SAM NEWSOME’S venture into the garage business was a success story from the start. He first trained as a pilot during the First World War but that came to nothing, so he built his own single-seater racing car and turned his attentions to the race track.
When the last Triumph car left the assembly line at Coventry’s Canley plant the last workers were redeployed to other factories in the group.
For Jim Cosgrove of Coundon, the skirl of the pipes was a familiar sound at home. Three members of his family were musicians in the famed Royal British Legion Triumph Pipe Band.
My grandfather Jim Cosgrove was founder of the band when he came to Binley in 1936 to work at the colliery. He came from Coalburn in Lanarkshire and had three sons. Two of them, Jim my father and Wally my uncle were also pipers in the band. They all eventually worked at the Standard Motor Company.
I worked for the Coventry Tile Company, one of the finest tile fixing firms in the country.
One Saturday morning, I was sent to do a small tiling job at the Standard Motors factory. I arrived with my small tool bit, the tiles and other materials having been delivered the day before.
I was instructed to enquire at a certain office as to the location of the job to be done. To this day I don’t know where I went wrong, but I found myself in a very large space, which contained a full-sized model of the Standard Vanguard.
If I had been looking at a spacecraft I could not have been more amazed.
The older Standard boys will know what I mean. Two men appeared and I found myself marched into an office where a lady typist was instructed to type a “I hereby declare that I will not mention what I have seen”, etc.
I duly signed the document but said “I am a Coventry lad, and that wild horses would not drag me from what I had seen.”
I have lots of happy memories of the Standard Motor Company.
Harry Pointer, Coventry
In the late spring of 1940 Germany was winning the war and had occupied France, poising to invade Britain. And my mother was dying.