17-23 November 1914: Expansion of the Projectile Engineering Company

Wandsworth Borough Council met on 18 November. Most of their business was routine, although there were some war related items on the agenda. A resolution had been received from Hammersmith Borough Council to urge the London County Council to discontinue teaching enemy aliens and their children at evening continuation classes at the expense of the ratepayers. Wandsworth concurred with the resolution and a report later in the meeting made clear that the LCC’s Education Committee had already given instructions for teaching to stop. This was just part of the general concern over aliens (ie all non-British people), see last week’s blog for more anti-German feeling.

A much smaller note in the Council minutes is in the report from the Highways Committee, which lists approved building applications. Amongst the applications for new sheds and re-doing the drainage of properties was an application for a new factory on Stewarts Road, which was in the Clapham North part of the borough, from the Projectile Engineering Company Limited.

The Projectile Engineering Company was tucked in the land behind the houses on Stewarts Lane, underneath what is now Carey Gardens. It had opened in 1890 and doubled in size during the war, this application was for a small new building, which appears from maps to have been a replacement for an existing building. In January 1915 an application was submitted for a much bigger building, which involved taking over some of the neighbouring streets and the site of which is the southern building that can be seen on this 1930s map.

There is not a huge amount of information available about the Projectile Engineering Company. It was a munitions factory which was a leading supplier of shells during the Boer War and was obviously doing a lot of business during the First World War. During the Second World War the firm hired women to work in the factory – possibly they did the same in the First World War. The firm was bought by GKN Sankey Ltd in the 1960s and the factory ceased production in 1965, some records of the company are with the Sankey records in Wolverhampton. A painting of the outside of the site in 1938 by the artist Clive Branson is at the Tate Gallery.

If anyone does have more detailed information about the company then please do let us know. We have a partial copy of the company history “Fifty Years of Achievement”, but would like to have a copy of the full version.

Drainage plans: CNW 4, no. 241 and 250

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