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Brownsfield Mill


Alliott Verdon-Roe formed Avro with his brother Humphrey on 1st January 1910 at Brownsfield Mill, Ancoats, Manchester. It was agreed that Avro would occupy the basement of Brownsfield Mill because the rest of the building was occupied by Everard & Company, a manufacturer of elastic webbing which Humphrey managed.

The limited space in the basement of Brownsfield Mill presented the fledging aircraft manufacturer with various challenges. The aircraft had to be built in situ to ensure that all of the parts would fit together correctly. The machine then had to be painstakingly dismantled so that it could be moved outside and loaded onto horse and cart. From there, the aircraft was taken to the railway station and transported in pieces to the flying school at Brooklands.

Avro built several types of aircraft during its time at Brownsfield Mill, including the Avro Type D, which became the first British plane to take off from water, and the world's first aircraft with an enclosed cockpit, the Avro Type F.

There wasn't a huge demand for aircraft during the early days of aviation and so Avro dedicated time to producing aircraft parts for fellow aviators. The venture became known as 'The Aviator's Storehouse' and produced everything from bolts to propellers and engines.

Avro became a Limited company on 11th January 1913 and orders started to come in for the promising Avro 500. It was decided that Avro would need more space to fulfil these orders and so the Company moved out of Brownsfield Mill to new premises at Clifton Street, Miles Platting, Manchester. With workers and material relocated, the new works opened on 17th March 1913.

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