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Jowett cavalcade takes to the road in celebration
12:06am Monday 13th August 2012 in News
A cavalcade of historic Jowett cars drove from the site of the company’s former factory to Bradford Industrial Museum in a celebration of the city’s motoring heritage at the weekend.
More than 20 cars, dating from the 1920s to the 1950s gathered at the former manufacturing site in Five Lane Ends, for the parade through the city to the museum to mark the 50th anniversary of the Northern section of the Jowett Club.
There was then the 27th annual re-union of about 40 former employees and car enthusiasts who brought about 60 Jowetts to the museum in Moorside Road, Eccleshill .
Club member Ian Priestley, joint organiser of the event, said: “We had a cavalcade of about 20 Jowetts and it was brilliant how many turned up.
“We have got the people who built the cars mingling with the owners and it is nice to see them imparting their knowledge to people who may not be mechanically skilled about how the cars were built.”
Mr Priestley, who bought his first Jowett in the 1970s, added: “All of the employees are in their 80s and they still come because the company is held in such high regard. They turn up despite infirmity and old age and that is a real tribute to them and the history of the factory.”
One was retired automotive consultant Phil Green, 82, the chief test driver for the car manufacturer from 1951 to 1953, when Jowett closed.
Mr Green joined the company after plucking up the courage to ask the company’s experimental department manager, Horace Grimley, for a job when he came in to collect a prescription from his dad’s chemist in Heights Lane, Heaton .
Mr Green, who brought his 1952 red Jowett Jupiter to the event, said: “I had left the RAF and had had a nasty injury on the motorbike. I was on crutches serving behind the counter. My dad was in the dispensary making up the bottles and I said ‘Mr Grimley, what do I need to do to get into your department at Jowett cars? He said, ‘Philip, throw the crutches away and come to see me’.
“They had been looking for a chief test driver for quite a few years and I got the job. I was only 22 at the time. It was brilliant.”
George Scholes, 84, who visited the re-union with his wife Jean, served a six-year apprenticeship at the Jowett factory in Five Lane Ends, when he was 21.
He followed his dad, Fred, a quality control inspector at the factory into the car manufacturing business.
Mr Scholes, of Peterborough Place, Undercliffe , said: “It was wartime and they were doing munitions – two pound and six pound shells and parts for mortars – and I was also on fire watch, which involved getting there early and leaving late. It was a good job and the cars were way ahead of their time because of their style.”