Jensen Motors Trim Shop Employees A-Z
Jensen Motors had one of the best reputations in the motor industry for the quality of their trim. This was based not just on using the best leathers and other materials, but also by the high standard expected from Jensen Motors’ Trim Shop. Former Jensen Motors quality Engineer, Paul Turner, told the Museum, “we never had issues with the quality or finish of the trim, defects we found, virtually always related to bodywork, paint, and general fitting of components.” The Trim Shop was headed by Jim D’Maine, he was a Company veteran, having started back in the late 1940s / early 1950s, and remaining as head of trim shop until the Company’s closure in 1976.
Former Jensen Motors employee, Clive Kendrick spent some time in the Trim Shop during his apprenticeship (1963 – 1968). At the time, the Trim Shop was up stairs in the factory (however towards the end of the 1960s, it was moved downstairs).
Kendrick remembers the layout of the Trim Shop when it was upstairs, ” As you walked upstairs to the Trim Shop, and went through the door, immediately on the left were the machinist ladies, and on the right was the cutting tables.
During the time the Company were still building the Healey 3000, most of that work was taking place further down on the left. Right at the top of the Trim Shop, was a very large table, and it was there that they were triming all the CV8 interiors. Obviously the Healey 3000 and CV8 areas were taken over with Interceptor work later in the 1960s.”
SANDRA BATH (LATER SANDRA NATION) – SEAT STUFFER
Started at Jensen Motors in December 1960, and left at the beginning of 1967. Bath stuffed seats with filling, fitted the fastenings to carpets, and operated the machine that bonded the rear window into the Austin Healey 3000 soft top. She married Frank Nation, a labourer working at the factory.
MAUREEN BURFORD – SEWING MACHINIST
Start / finish dates not known. Working at Kelvin Way in the 1960s.
HARRY BISSELL – TRIMMER
Bissel was working as a trimmer at the Carter’s Green factory. Starting date & finish date not known.
DAVID BROWN – TRIMMER
According to former employee, Clive Kendrick, Brown was an apptrentice trimmer in the middle 1960s. Start / finish dates not known.
JAQUELINE BUTLER – SEWING MACHINIST
Start / finish dates not known
JOHNNY BUTLER – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Butler was working on hoods for the Austin Healey 3000, together with Sydney Howells and Eric Ward. Although a trimmer, while working on hoods he would have been situated in sub-assembly for the 3000.
R.CHESTER – TRIM SHOP
R.Chester was on the list of 49 former employees who attended the Memorial for Gilbert Hughes in 2003. Former employee, Clive Kendrick, doesn’t remember an R.Chester in the Trim Shop when he was there. However, he did know a Ray Chester, that was on production with the Austin 3000. It may be the same person.
PAULINE COOPER – SEWING MACHINIST
Start / finish dates not known. Working at Kelvin Way in 1960s.
MAURICE DAVIES – TRIMMER
According to Clive Kendrick, Davies was a trainee trimmer in the mid-1960s. Start / finish dates not known.
JIM D’MAINE – HEAD OF TRIM DEPARTMENT
Jim D’Maine had joined Jensen Motors back at the Carter’s Green days as a trimmer. Start date not known, but possibly late 1940s, early 1950s. He remained with Jensen Motors through to 1976, heading the trim department. He may have retired rather than move over to Jensen Parts & Service, as his ‘deputy’, Gilbert Hughes moved over to Jensen Parts & Service as Head of Trim Department. Jim D’Maine’s son, John, was a Senior Body Design Draughtsman at Jensen Motors. Former employee, Clive Kendrick worked in the Trim Shop as a part of his apprenticeship. He sums up Jim D’Maine as a sort of friendly tyrant, who didn’t take any nonsense, but always willing to help anyone.
BRIAN ELVING – TRIM CUTTER THEN TRIM FOREMAN
Start / finish date not known. Former employee, Clive Kendrick remembers Elving acted as the unofficial bookie at Jensen Motors, taking bets on horses etc. By the early 197os, Elvins was made Foreman in the Trim Shop under Jim D’Maine. According to Kendrick, D’Maine was finding he needed assistance by the 1970s. Gilbert Hughes would have been the next in line to become a Foreman, but as he was also Works Convener, the two jobs wouldn’t have mixed very well.
JOHN GIBB – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Was a trimmer at Kelvin Way working on the Sunbeam Tigers. John Gibb married Maureen Gibb (her maiden name not known).
MAUREEN GIBB – SEWING MACHINIST
Working within the trim-shop. Known to have been working in the 1970s and was still at Jensen Motors in 1976. She moved over to Jensen Parts & Service. Starting date at Jensen Motors not known.
GEORGE HARRIS – SEAT TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known.
ARTHER HINGLEY – TRIMMER
Start / Finish date not known. Former employee, Clive Kendrick remembers Hinsley was the goalkeeper for Jensen F.C.
DAVID HOPKINS – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known.
SYDNEY HOWELLS – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Howells was working on hoods for the Austin Healey 3000, together with Johnny Butler and Eric Ward. Although a trimmer, while working on hoods he would have been situated in sub-assembly for the 3000.
