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39 High Duty Alloys by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

High Duty Alloys 1939

Watercolour - Signed and dated

Image Area: 24ins x 20ins

Colonel Wallace Charles Devereux in Slough created the High Duty Alloys (HDA) in 1927 to produce aluminium parts for aircraft

During the 1930s HDA was producing parts for Rolls Royce in particular and demand led to construction of another factory at Redditch, Worcestershire that was opened in August 1939

The site's sub-strata was particularly suitable for the positioning of a giant "Erie" forging hammer. Construction on the site started in 1940 by John Laing Ltd of Carlisle and production began in December 1940. Production during the war years was frenetic: the foundry, forge and extrusion presses produced parts for virtually all British aircraft and aero engines and the work force reached a peak of almost 3000 men and women working around the clock, seven days a week

It was said that the war would always be won so long as the 'Big Hammer' could be heard

It is not surprising that Norman was to paint this work. The High Duty Alloys factory dominated the town of Redditch from 1939 and was a stones throw from Birchensale Farm where Norman was born and lived most of his early life. He would have seen the workers reading the papers about the war as he passed the gates every day on his way to catch the bus to Birmingham

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