Working with the Thornycroft collection in the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust and Archives held by Southampton City Council Arts and Heritage. J.E Thornycroft (later becoming Vosper Thornycroft), manufactured vehicles in Basingstoke and maritime vessels at Woolston near Southampton. The project is exploring the effect of the Great War on a company, its products and employees. It also explores the reality of government intervention in corporate activities, and the role of the company in supporting the war effort.
This project works with the volunteer and museum community to develop an archive based interpretation for the Thornycroft collections held at Milestones in Basingstoke. The resulting research will also be used in the context of outreach and engagement to local communities interested in the ancestry of the local landscape.
Thornycroft is a case study of how government shaped business activity and the experiences of the workforce during the wartime. Government procurement and the management of military transportation shaped the direction of design and manufacturing. The creation of the new Ministry of Transport in 1919 heralded a new chapter in government regulation, with officials recruited from the ranks of the military responsible for the distribution of equipment across all theatres of the war.
If you would like more information or to be involved please contact Dr Roy Edwards R.A.Edwards@soton.ac.uk
'The Motor Vehicle Erecting Shop, Basingstoke', by Fred Taylor. © Hampshire Cultural Trust and Archives