Senior Staff

  By 1925 the Dorman reputation had reached the point where other manufacturing concerns thought it worthwhile to borrow the name for use in the descriptions of their goods, it is pleasant to be able to report that the wrong doers were detected and rapped sharply over the knuckles, by Mr. Justice Astbury in High Court, and his worship then granted to perpetual injunctions with costs against any further misuse of Dorman's name.
   It was at this point at mid-decade that the country's industrial recession caused Dorman to reluctantly halt the production of car engines which it had first taken up in 1903, however, by the time it became necessary to take this sad decision, the name of popular makers employing Dorman engines in addition to those of Westwood and Autocrat already mentioned included, Abingdon, Airedale, Belsize, Crouch, Clyno, Hampton, Hand, Palladium, Rob Roy, Stafford, Vulcan and Waverley. The firm of Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln, whose destiny has 40 years later to link still


more closely with Dorman, made extremely wide use of Dorman engines in high quality cars which they manufactured from 1919 to 1924; one of these sold in 1921 to an Australian taxi owner was still, it seems, plying for hire, around the streets of Melbourne thirty years later literally without having had a single breakdown.
   The early twenties slump had also seriously inhibited Dorman's plans for expansion after the end of the war; a 48 acre site had been purchased at Tixall Road, on the north eastern side of town and construction began on a new factory laid out on mass-production principals. New foundry facilities were to be included on the site as the lease on the company's existing foundry premises at Newport Road was to expire in 1929. As these had had as early as July 1919 to be extended to meet the demands of the immediate peace time boom it was clear that ample provision would have to be made to maintain the existing level of foundry work in the new premises.



Road Sweeper


Road sweeper made by Lacre Lorries.,  and fitted with Dorman engine, type 4KNO.

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Dorman Centenary CB 16-17 CB 20-21

engines, tram cars, road rollers, taxis, single and double decker buses, charabancs and last but not least road sweepers; such, for example as Sweeper No. 33 of Manchester Corporation Cleansing Department, a type produced by the Lacre Company from 1920-1940, of which this and many others employed Dorman 4 KNO petrol engines. Elsewhere the Vulcan firm, previously referred to as manufacturers of Dorman engined cars now installed Dorman engines in their buses; about the same time Liverpool Corporation were to purchase a fleet of no less than 68 six-wheeler Karrier buses, everyone equipped with a Dorman 6JUL engine; the firm of Karrier were between the wars, not only one of Britain's leading 'bus and lorry manufacturers, but one of Dorman's best customers. It was by selling to such firms as Karrier, Lacre, and Commer that Dorman engines were to travel all over the country helping to circulate the Company's name and reputation.


  Unfortunately with the coming of the nation wide slump the plans for a switch to mass production at the new Tixall Road works had reluctantly to be shelved however, the site was by no means to lie idle for in August 1925 the foundry began a process of gradual transfer to Tixall Road which was finally completed in 1929 when the Newport Road lease expired. At Tixall Road the foundry now produced castings of up to one ton at a rate adequate not only to meet the company's needs but apparently sufficient to handle some volume of outside business — circulars of the early thirties requested shareholders to bring this important development to the notice of any friends who were Buyers or users of Iron and Aluminium Castings.

  In spite of the cessation of car engine production the variety of road borne applications for Dorman engines was to expand with the advance of the decade until it came to include not only vans and lorries but fire



Dorman management and foremen in the 1920s.

CB Index