Factory that was in Willow Lane, which started trading as Bryans Aeroquipment Ltd. It changed its name to Bryans Ltd and later Bryans Southern Instruments.
There isn’t an entry in the 1938 directory, but a comment below suggests that the firm was established around 1939.
Timeline of events
1947 Fire at a rubber dump near the factory.
Name changed from Bryans Aeroquipment Ltd to Bryans Ltd. in 1963 according to Flight International, 29th August 1963.
1965 Luftwaffe contract
From Flight International, 13th January, 1966, page 72
Mr. J.R. Bryans is relinquishing his post as chairman and managing director of Bryans Ltd, of Mitcham, Surrey, and becomes a director of Seltronic Group Ltd. Mr Bowman Scott, managing director of Seltronic, has been appointed chairman of Bryans and Mr. David Ince managing director.
From Flight International, 4th June, 1970
Test equipment Merger
Bryans Ltd of Mitcham, Surrey, has sold its interest in aviation test equipment to Negretti and Zambra Ltd and will concentrate henceforth on the market for scientific instruments.
The Bryans product range will now be handled by Negretti & Zambra (Aviation) Ltd. which has a wide range of interests in the aviation field. The existing worldwide agency network established by Bryans will remain unchanged, but within the United Kingdom all enquiries should be addressed to the Bryans Aeroquipment Division of Negretti & Zambra (Aviation) Ltd, 73/77 Lansdowne Rood, Croydon CR9 2HP.
The 1973 Computer Users Yearbook said that the computer department had 5 staff, the D.P. manager was Miss S.M. Harrington. An NCR 500 C computer was used.
From Flight international, 5th October, 1979, page 1137
New formation team
The aerospace interests of Negretti & Zambra (73-77 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Surrey; telephone 01-688 3426) have been brought together into a single entity. N & Z (Aviation) has absorbed the aviation activities of the Aero Engine Instrument Division and of the Bryans Aeroequipment part of associated company Visual Engineers. Design and manufacturing facilities operate at Aylesbury, Croydon and Southampton Airport.
According to Advance Power Supplies (APS), Bryans Southern Instruments was bought in 1986, which was then bought by Low & Bonar Ltd in November that year.
1989 photo on Merton Memories showing a ‘TO LET’ sign.
I believe that Bryans had a factory in Willow Lane from pre-1939. My grandfather Percy Wood worked for Bryans after WW2 but was sustained injuries whilst on fire watch in Willow Lane around 1940. Percy was the Professional at Mitcham Golf Club before WW2 and he and his family lived in a flat above the Club House until they were bombed out.
Some interesting notes on the history of what evidently was a very prolific company.
My name is Mark Jarrold, I own Vavasseur Antiques, a business that specialises in Aneroid Barometers from their first appearance in 1846 to the present day.
Though we use Bryan’s / Negretti & Zambra test chambers for the test and calibration of our instruments, the control equipment has been designed and built by me utilising good serviceable Mil spec parts from the 1950s – 70s. Many of these parts originated from incomplete Bryans equipment which I stripped.
I am putting together an archive of Bryan’s / Negretti’s equipment and technical data which over time I will be publishing, I am always interested to hear from any one with items associated with these two great British companies. To make contact you might email : Mark@vavasseur-antiques.com , thank you for your interest.