltd
date  1920
UK era  Modern  |  category  Factory/Industrial Plant  |  reference  SJ863999
Having rented space at Mather & Platt’s Park Works, in 1920 A.V. Roe & Company (Avro) moved to a purpose built facility in Briscoe Lane, newton heath. In addition to aircraft, the company manufactured autogyros, similar to the one used in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the factory produced the Avian, Cadet, Tutor and Anson aircraft. The Avian was designed by Roy Chadwick, who would later design the Lancaster bomber.
The company used the airfield at the nearby Alexandra Park Aerodrome for final assembly and test flights, until its closure in 1924. Thereafter, operations were transferred to Avro’s own airfield at Woodford, Stockport. This opened in 1924 and is now owned by BAE Systems.
In 1928, Edwin Alliot Verdon-Roe left Avro, selling his interest to Armstrong Siddeley Holdings Ltd. Roy Dobson became General Manager at Avro.
With John Lord, Verdon-Roe went on to acquire S.E. Saunders Ltd and found the company Saunders-Roe Ltd. The new company, based at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, designed flying boats, combat jets and ultimately hovercraft. Verdon-Roe was knighted in 1929 for his work on flying boats.
In 1934, the company agreed to extend the factory by 23,225 square metres to cope with the increasing numbers of orders. Chadwick began work on the aircraft that would become the Lancaster in 1936. It was used in World War II (1939-45) to bomb German cities, and in 1943 carried the bouncing bombs invented by Sir Barnes Neville Wallis on the ‘dambusters’ raid (Operation Chastise).
Air Minister Sir Kingsley Wood visited the site in August 1938, and announced the plans for a new factory at Chadderton near Oldham.
Avro left the Newton Heath works after the war, and the buildings were used by various companies for storage depots.
Research: ECPK

Avro Ltd Aircraft Plant, Newton Heath