By Ian Dipple Thursday 03 October 2013 Updated: 04/10 07:29
THE HISTORY of one of Redditch’s most important companies will be on show at a special exhibition next week.
Remembering the Alloys is being staged at St Philip’s Church in Webheath on Saturday, October 12, by Redditch History and Heritage Group and Redditch Local History Society.
It will chart 75 years of activity at Windsor Road based HDA, now Mettis Aerospace, including the vital role it played during the Second World War.
Between 1939 and 1945, the factory was responsible for nearly all forged aero-engine pistons produced in Britain, churning out in excess of ten million pistons during that time.
The company also manufactured large structural elements of aircraft as well as aero-engine components. The most notable part produced was the V-shaped spars that held the bouncing bombs on the Lancaster bombers during the Dambusters raid.
As a result the factory was often a target for the German Luftwaffe and in response anti-aircraft guns were stationed on the hill by Forge Mill to combat the threat.
The exhibition will include archive material and photographs, an illustrated talk by aviation historian, author and former HDA employee Tony Buttler and two showings at 12.15pm and 3.15pm of the 1941 film Forging in Hiduminium showing life in the factory during the height of war production including the big hammer in action.
The 460 ton erie hammer has a forging weight of 29 tons and was shipped over from America and transported to Redditch by road and rail.
The exhibition runs from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission costs £2.
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