Frontpage Forum People & Places of Wolverhampton "FACTORY LIFE" Reply To: "FACTORY LIFE"




Our overseas member John favill from Winsconsin has sent this intriguing little piece of local historic Engineering information which I am sure will appeal to likewise mechanical enthusiastic members.

Henry Meadows Ltd., where I was an apprentice and learned my engine and gearbox basic knowledge on which I made a career were In the business of producing engines for the British Army Tanks during the 1930’s.
Then, at the political influence of the Rolls Royce head Ernest Hives had a new factory built on the Meadows premises, finished in May of 1943, to produce unsupercharged versions of the Merlin aircraft engine used to power the Cromwell tanks needed for the Invasion of Europe.
The fact that Rover Cars were involved in the production of the same engine resulted in Rolls Royce taking over the contract that Rover had with Whittle, the inventor of the British version of the Jet Engine, that resulted in R R getting into the Jet Engine business is a much longer story I will not include here.
Meadows in the late 30’s produced two engines, both with 12 cylinders horizontally opposed in a flat configuration . The more powerful engine known as the DAV was used in the Covenator Tanks while the smaller engine, known as the MAT was used in the Tetrach Tank.
The Covenator did not see combat but was used for training purposes only. Small gun, slow, thin armor and a great deal of engine problems because of poor air intake sealing system in the Design of the Tank plus hot water pipes engine cooling pipes to the radiator caused the interior of the Tank to get hot . The Tetrach was small enough to fit inside a Hamilton glider and was used in limited action by airborne troops. There is an example at the Tank Museum in Bovington.
Many moons ago I purchased a copy of the Instruction Book for the MAT engine and In true tradition I had lost it in my filing system. This last week I found it. I telephoned John Meadows, the grandson of Henry who probably has the most extensive records of the Henry Meadows products. He had not heard of the MAT engine. I am now in the process of making a copy of the book to send to him. I have checked and the Tank Museum does have a copy of the Engine Instruction book but would be delighted for me to donate my copy!

Regards John

Below the old cellar head.