Saturday, 29 January 2011
Over the last week the gentlemen of Westminster have been out and about promoting British manufacturing. Above is a video of Nick Clegg at the Brompton factory in west London. Below are some of the key quotes from the speech Vince Cable gave last week:
'How many people do we meet who repeat the silly and inaccurate observation that "we don't make things any more"? This message has had a deeply corrosive effect in discouraging a younger generation from seeking a career in engineering or taking up industrial apprenticeships. It also helped encouraged the idea that young people should rather attempt to become a star footballer, an investment banker or a pop star - which can bring riches, but for a very small handful. The negativity about the perception of manufacturing has become a bigger problem than the reality.'
'There has to be a sense that manufacturing offers a good, attractive, career opportunity through skill training for school leavers and for graduates. Partly this is about capturing the imagination of what it will be like in the industries of the future. It is also about communicating that average salaries are comparable to those in the legal or financial services.'
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Thanks to the ever excellent Spitalfields Life for bringing the work of Homer Sykes to our attention. We suggest that you check out his site to gain an appreciation of his excellent documentary photography, the pictures here are merely portions of larger photos.
Sunday, 16 January 2011
We received some very welcome post yesterday in the form of an envelope containing the new issue of Old Town's Evening Star newspaper. The editorial is both witty and informative - a rarity in these days of plenty it seems. After spending twenty minutes flicking through it last night our highlights include; Mystic Reg (he's seen the future, and it includes clothing featuring pylons and bi-planes), the return of Cooper (the heavyweight font is the 'new Gill Sans') and a feature on The Brilliant Sign Co.
One thing that really struck a chord was the adverts - each one having its own appeal. Maybe its down to the vision of Old Town's creators that this is the case - they know their audience so well that they can be confident of the other brands they promote.
If you would like a copy of the Evening Star then please do get in touch via the Manufacture & Industry Facebook page. True to form, they sent us a couple of extra copies. First come, first served. Thank you to Marie and Will of Old Town.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Another find from last weekend's visit to Tonbridge, Kent, this handsome card is part of a series from the early 1950s that Whitbread used to give away with each pint (or so we are led to believe) in its pubs. This particular example depicts the sign from the Queen's Head in Maidstone and is on aluminium. Handsome.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
We found this old football programme at an excellent bric-a-brac shop near Tonbridge station over the weekend. The cover design makes use of an Acme whistle. Does anyone know if today's referees use the Acme Thunderer?
Also of interest were the adverts - feeling peckish?
Friday, 7 January 2011
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Monday, 3 January 2011
Sunday, 2 January 2011
'While it is unrealistic to expect UK manufacturing to return to the 24% of GDP it generated in the 1980s, with sterling at a competitive rate and our property and financial services sectors hit particularly hard in the recession, there is real potential for this share to grow. In order to do so it is important for the UK to recognise, celebrate and promote our successes and comparative advantages in manufacturing.'
From the British Chambers of Commerce Manufacturing for Export report.
'If in comparison to many other developed economies, British manufacturing is not in quite the poor shape many at home and abroad assume, we must question how such a perception came about. One of the most noticeable reasons for this has been because of a major reduction in those employed within the manufacturing industries. While the 2.6m people currently employed within UK manufacturing is far more than the 1m currently working in financial services, it is far less than the 6.9m manufacturing jobs there were in 1978. This reflects a decline in traditional UK strengths in industries such as steel-making and shipbuilding. It also reflects a broader trend across the sector, where companies have increasingly become part of international supply chains and low skill, labour-intensive, mass-production work has moved to lower-cost emerging economies. The jobs and competitive advantage for countries like the UK now lies in high value, skilled research, design and innovation work rather than traditional production and assembly processes, which employed larger numbers of lower-skilled staff.'
The full report can be downloaded from the British Chambers of Commerce site
Image of Made in Birmingham: The Exhibition of Local Manufactures and Natural History 1886 poster from Local History Online