…Society members were joined by some guests who had worked for the Aluminium works in Banbury, to hear from Richard Hartree – one of our members, about manufacturing and production at the Alcan factory during the 90 years from 1929 to 2009. The 40 acre site was purchased in 1929 with support from Banbury Borough Council who were anxious to encourage a major production company to come to Banbury. Production started in 1931 and the company became the major employer in the town until it finally closed its production lines in 2009. Using aluminium imported from Canada, the metal and its alloys were rolled, pressed and extruded to produce a wide variety of products. Manufacturing was at its height during the Second World War when production was increased five-fold to produce sheet aluminium for aircraft production. A dummy factory was built to shield the main factory, which was camouflaged, from enemy bombing. The ‘dummy’ received a direct hit and was rapidly repaired to continue its valuable role. During its lifetime the factory was extended and refurbished with modern machinery. New furnaces, lifting gear, rolling mills and presses reduced the need for high levels of manpower and rationalisation programmes were introduced in the 1980s and 1990s. The ‘Ally’ factory finally closed its gates in 2009 having provided employment and support for its workforce throughout its lifetime.
Sibford Scene Archive
thesibfords.org.uk – launched 10 May 2010
A major spin off from the DOMESDAY project has been the development of a new village web site. The Sibfords Society felt that the information gained from the Domesday project would need a wider audience than the data base stored on the Society’s computer.
The opportunity has been taken to provide a source of wider information than that gathered in the survey. This includes:
- a section devoted to the Domesday project and the findings
- a village diary has been developed in which it is hoped to include all village events
- a special section set up to show all Village Hall bookings
- groups that completed the Domesday Organisations survey will be offered their own page with access and information controlled by themselves or a link to their own web site
- a Sibipedia section based on Wikipedia in which we hope that villagers and ex-villagers will add information b about past village life
- a map which shows where events take place and organisations meet.
As time goes on we hope to develop the site with input from villagers and reports of local events in the community. Log on to thesibfords.org.uk and keep up to date with life in this small part of rural England.
Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.
It will take a while, but we’re gradually building up this archive of complete copies of all editions of the Sibford Scene since its inception in 1977. Yet to be uploaded are editions between 2013 and 2015.