A car lover is researching the history of motor vehicle manufacturing in the borough with the aim of writing a book about the industry.
Tony Beadle, of Howletts Lane, Ruislip, decided to look into the subject after discovering there were no other books written specifically about the history of the automobile in Hillingdon.
Mr Beadle, 64, is the editor of the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain’s journal and began researching the subject a few months ago with the intention of writing an article for the magazine. However, he has found so much information already that he is considering writing a book instead.
The father-of-one said: “I keep digging up more information, but at some stage I will have to have a cut off point.”
His interest in the story was originally sparked by the Coronet three-wheeler car, sold by Coronet Cars Ltd in Denham. He then quickly discovered that the Coronet was manufactured by James Whitson & Co Ltd of West Drayton.
He said: “At first I just thought that the Coronet was the only car made in Uxbridge, but I have found nine companies already that manufactured cars in Hillingdon.”
Mr Beadle used to work in the engineering industry, but became a journalist 25 years ago.
He has now edited four car magazines and written three books about the industry.
He said: “I have an irrational affection for all sorts of silly little cars like three-wheelers. Just after the Second World War there were an awful lot of these economy cars around and it fascinates me. It has just been a lifetime hobby.
“It’s important to get this recorded while there is still the information around because people die and stuff gets thrown away.
“No one has put it all together in one volume and my aim is to find out when motor manufacturing began.”
Mr Beadle is looking for people who worked in the industry or know someone who did, and he is interested in speaking to anyone from the Whitson family or those who worked for them.
The book will be published by the end of the year. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org