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Smethwick Drop Forgings Ltd Kidderminster

SMETHWICK DROP FORGINGS LTD, STOURPORT ROAD, OLDINGTON, near KIDDERMINSTER

Grid Reference: SO 823742

Oldington is situated mid way between Kidderminster and Stourport-on-Severn.

Smethwick Drop Forgings Ltd are a long established Black Country firm of engineers. They first came to Kidderminster around 1940, with a 42 acre site on the Stourport Road. The firm specialises in making parts for the worldwide automotive industry.

Mr Keith Beddows has supplied the following information:

"My late father worked at the Drop Forge during the 1939/45 war and it was he who initially identified the line when I and some schoolfriends "found it" quite by accident when chestnutting in Oldington Wood, commonly known locally as the Chestnut Wood.

Dad worked the hammers at the forge making tank parts etc. for the war effort and said he remembered the line in operation (perhaps taking away some of the forgings ?)

If you were familiar with the sugar factory when the rails were down, you would go through the security gates off Stourport Road, one would travel a couple of hundred yards towards the rear of the factory, down a slight dip in the road and over a level crossing, this being the start of the Drop Forge siding which disappeared on the right towards Stourport, in the undergrowth.

I remember the crossing well, for I was a paper boy and delivered papers to two or three houses (one of which was the factory manager's) the other side of this crossing. It was only later that I realised that the track went to the Drop Forge".

A standard gauge locomotive was based here from new in 1942 to 1947.

SDF No.1 0-4-0ST Bagnall 2664 of 1942

The locomotive was owned by the Ministry of Supply and moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne towards the end of 1947.

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