WELCOME TO THE BU HISTORY WEBSITE
Here you can learn more about one of Leicester’s greatest engineering firms. If you worked for the British United Shoe Machinery Company you can share your memories and photographs too.
Submit a Post or Add Comment to a page already on the site. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
People are adding material to the site all the time so please visit us often to see what’s new.
Peter Mayes has passed on sad news of three ex BU Tool Room who have passed away recently. Bob Stafford, Derek Hunt and Gordon Freeman. RiP
John and Joyce Holt are wondering if anyone remembers their respective dads who both worked at BU. Joyce’s dad was Ken Benner (died 1979) and he worked in the AS2 Assembly Shop, and John’s dad, Tom Holt, worked in AS1 and Personnel, retiring in 1985. John himself worked in the Drawing Office until September 10th 1976. Be nice to hear from you if you do remember them.
On Friday March 14th there’s a meeting of the BU History Group committee at the Record Office in Wigston. 10.30 start. We need people to help get things going, so if you fancy it please come along.
Date posted: March 7, 2014No Comments
Glyn Jones has sent us his memories below.. BU Boy…
“I joined the BU in July 1966 I was only 14 and 10 months old (birthday 29th August). I was only a little lad and the BU was huge. I trained in the apprentice section on the fourth floor of the main building along with about 80 other young hopefuls. I stayed at the Belgrave road site for about 18 months before moving to Charnwood Branch on the Abbey Lane, a much smaller building. I remember I worked in several of the departments in Charnwood but spent most of my time there building machinery. Although we built shoe making machines we also built an assortment of other machine as diverse as screen printing and conveyors to chip making machines for the catering industry. In about 1969 I remember helping to build a huge machine that cut out the material for making ladies bra’s. A roll of cloth was loaded into one end and out came all the bits to make the bra’s from the other end. 80 x 12ft and stood 8 ft high.”
“My father in law Ted Elkington worked in the stamping dept and set up all the machines for the operators , who were mainly ladies. Ted worked at the BU all his life and in his younger life travelled the county installing machines. I will talk more about him later.
“Charnwood had a new extension in about 1970 and the fitting section moved out to the last building on Ross Walk next to the sea cadets hut. We were there for about 12 months until the new building was built.
I have never forgotten my time at the BU , had a great apprenticeship meeting some great people on the way. I left in 1977 to join the NHS as an engineer in the maintenance department. Moved though the ranks retiring as the engineering manager of a Shropshire hospital.”
“Hope I’m not too late for the tool box contest. I made two of these and all of the tools in the other picture. They both originally had lots of BU stickers on but as I moved jobs the tool boxes changed their use. If you look closely you can see I used one of the box’s as a key box when I did high voltage maintenance, and still have them to this day.”
Date posted: March 4, 2014No Comments
Help! BU product needed…0
We’ve had an urgent request from Paula Aluai in Portugal. Have a read through Paula’s letter below and if you’re able to help please send an email to email@example.com“First of all let me introduce myself.
“I am Paula Aluai and I am working in a cutting knives industry. To make cutting knives we need to have molds made in paperboard or plastic. Usually we used the paperboard, but as the winter is very wet the paperboard doesn’t guaranty the dimensions.
“In the past we used a product produced by BUSM. The product is a plastic layer, orange plastic layer, used to make mold for the shoes industry. This layer is put on a Plotter machine that cuts the mold exactly as we need. As I can’t find anything compared to this specific product, I am contacting you in order to see if you can help to find someone who produces this product.
“This is very important to us to get this layer urgently. Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Date posted: March 3, 2014No Comments
Summer. After the War0
Toolbox Challenge. Part Four!0
Date posted: February 13, 2014No Comments
We’re having a launch event this Thursday for our book, ‘BU People’.
Its at Abbey Pumping Station in Leicester, and starts at 12pm (till 2pm). The event is FREE and there will be various BU items on display. It’ll be a chance to have a natter and there’ll be copies of the book available for purchase.
All welcome. Hope you can come!!
Date posted: February 3, 20141 Comment