Castle Bromwich Spitfire and Lancaster Factory in Pictures

Spitfire Site

Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory, of CBAF in short, was the largest aircraft production plant in the wartime Britain, and had become the main manufacturing ...

Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory, of CBAF in short, was the largest aircraft production plant in the wartime Britain, and had become the main manufacturing source of the two most successful British aircraft types of the war, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Avro Lancaster.

In 1936, the British government had formalised a plan under the Air Ministry to increase capacity within Britain’s aircraft industry. Part of the program was funding a brand-new aircraft production facility near the Castle Bromwich Aerodrome, based on a notion that the local Birmingham skills-base and production techniques used in the manufacture of motor vehicles could be transferred to large-scale aircraft production.

The main facility was completed in 1939, to a cost of a whopping £4,000,000. The first Spitfires Mk. II left the production line in June 1940, not before some severe organisational problems and multiple delays had been sorted out.

The first CBAF Lancaster was flown on 22 October 1943. Its production lifted CBAF to become the largest and most successful plant of its type during the 1939-45 conflict.

Thanks to the generous donation of Mr. Chris Taylor, we have received a photocopy of an album owned by his grandfather, Charles Edward Taylor. Mr. Taylor worked in a management position at the factory, and the album seems to have been a commemorative piece containing many official photos of the works.

They are a unique document of a past era in industrial production – on a scale which is mind-boggling even today.

All photos in this gallery are credited to [Charles Edward Taylor Collection].

Enjoy the tour of the factory – Click on any image to begin

20 Comments | Add New

By Neville Brenssell  |  2015-02-15 at 00:16  |  permalink

I’m doing some amateur history for a colleague who’s father was a rigger on Spifire Mk1A, P9398.
I cant find in my copy of Morgan/Shacklady exactly where this a/c was built.
Can anyone assist please.
Thanks

By Ruby  |  2015-02-28 at 13:52  |  permalink

Hello all im looking for information on a lady by the name of Mary Ashford, as far as I know she used to work at the factory and died in 1942. From what I have been told she was crushed by a roller, but I not too sure if this is correct. If anyone has any information on this I would be great full if you could let me know. Thank you.

By miss t Taylor  |  2015-05-09 at 16:59  |  permalink

My late father Mr David Michael Taylor was the eldest son of Mr Charles Edward Taylor and his eldest grandchild Mr Mark David Taylor and brother John Michael Taylor are all proud of our grandfathers contributions to the war effort.

By Douglas Hellyar  |  2015-09-07 at 18:25  |  permalink

My Parents met at the Castle Bromwich plant, my Mother came from Scotland and my Father came from South Shields, they got married at Birmingham Registry Office in 1943. I worked for Jaguar Cars and was employed from 1997-2012.

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