Shelvoke and Drewry Ltd

Manufacturers of municipal vehicles in Letchworth for almost 70 years.

In1977 this 'N' series Revopak was painted in metallic silver to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee Back row left to right:- Steffon, Frank Luffet, Jack Legate, Sid Raymond, Gerry Quin, Len Woods, Arthur Pearson, Ernie Charles (Paint Shop Supervisor) Pat Berket (No.2 Production Manager) Front row:- Neville Wylett, Derrick Downing.

In Shelvokes heyday, we had Number One factory, which was the main works in Icknield Way.  Number Two factory was Blackhorse Road; Number Three factory was down by the Letchworth Power Station, next to that.   Number Four factory was a service factory at the old Hands Trailer factory.   Number Four factory was the Service Department.  We had an engineering works at St Neots.  We had two at St Neots.  We had depots making parts for us in Birmingham, Manchester, Birtley in CountyDurham and Merthyr in Wales. They were all doing fabrication work and making parts up which were being collated into the Letchworth building to increase production.

I think as far as I can remember, if you included all those factories and all those depots in their heyday, there would have been about 1500 people, and when we finished I think there was about 20 of us. I know in our heyday we were somewhere between a thousand and 15 hundred people in the Shelvokes group all round, including Letchworth and surrounding areas and all round the country and we were building anything up to somewhere around 70 vehicles per month and these were all finished, delivered vehicles.

London Fire Brigade  had 40 odd fire engines from us.  Do you remember the programme “London’s Burning”?  Well they were all our fire engines …all ex London Fire Brigade fire engines, and there are still some of those around at the moment that go out to shows and that sort of thing.

extract from “Letchworth Reflections” – memories of Letchworth 1960 to 2003

This page was added on 30/06/2010.

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  • employed in paint shop 1980 to 1982 was a great place to work gerry quin recommended me to ernie charles as i had worked with him before at hume atkins.
    pat berket was my neighbour when i lived at home good friends with my parents enjoyed his golf as i remember.

    By stewart hart (18/04/2021)
  • I’m writing my mum’s life story. She went to Westbury Primary School, West View in Letchworth from about 1952. She says that they had a fire engine in the playground to play on. I presume it was probably a Shelvoke and Drewry fire engine? If anyone has a picture, or any other information that would be amazing!

    By Alison O'Reilly (19/12/2020)
  • PAT BURKETT WAS MY GRANDFATHER. Just happened apon this page what a lovely surprise
    Lyn BURKETT \kolodzinski

    By Lyn (29/04/2018)
  • Hello, I am doing a school project about Letchworth during WW2 and I was hoping that someone might have some information about Shelvoke And Drewry, any information is greatly appreciated! Credit is given, to any information given. Thanks, Emily

    By Emily (21/06/2014)
  • Thanks for getting Sids name right Gregory I mean,all the photos have the same mistake, pehaps the other sites can be updated. And yes he was a great sign-writer. I worked on the Finish off for 17yrs on and off. Under Sid was Mick Dawes, also very good at his job.

    By Raymond Proctor (29/03/2012)
  • The photo of S & D paint shop names Sid Raymond. He had retired by this time and the photo is of Sid Gregory, who was a sign-writer (and a very good one too!). Ernie Charles was my father and Len Wood was my uncle, so as you can see, I knew the paint-shop personnel well.

    By Rod Charles (04/03/2012)
  • we had a SD appliance at Hendon fire station early 80s ..  the machine was too tall to fit in many stations

    By mike (17/02/2012)