Subcontractors – Unconfirmed

The sites listed below have been identified as possible subcontractors but this has not yet been confirmed. Can you help with this? Do you know anyone who worked there? Please contact us if you have any information.

AE Gash Haulage Co.

(Ballast, sand and gravel. Main premises, Millbrook Road opposite Millbrook Church.) Stores/garage behind 12, Edwina Close used by Supermarine? Now Edwina Court apartments, Edwina Close, Southampton. SO19 7BH

A. E. Gash & Co Ltd – Kelly’s Directory 1954. Images by Alan Matlock.


Baddesley Aircraft Ltd.

St. Christopher Works, Thomas Road, North Baddesley, Southampton. Making parts for Spitfires? During the war the factory was taken over by Follands, manufacturing engine cowlings for Wellington bombers. In 1946 the factory was acquired by Borden (operating as Leicester Lovell), eventually closing in 2001. Now…Knights’ Grove Care Home – BUPA, Thomas Rd, North Baddesley, Southampton SO52 9EW

Possible site of Baddesley Aircraft Ltd, St Christopher Works, Thomas Road, North Baddesley. Image by Google Earth 2005.

British American Tobacco.

Tobacco products. Making parts for Spitfires? Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft at the airport was a BAT subsidiary. BAT, Regents Park Road, Southampton. SO15 8TL

1946 Ordnance Survey Map showing site of British American Tobacco, Millbrook, Southampton. Image by Alan Matlock.

Church Road Workshop, Locks Heath.

Making parts? Most recently: Locksheath Hire Centre, 1 Church Road, Locks Heath. SO31 6LW 

The Church Road Workshop. Image by George Fuller.

Croll’s Factory.

Salisbury Road, Totton. Spitfire and other aircraft parts – machined details, sewing of leather pilot’s seats? “… there were some lathes and other machines turning out precision parts but I worked on making toys… water pistols, potato guns, little cannons that when you turned a handle they would fire half inch wooden balls with a magazine on top holding 6 balls.” Philip Arnold, Old Totton Facebook.

Three possible sites:  

1.      It became the Testwood Motors premises and is now the site of the Breeze Van Centre, 331 Salisbury Rd, Totton, Southampton. SO40 3ZU

2.      “The shed” was on the site of what became the Unigate Dairy, now Old Dairy Close, Totton, Southampton, next to 263 Salisbury Rd, Totton, Southampton. SO40 3GH

3.      In a big building behind South Hants Builders next to the Baptist Church. (Testwood Baptist Church: 283A Salisbury Rd, Totton, Southampton. SO40 3LZ)

Kelly’s Directory 1946 showing the entry for Jas Croll Ltd. Image by Alan Matlock

Gaters Mill. CPC Metal Works, (The) (“sub. The Cinescope Publicity Co. Ltd.”)

Parts? Gaters Mill, Kilmeston Cl, West End, Southampton SO18 3HW A27. Quote from Wikipedia – “During the Second World War the complex was used as a munitions store and suffered damage.”

Recent image of Gaters Mill and 1946 Kelly’s Directory entry. Images by Alan Matlock.


Holgates, radio, electrical and motor engineers, 55-57, Commercial Road Totton.

Instruments. Coversure Insurance Services, 55 Commercial Rd, Totton, Southampton. SO40 3AH

Image by Alan Matlock

Lexby Hall, Totton.

1940, Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co. Ltd, motor tractor manufacturers, Commercial Road, Eling Lane & Lexby Hall, Totton. Machined parts? Masonic Hall, Lexby Rd, Totton, Southampton SO40 9HD

Recent image of Lexby Hall, Totton and Kelly’s Directory 1940-41 entry. Images by Alan Matlock.


Light & Law motor engineers.

Some Supermarine subcontracting work – information from Don Smith, Auto Metalcraft apprentice 1940. Oatlands Garage. 1939 census: Maxwell E Law (b 1903) was a Motor Mechanic Master and lived in Alresford, Romsey Road, Southampton. Derek D W Light was much younger and was an apprentice in an aircraft factory.  Residential development off St James’ Close, Southampton. SO15 5NA

Location of Light & Law Motor Engineers, Winchester Road, Southampton. Kelly’s Directories 1939 (right) and 1954 (left). Images by Alan Matlock.


51 McNaughten Road, Bitterne, Southampton.

Making parts for Spitfires? Shop Services, 51, McNaughten Rd, Bitterne. (Building owned by T Clark & Son, BUILDERS & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, Midanbury House, Woodmill Lane, Midanbury, Southampton. SO18 2NN )

Image by Alan Matlock.

Munn and Underwood Garage.

Garage, car sales, repairs and filling station. Making parts (wings?) for Spitfires? Where the MCA building is, 105, Commercial Road, Southampton. SO15 1EG

Two entries in Kelly’s Directory 1940. Image by Alan Matlock. Main image from Facebook


Oddfellows Hall, Totton.

Engine parts store? Now River Recording Studio, 32, Winsor Road, Totton, Southampton. SO40 9HQ

Image owner unknown.

Pirelli General Cable Works.

Subcontractor. (Appendix III). Machined details. Southampton/Eastleigh?

We need more information on this site. Can you help us?


Solent Carpet Company.

Leather work for Spitfire pilot seats (source Don Smith, Auto Metalcraft apprentice). Other parts? Solent Blind and Curtain Co, Mill Rd, Unit 7 Stanton Industrial Estate, Regents Park, Southampton. SO15 4JA

Ordnance Survey map 1946 showing site of Solent Carpet Company. Image by Alan Matlock.

Southern Railway Carriage & Wagon, (Eastleigh?)

Confirmed subcontractor. Machined details. (1938, sets of parts to convert Blenheim bombers so that they could be used as fighters. With other workshops, railway and private, produced Horsa gliders for the D-Day airborne assault. With Lancing works, it turned out 200 tail units.) Campbell Rd, Eastleigh SO50 5AD

Can you help us to identify the location of this subcontractor?


Supreme Welding & Engineering Co.

(1948) 1A, Graham Road. Parts? 1954, Joseph R. Brown, builder’s yard, 1, Graham Road, Newtown, Southampton. Now residential conversion.

Kelly’s Directory 1948. Image by Alan Matlock

Swanwick Lane – “A Basket Factory”

Making parts for Spitfires? There was a basket factory nearby in Duncan Road, Swanwick – the “Swanwick and District Basket Factory.” (Talisman Business Centre, 9, Duncan Rd, Southampton. SO31 7GA) A possible site just off Swanwick Lane would be the Esprit Electronics Bursledon Site, 2 Coal Park Lane, Swanwick. SO31 7GW

MOJ Engineering. The faded writing on the wall reads “Swanwick and District Basket Factory”. Image by Alan Matlock.

Webber’s Garage, Nursling.

Garage, car sales, repairs and filling station. Making parts for Spitfires? Brooklyn 4×4, Land Rover specialist, Romsey Rd, Nursling, Southampton. SO16 0XJ

Present day site of Webber’s Garage and 1941 entry in Kelly’s Directory. Images by Google Street maps and Alan Matlock.


Wickham Tool Co.

Confirmed subcontractor. Tail adjustment indicators. Location in Wickham, Hampshire?

Can you help us to identify the location of this subcontractor?


Please contact us if you have any information which will help us to identify these sites.

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