GILBERT HUGHES – SENIOR TRIMMER
Hughes was D’Maine’s right-hand man. Having started at Jensen Motors in 1953, Hughes remained at Jensen Motors until 1976. He moved over to Jensen Parts & Service, becoming Head of a much reduced Trim Department. Hughes was born in 1918, and died in 2002. As well as a trimmer, Hughes was the works convener for the Union. Much respected, no less than 49 former Jensen employees went to Gilbert Hughes Memorial held in 2003.
BRENDA KERRIGAN – MACHINIST
Start / finish dates not known. Working in the Trim Shop early 1960s.
STAN KNIGHT – TRIMMER
Knight started his employment at the Carters Green factory in 1953 as a trimmer. He moved to Kelvin Way, and continued as a trimmer, working on the Healey 3000. In Particular, Knight fitted all the sound deadening material in place. Later he was moved onto the Interceptor line, and continued to fit the sound deadening. Knight retired in 1973.
SID LAWRENCE – SQUAB TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known.
BILLY PARKS – TRIMMER
According to former employee, Clive Kendrick, Parks was working at Jensen Motors from 1963 (possibly earlier). He worked at Jensen Motors until 1975 / 76.
DENNIS PRICE – TRIMMER
Starting dates and finish dates not known. However, he is known to have been working as a trimmer at Jensen Motors in the mid-1950s, moved to Kelvin Way and was working at Kelvin Way into the 1970s.
JOHN ‘RALPHY’ RALPH – TRIMMER
According to former employee, Clive Kendrick, Ralph was working at Jensen Motors from 1963 (possibly earlier). He worked at JenSen Motors until 1975 / 76. The main top left image shows John Ralph trimming a MK.II Interceptor rear seat. THe man in the centre in the background (looking as though he is wearing a red waist coat), is George Johnston, one of the Interceptor Line Rectifiers.
DAVE SMITH – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Is known to have been working in the Trim Shop early 1960s. He mounted seat coverings onto the frames.
JEFF SMITH – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Is known to have been working in the Trim Shop early 1960s. Nephew of Dave Smith.
KEITH TAYLOR – TRIMMER
Born in 1940, Taylor was brought up in a typical West Bromwich working class household. He left school as soon as it was possible, at the age of 15. His teachers tried to persuade him to stay on, but he had already been offered a job. Having seen an advertisement for staff required at Jensen Motors Ltd, Taylor went for an interview and was offered a position as a trainee in the trimming shop. In April 1955, he started work at Jensen Motors, his first job being to make his own toolkit. Under the watchful eye of Trimmer Dennis Price, Taylor slowly learnt the trade of trimming. He stayed at Jensen Motors until 1967 and then handed in his notice. Having bought a small truck, Taylor started out on his own, but eventually went back to the trimming trade. He later regretted leaving Jensen Motors, having found the company a delight to work for. Everyone was friendly, and on one occasion, he even found his bosses were quite amicable to him rebuilding one of his motorbikes at the factory – obviously as long as he did it outside work hours. Taylor bought his first second-hand Jensen, a CV8, in the 1970s, and later purchased a 541 and an FF.
CHRISSIE WARD – TRIM SHOP
Ward was working in the Trim Shop around 1974. Start / finish dates not known. Not thought to be a relation to Eric Ward.
ERIC WARD – TRIMMER
Ward joined Jensen Motors in 1951 working in the Carter’s Green trim shop. After moving to Kelvin Way, Ward spent some time making hoods for the Helaey 3000. Although a trimmer, while working on hoods he would have been situated in sub-assembly for the 3000, rather than working in the Trim Shop. Ward remained with Jensen Motors until 1976. During the 1970s, Ward’s son, Mathew, obtained an apprenticeship at Jensen Motors, and worked under John Page in the Service Department. After the collapse of Jensen Motors, Eric Ward moved over to Jensen Parts & Service. During the time with JP & S, Ward was the main trimmer, along with Gilbert Hughes. He left the company after the demise of Jensen Cars Ltd, but carried on trimming Jensen cars on a private basis.
SUSAN PAULINE WILLIAMS – SEWING MACHINIST
Working at Kelvin Way from 1963. She married Jensen employee, Clive Kendrick in 1971.
JEFF WILLIAMS – TRIMMER
Start / finish dates not known. Former employee, Clive Kendrick, believes that Williams worked in the Trim Shop, and sometimes on the track.
CLIFF WRIGHT – TRIMMER
Wright was working as a trimmer at the Carter’s Green factory. Starting & finish date not known.
L.WRIGHT – TRIM SHOP
An L.Wright is shown as one of the 49 attendees at Gilbert Hughes Memorial in 2003. He is shown on the list as working in the Trim Shop.
PERCY (SURNAME NOT KNOWN) – TRIMMER
Clive Kendrick, former assembly line finisher at Jensen Motors, remembers Percy, and recognised him from the photograph. Unfortunately, he never knew Percy’s surname.
Jensen Motors Trim Shop Employees A-Z
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Former Finisher, Clive Kendrick (Jensen Motors 1963 – 1976).
REQUEST: The Museum would be very interested to hear from any former employees attached to the Jensen Motors trim shop. In particular we are trying to identify the following Trim Shop staff. The photograph in the centre may also be of Percy (surname not known).
COPYRIGHTS: The Jensen Museum.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If you have any additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on: +1694-781354
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