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Rolls-Royce Ltd factory, Nightingale Road, Osmaston, Derby, c 1911
Scarratt, F W
About this image
Rolls-Royce Ltd's motor car works on Nightingale Road looking north.
The factory had opened on 9 July 1908. Covering a 12-acre site initially, it later expanded substantially and very shortly the area behind the railings here would be occupied by the Commercial Block, a lengthy range of offices fronting onto Nightingale Road. These were completed in 1912. The grassed area on which the photographer is standing was subsequently used for extensions to the factory as well.
From 1915 aero engines were also manufactured and in due course these became the mainstay of Rolls-Royce's production in Derby with car manufacture being moved to Crewe in 1946. Eventually the original Rolls-Royce works became outmoded and after a century of operation it was closed in 2008, production being transferred to nearby Sinfin. The factory was then demolished but the Commercial Block survived, the former having been Listed Grade II in 2009.
This photo was taken by Derby-based postcard producer F W Scarratt but its number in his series is unknown and it may never have been published. It was submitted as part of a commission received from Beatrice A Sidley who ran St Dunstan's Post Office at 468 Osmaston Road; the original negative envelope is inscribed '5 negs of Rolls Royce to choose from' (these comprise DCHQ010164-DCHQ010168 inclusive).