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Yardley factory, Miles Gray Road, Pipps Hill, Basildon

Yardley of London, 4 Miles Gray Road.

Industry in Basildon

From the earliest days of Basildon's designation as a new town the development corporation began drawing up plans for the first industrial estate. This was built at Nevendon and called industrial estate No. 1. The first to open on it was South-East Essex Wholesale Dairies, at Cranes Farm Road, in 1951. Bonallack & Sons coachbuilders were an early big name to locate to Basildon when they opened their factory at Nevendon in 1953. Carreras cigarette making factory, which opened in 1959, received a royal visit in 1960 when the Duke of Edinburgh, who flew in by helicopter, switched on the final piece of plant automation.

The 1960s saw Ford Motor Company invest heavily in Basildon when their Dagenham based Tractor Plant transferred to a new purpose built 100 acre site in 1964. Earlier in 1957 they opened a purpose built radiator plant in Honywood Road on the Nevendon Industrial Estate and in the mid 1960s land at the former Southfields Farm in Dunton Wayletts was acquired to house the company's new Research and Engineering Centre which opened in 1967. In 1977 their expansion continued when they took over the vacant Station House office building in Cherrydown, renaming it Trafford house and making it the headquarters of their European Truck Division.

Cosmetic giant Yardley of London relocated to industrial estate No. 2 in the mid 1960s and Marconi, Mk Electrics, Standard Telephones & Cables and Ilford films were other big names who chose to make Basildon their base.

Another new estate called Southfields was created in the 1980s at Laindon. Gordon's Gin opened a 26 acre factory there in 1984.

Text written 2006 with revisions 2007.
Copyright © 2006-2007, B.Cox, Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.
Page added: 2006
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