Lotus Elan

S Bourne (Plastics) Nottingham

PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:02 pm

As we all know S Bourne made the first 250-300 bodies for the Elan.

As I was born in Nottingham I'm interested in findingthe location of the original factory & any photographs of the old factory & if it exists any more. For whatever reason, there is a complete lack of published information on the company.

Here's what I have managed to research so far:
1. S Bourne (Plastics) ltd was what we now refer to as a contract manufacturer, better known for making glass fibre boat hulls. Bournes had considerable success in the 60s & 70s with their "Bourne 35" cruiser boat hull & the GP14 sale boat.
2. The company seems to have gone out of business in 1978 as I cannot find any products after that date.
3. S Bourne made the GRP hull of a bizarre caravan/boat called the CARABOAT, give yourself a laugh & google it.
4. I found an article giving the companies location as Langer, Nottingham. There is a village in South East Nottinghamshire called Langar where there was a USAF/CAnadian Airforce base, but no significant industry & no good transportation links. By chance I used to go swimming in the pool at the CAF base in the mid-60s. By co-incidence Langar is maybe 10 miles away from Tony Thompson's location, I'll drop him an e-mail!
5. Production was switched to in-house production sometime in 1963-64 due to poor quality & delivery.

If anyone has any more info on S. Bourne Ltd I'd love to hear from you, either by posting in this thread, or directly by e-mail to pph <at> lionheartsolutions.com
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:40 am

Robinshaw and Ross, p105, shows the original contract between Lotus and Bourne.

Their address is shown as:

Brittania Works,
Netherfield,
Nottingham

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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:48 pm

That makes far more sense, Netherfield is an industrial area near the river.

Just googled & found a Britannia Court on Victoria Road, Netherfield - a development of 38 flats built in 1984.

Given the liquidation of Bourne in around 1978 it may have been built on the site of the S Bourne factory. I'll have to stop by the next time I am in the area...
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:57 pm

God I love Google! Just found this image:

Image

Further description: Ref No: NCCC000469

Town Village: Netherfield

Location: Victoria Road

Title: Britannia Mills

Further Information: S Bourne and Co. factory, built 1902. Also showing Netherfield and Colwick station. Phyllis Louch (born 1915) used to work here (Bourne's Factory) and says you could take a trip to the top of the chimney shown for an old sixpence, in a barrel type contraption.

Date of Image: April 1982

Form of Acknowledgment: Reg Baker

Copyright ? North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:07 pm

And This:
Image

Ref No: NTGM011584
Town Village: Netherfield
Location:
Title: Detail of Britannia Mills, Netherfiled, 1974
Further Information: This textile firm was founded by Samuel Bourne
Date of Image: 02 June 1974

Form of Acknowledgment: Bernard and Pauline Heathcote Photographic Collection
Copyright ? North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.

So it seems S. Bourne (Plastics) Ltd. was a subsidiary of the original textile company & operated out of the same building. Such Diversification was needed since the textile industry in the East Midlands was collapsing in the 1960s.
Last edited by pharriso on Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:17 pm

And:
Image
Ref No: NCCC000467
Town Village: Netherfield
Location: Victoria Road
Title: Britannia Mills
Further Information:
S Bourne and Co. factory, built 1902. Looking NE from across the railway line
Date of Image: April 1982

Form of Acknowledgment: Reg Baker

Copyright ? North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:19 pm

I really did hit the mother lode... :D

Image

Ref No: NCCC000468
Town Village: Netherfield
Location: Victoria Road
Title: Britannia Mills, Dated inscription on the pediment
Further Information:
S Bourne and Co. factory, built 1902.
Date of Image: April 1982

Form of Acknowledgment: Reg Baker
Copyright ? North East Midland Photographic Record. All rights reserved.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:35 pm

Ask Jeff to put this in the archive; don't believe I've seen this info anywhere else. Thanks!
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:00 pm

Great bit of research, thanks for doing it.

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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:14 pm

In fact on Google Maps there is now a Bourne Mews, a new development on the old site:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&sourc ... 5&t=h&z=16

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:44 pm

If you haven't seen these photos of the Molding of a early Elan then take a few minutes to look over on the GGLC web page.

http://www.gglotus.org/ggtech/elan-body/elan-body.htm
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:24 am

Great to see those pictures of the bodyshell being made -first I have seen in Bournes apart from the one published by Tim Mees (RIP).

The Factory & production pictures remind me of the film "Saturday Night & Sunday morning" which was actually made 3 years earlier in the local vacinity!

I will continue the research & then ask to move this article to the archive as suggested.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:28 am

paddy wrote:In fact on Google Maps there is now a Bourne Mews, a new development on the old site:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&sourc ... 5&t=h&z=16

Paddy


Yes Paddy, that location ties up very well with the photograph that is across the railway junction.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:51 pm

OK, I was in the area last week so i stopped by to see what the site looks like now & confirm that there is now housing where the Bourne plant was.

Here is the only remnant - reminding us of the past:
DSC00030.JPG and
Britannia & Bourne names preserved


Here's a view of the council (public) housing on the site:
DSC00031.JPG and
Housing on Bourne Site


And finally I tried to re-produce the shot in the direction of the factory from the direction of the Netherfield Railway station:
DSC00028.JPG and
Shot over Railway station


As you can see, the factory has gone & the trees have moved in around the station.
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