John’s quest to find a boxed Clifton iron

An iron dating from 1945-46 made by the Clifton Aircraft Company, Lytham. The box says the iron is "manufactured with the same skill and accuracy that has gone into our many subcontracts for Wellington Bombers".

An iron dating from 1945-46 made by the Clifton Aircraft Company, Lytham. The box says the iron is "manufactured with the same skill and accuracy that has gone into our many subcontracts for Wellington Bombers".

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NOW here’s a household appliance that surely flew off the shelves when it was first made.

During the Second World War, the Clifton Aircraft Co Ltd in Lytham, manufactured components for Vickers Wellington Bombers being assembled at Blackpool’s Squires Gate factory.

In August 1945, a report in The Gazette’s sister paper, the Lytham St Annes Express, explained there was no longer a production requirement for aircraft parts and the company would switch to the manufacture of domestic electrical items.

Reader John Bamber says: “I belong to the British Iron Collectors Society and a few years ago a fellow collector from Nottingham, who specialised in collecting electric irons, showed me one manufactured at this Lytham factory, complete with its original box.

John says: “Truly a rare piece of local history. The condition of the iron was perfect, showing no signs of having ever been used. It even had the original sales tag identifying it being ‘War Finish’, which dates it to around 1945/46.”

The box, while showing a few signs of age, was very special indeed, according to John, in that it bore a picture of a Wellington Bomber together with the unique selling point: “Manufactured with the same skill and accuracy that has gone into our many sub-contracts for Wellington Bombers.”

John, who is librarian and treasurer for the Blackpool and Fylde Historical Society, says: “Sadly, my fellow collector died in 2011, following several months’ illness, and while I have not been able to locate the iron, I do have a picture of it, also a picture of the Lytham factory where it was manufactured, taken after it ceased production about 1997/8, by which time it had been renamed Clifton Engineers.”

John would be interested to know if any readers remember this factory, especially about its beginnings, and also how its production base changed over the 60 years it was operating.

John adds: “The finding of another such iron still in its Wellington box would be too much to hope for!”

If readers can help John with his research, he can be contacted by email at j.bamber31@btinternet.com or on (01253) 762049.