William James Langford

I was an apprentice from 1952 to 1957, when I emigrated to Canada with another ex-apprentice, Melvyn Lloyd.

My Dad, William Thomas Langford (also ‘Bill’ of course!), worked at Canley for many years, retiring (I think) in 1966.   Mel and I bought a 1956 TR3 between us in May of 1958, which we drove from Toronto to Mexico City and back in two weeks in 1958, and to San Francisco and back in two weeks in 1959.   The car never gave us any trouble.

In 1960 we traded it in on two brand-new TR3As (one each), picking them up in England when I returned that July to get married: Mel was my best man.   I sold that car when I went to university in 1962, but bought a used 1967 TR4A and a (very) used 1960 TR3A in 1980.  By then, though, they needed more upkeep than I was prepared to give them!  Still love sports cars, and (dare I say it) I’m now on my second Mazda MX-5…- beautiful cars! My wife and I now live in Victoria, British Columbia, while Mel still lives in Toronto.   Good luck with this project!

Dick Woodier

Henry Reuben Woodier (AKA Dick Woodier) was born 25th of August 1900. He started working at Cash’s Lane in 1922 drilling under foreman Harry Timms. After 8 years Henry moved to the Crankshaft shop at Canley working under Fred Kleiter. In 1933 he was moved to the ‘old spares’, still drilling and machining under Fred Kleiter.

During WW2 Henry was in the home guard. In 1940, Henry worked nights on Mosquito production as a charge- hand for the new female workers on the aircraft and munitions section. After the War, Henry was made charge hand on the day shift where he was on drilling for car production. He continued to work under Mr Kleiter until he retired in 1948, Henry suggested that some of his happiest memories at work were working with Mr Kleiter in ‘spares’.

In 1950 Henry moved to Mr E. Preston’s section at Canley, in 1958 this section moved to Radford whereupon he gave up his charge hand position and decided to revert to a machinist. In March 1967, after nearly 45 years of service, Henry retired aged 66. A large crowd gathered at the Radford machine shop to see Mr E. Preston present Henry with a sum of money collected from his friends and workmates. He passed away 1970.

This entry is submitted by his Great- Grandson (Luke Garland).

Canley Car Deliveries

“My father worked for Canley Car Deliveries whose storage depot was at Burton Green. Around the 1959 time my father brought the drivers down in a van with bench seats either side to pick up cars from Standard‘s factory storage area (it always seemed packed). On the opposite corner of Tile Hill Lane/Fletchamstead Highway junction was the Standard Cinema.”

Burton Green
Burton Green

Here is a picture of the van your dad must have picked up the ferry men in. Van is in the background with my dads car on the left. Pic is of my two brothers and me at Burton Green, I’m in the middle, with the three guard dogs that were there at the time. Pic approx 1959/60.


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“Had some great times, looking back, was probably the most enjoyable job I’ve ever had. Just didn’t realise it then. We used to go over The Herald Pub at lunchtimes quite often. It was always packed out.”

The Specification Office was on Tile Hill Lane, there were 3 girls and around 12 guys in the office. We used to go for a lunchtime drink at The Newlands.”

“The Engine casting checking fixture known by us as a Doghouse Fixture as the block fitted inside it. Happy days at a good company.”

“An uncle of mine worked at Canley for many years until he retired; my dad told me he worked on back axle assembly.”

My father worked at the Standard, Banner Lane and was made redundant after 20 years. As far as I know he was a ‘fitter’ but I was too young to know much more than that. I remember he hung his bike up in the shed and there it stayed.”

I remember during the late 70s, probably 1978, they had a Japanese delegation visiting the Canley plant, this preceded the Triumph Acclaim and was initiated by Michael Edwards, whom Maggie Thatcher entrusted control of British Leyland cars. The problem was that there were a lot of veterans who served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, many of which saw service in the Far East and suffered shocking treatment as POWs under the Japanese. The company decided, due to the strength of feeling against the Japanese, to give those employees who served in the Far East etc a day off with pay. Any ex-Standard Triumph employee would know that the internal road that ran from the Fletch gate to the Canley gate was always known as the “Burma Road”

A friend of mine worked as an internal auditor for Standard Triumph. Under the Leyland regime, he had to make regular vists to Gaydon, where they stored cars, to locate up to a thousand cars at a time that had been “lost” by the accounting system!”