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Nene Valley Mobile Homes Ltd

aerial view of the site
Aerial View of the junction of the old A45 and Wellingborough Road showing the lake where sand had been extracted. The pit was filled in in the 1960s by Messrs. Braybrook builders.
Centre of the picture is Nene Valley Caravan works. c1958

the works
The extensive works at Rushden - taken for a bochure when the company was 20 years old.

Photographs Courtesy of Rushden Museum by A J George

The Rushden Echo, 18th June 1965, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Coach firm blaze — Work Under Way Again

Fears that a fire at Nene Valley Coachworks Ltd, the Rushden caravan builders, would cause long-term production delays and the possible temporary lay-off of one or two workmen, proved unfounded, thanks to quick work by a local building firm.

The fire broke out suddenly in the spray and furniture assembly shop and within seconds the flames were licking their way through the roof.

Tenders from Rushden, Wellingborough and Irthlingborough, and over twenty firemen, fought the flames. Workmen formed a human chain to try to salvage caravan furniture.

Mr. Keith Pidcock, 5 Edward Close, Kettering, received minor burns to both arms. He received first-aid and was able to continue working.

Fortunately, the firemen were able to control the blaze in good time, helped by a partition which prevented the flames from spreading too quickly. Although the roof was severely affected, most of the damage was confined to one end of the building.

Builders Praised

Within hours, Arthur Sanders Ltd, Rushden, builders and civil engineering contractors, had been called in. By Tuesday the shop was almost back to full production.

On Tuesday Mr. J. F. Goodliffe, general manager of Nene Valley Coach Works, told the “Echo” that he hoped to be back in full production within 48 hours.

“Sanders really pulled something out for us,” said Mr. Goodliffe.

He also praised the work of the Modern Electric Company, which rewired the premises.

Evening Telegraph, Febrary 1967

Caravan firm praised
THE action of Nene Valley Mobile Homes Ltd., to ensuring that their eight apprentices were able to continue their training, although the works had been closed because of the recent fire, was praised at Tuesday's meeting of Wellingborough Trades Council.

Mr. G. Allen told members the company had arranged with the Technical College for them to continue their training there while the works were out of action

Mr. E. H. Smith said this was something which should receive publicity as it was a good effort on the part of the employers and college staff.

The Rushden Echo, 17th February 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Nene Valley Men Take Exhibition Unit to London

A team of workers from Nene Valley Mobile Homes Ltd. the Rushden caravan manufacturers, whose production line was destroyed last week, took the shell of a special unit the firm is making for the Ideal Home Exhibition up to London on Wednesday.

moving the shell The unit will be completed in London.

Mr. J. G. Goodliffe, the firm’s managing director, said on Tuesday that there was a lot of work to be done before it would be ready.

The men would probably have to work weekends to have it ready for the exhibition – two weeks away.

He said they were making great strides with the unit and were hoping to complete it in time.

The firm have been unable to find temporary accommodation suitable to carry on production.

Mr. Goodliffe explained that the firm had a lot of “wonderful offers.” However, they have all been small units and not suitable to their needs.

He said the firm had explored the area “pretty thoroughly” but had not been able to find big enough accommodation. Most buildings did not have sufficient headroom for assembling caravans.

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