Hewlett & Blondeau factory closure

Hewlett & Blondeau factory

The Omnia Works of Hewlett & Blondeau Ltd at Oak Road, Leagrave, were to close down in the course of a few weeks, wrote the Luton Reporter on September 7th, 1920. On inquiry at the works, the newspaper's representative was informed that no statement could be officially issued on the subject at that stage, as the legal winding up of the concern had yet to take place.

The future use of the building had not been finally determined, but for all practical purposes activity there had come to a standstill. The report went on:

It was not very long before the outbreak of war that the Omnia Works was established at Leagrave for the manufacture of aeroplanes, and from the first this new local industry amply fulfilled its promise of development.

This development was naturally speeded up beyond all expectations after the outbreak of hostilities, and the comparatively small factory became a tremendous concern affording work for a considerable number of hands, and affecting a large output of aeroplanes by the employment of day and night shifts almost continuously.

In this way the works have been of tremendous benefit to the locality, but with the conclusion of the Armistice came an almost immediate slump, and the manufacture of aeroplanes very soon came to an end.

Since then the firm have adapted the undertaking to various forms of manufacture, such as small motor-cars, sidecars, roll-top desks and so on, but for a long time past a steady process of discharging hands has been going on, and the batch paid off last week has left a mere handful of staff and workpeople to complete the work of clearing up.

The closing of the Omnia Works will be a severe loss to the Leagrave district, for, apart from the remunerative employment provided, the firm, through its principals and management, have closely allied themselves to the social and semi-public life of the district in many ways.

Mrs Hewlett, in particular, has endeared herself to many during her residence in the parish, and many of the firm's workpeople will retain vivid recollections of the lady who has never shrunk from taking part in any phase of the manual work of the factory in which she could effectively lend a hand.

Below are adverts from The Luton News (1920) for post-war products produced at the Hewlett & Blondeau factory.

Hewlett & Blondeau advert

Hewlett & Blondeau advert