End of the Line

end game

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This is the site in Eastleigh of the old Ford factory the last ford Transit van came off the production line from here in 2013. The site is now being redeveloped.

The plant on a 44-acre site near Southampton Airport, was built as a shadow factory to assemble aircraft components for Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft, it opened in February 1939. In WW2 the factory and its supply chain were switched to produce parts for Spitfires. In the later years of the war, the site was used to assemble the Spitfire. The site was a target in the war and bombed on a number of times. One of the sites defences would have been the anti-aircraft battery in Quob Lane West End shown in my previous blog. West End Battery was said to have shot down a twin-engine Heinkel 111 Bomber that crashed between Allington Lane and Horton Heath.

https://wordpress.com/post/andyfinneganblog.wordpress.com/9284

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After Cunliffe-Owen was placed in receivership the factory was bought in 1949 by Briggs Motor Bodies, who supplied Ford with bodies for their vehicles. In 1953 Ford acquired Briggs. Ford had started to produce the Ford Transit with bodies in 1972, Ford invested £5 Millon in the Southampton plant, enabling it to make the complete Transit van. The first Transit rolled off the production line in that year.

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The last Ford Transit was produced on 26 July 2013, ending Ford’s vehicle assembly operations in the UK.

This week a “pop up” museum was set up on site to show the history of Ford and the Transit at this site.

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The last van off the line was on show signed by the workforce.

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