[Boatanchors] A "bit" off topic - Demise of Mullard's, Once the World's largest Vacuum Tube Factory

Bry Carling bcarling at cfl.rr.com
Sun Jan 15 17:31:21 EST 2012

I LOVE how this article reads! What a RUN from 1920 to 2012 for Mullard!!

I especially liked the word: "Gloeilampenfabriken." Ja - lampen mit spitzensparkzen !!

Blackburn Rovers Football Club in partucular must have been the pride and joy of many a 
Mullard employee!

Captain Stanley Mullard - may he LONG be remembered for his wonderful company. 
I still have quite a few of his fine products here.

On 15 Jan 2012 at 14:19, lmpicard wrote:

From:           	lmpicard <lmpicard at rogers.com>

> Blackburn firm switched on the world´s TVs
> 4:10pm Thursday 24th September 2009
> By David Watkinson
> FOLLOWING the closure of the `Mullard´ factory after Blackburn
> Microtech 
> Solutions went into administration this week we chart the rise and
> fall 
> of a Blackburn firm that once employed 7,500 workers.
> AT its height the Mullard factory in Blackburn was the largest of
> its 
> kind in the world - highly productive and meeting a growing demand
> for 
> radios and television sets.
> Forty years later, and the factory which once employed 7,500 people
> has 
> been shut down, as a successive number of firms at the site
> struggled to 
> keep up with the rapidly-evolving technology.
> High-definition flat-screen sets are now the must-have gadgets for
> many 
> households but the business in Blackburn has failed to keep up.
> Graham Coxon, of the GMB union said: "As Mullard´s it was one of the
> biggest factories in the town but it has diminished as the market
> has 
> dropped.
> "In the past years the company has just not been able to adapt to
> the 
> changing needs of the market."
> Blackburn MicroTech Solutions (BMS), as the firm was known in its
> latest 
> incarnation, specialised in making cathode tube for televisions but
> the 
> technology is on the verge of becoming obsolete.
> Bosses had banked on a third-world market for the now old-fashioned
> sets. But the writing was on the wall as BMS was one of the only 
> factories of its kind in the world.
> Over the years the huge 64-acre site in Whitebirk was known as
> Mullard, 
> Phillips, LG Phillips, and latterly BMS.
> Initially in 1920 Captain Stanley R Mullard set up the Mullard Radio
> Valve Company Limited.
> Four years later and wanting to expand as the valve demand continued
> to 
> grow Captain Mullard sold half his shares to NV Philips 
> Gloeilampenfabriken of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
> Mullard actually sold all of his shares to Philips in 1927 but the
> Dutch 
> firm continued to use the brand name Mullard in the UK until 1988.
> In 1938 work started on what was to become the largest valve
> assembly 
> works in the world. Hundreds of thousands of valves were being 
> constructed every day and by 1961 gas and electricity generation had
> been installed to make the site independent of the local town
> supplies.
> There were five main feeder factories set-up to support Blackburn.
> In 
> 1949 and 1951 two factories were set up in Fleetwood, 1953 saw a
> factory 
> in Rawtenstall and in 1954 a factory in Lytham and a final factory
> in 
> Southport were opened.
> The emergence of the transistor saw the demise of the valve but 
> Mullard's diversified and moved into production of television tubes
> and 
> components.
> With the boom in ownership of televisions the factory in Blackburn
> went 
> from strength to strength. A factory in Simonstone was opened and in
> the 
> 1970s there were 3,500 people working there, producing, among other
> things, television screens.
> But throughout the 1980s and 90s the business was hit by a series of
> setbacks. Thousands of jobs were axed at the sites in Blackburn and
> Simonstone, along with their other smaller factories across East
> Lancashire.
> Philips suffered a crisis after the failure of a scheme to launch a
> laser disc format.
> At Blackburn sections of the Whitebirk site were sold off while
> others 
> were closed down and rented out to other firms.
> A huge CD factory at the site, PDO (Philips Du Pont Optical), used
> to be 
> part of the Philips empire but was sold off and became Entertainment
> Distribution Company (EDC).
> EDC is another firm that has felt the impact of changing technology
> and 
> the factory will close at the end of the year.
> Most of the 260 jobs have already been lost there.
> Now the question is what will become of the former Mullard site.
> Back
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> http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk
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