Everybody around the world has heard about K & Q Gates
But did you ever wonder where the others were.
It was in the First World War, after the North and West Works had been built to supply the War effort that the Gates were given a Letter Code.
It was done to help the delivery of goods to the works, as on the delivery paperwork it would give the gate letter so that the driver new exactly where to go.
The following information and pictures are based on the
period before the Site closed in April 2005.
An aerial view of the location along with a view of the gate.
‘A’ Gate (Longbridge Lane)
Located near to Longbridge Railway Station, it was only open at certain times in the day for pedestrian traffic.
‘B’ Gate (Longbridge Lane)
As you can see it doesn’t have a sign, this is because it was closed many years ago.
‘C’ Gate (Longbridge Lane)
This gate has been changed over the years, but as always been the Main Gate into North Works.
The picture above shows it still showing ‘C’ but now been used by the contractor for the new Bournville College
‘D’ Gate (Longbridge Lane)
This gate was nearly at the corner of Longbridge Lane and Bristol Road, and hear lies a tale.
A coach which failed to negotiate the traffic lights in early 1989 ended up smashing the gates down.
So it was decided to close this entrance and replaced with a fence.
Nice to see that the Police arrived in an AUSTIN
‘E’ Gate (Bristol Road South)
This gate has always been open, and in the 1980s after the launch of the Metro
became an IN only for Old and New West Works.
‘F’ Gate (Bristol Road South)
This gate was also closed around the early 1980s, with access via Gate E.
This was the rear OUT gate for West Works, note the level crossings barrier which was were the original GWR line from Halseowen crossed.
This is the foot-bridge over the railway from car park ‘B’ to West Works
‘K’ Gate 1905
‘K’ Gate 2005
This gate is where in all started in 1905, and their were various versions of the gate over the years.
The last time these gates were used was in 2006 to allow access for demolition of the
various buildings in South Works.
Thankfully these gates which were a symbol of Austin and Longbridge
were donated to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust by St Modwen the developer.
‘K’ Gates arriving at BMIHT Gaydon
‘L’ Gate (Lickey Road)
You will notice that this Gate shows the original L on top of the pillar, when the building on the left was built
in the early 1950s. It was closed at the same time as Gate D in West Works.
‘M’ Gate (Lickey Road)
Now although this gate has a Rover-MG sign it was closed at the same time as Gate L.
‘N’ Gate (Lickey Road)
This was the main gate into South Works, along with ‘Q’ Gate.
Gate ‘O’ (Lickey Road)
This gate is another one that was closed in the late 1940s.
‘P’ Gate (Lowhill Lane)
This gate was closed around the early 1980s
‘Q’ Gate (Lowhill Lane)
This Gate is known around the world because it was where the Press would gather to report on Longbridge.
Originally it was only a small gate that was used to gain access to the airfield in the war.
But in 1951 when CAB and other building were built it was enlarged.
About 20 years ago it was changed as you see in the picture.
‘R’ Gate (Lowhill Lane)
Used in the war and after when the Flight Shed became a Service Department,
and later converted to produce the Marina gearboxes.
It was closed when the Flight Shed role changed and came an Engineering facility.
‘S’ Gate (Groveley Lane)
This gate opened in WWII as access to the Flight Shed. The brick building shown was added in the late 1960s.
Around about 1988 this building and Flight Shed became part of the Engineering Facilities.
‘W’ Gate (Groveley Lane)
You will have noticed that this gate is out of sequence. The entrance was installed around 1970, to give employees access to the car park by CAB2 and the roof car park named the Ponderosa.
‘T’ Gate (Groveley Lane)
‘U’ Gate (Groveley Lane)
This was the main gate into East Works and around 1965 to Cofton Works.
‘V’ Gates (Parsonage Drive)
This gate gave access to the rear of East Works, but did not have much traffic.
In the mid 1960s Cofton Works was built and traffic increased.
The above shows the walkway over the River Rea from the railway platform into South Works.
Also at this point workers could use a footbridge over the railway to North Works
You will have noticed that the following letters are missing.
I & J
On the opposite side to North Works in Longbridge Lane - Bristol Road was a large Car Park, which had two large gates that had been allocated I, J,
But I don’t think they were ever marked up as such.
If anybody has anymore information, please get in touch via the Contact Page