Phoenix Works, Bradford

The Phoenix Works in Bradford were owned Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company of Hubert Street, Leeds Road in 1895 manufacturing arc lamps and electrical instruments. By 1900 the company works were manufacturing small motors and dynamos for driving machinery and providing lighting specifically for the textile industry. Large motors, turbines, turbo-generators etc. were manufactured for orders from the Admiralty and War Office. During the First World War, the works produced millions of shells, a large quantity of machine tools, sea planes and flying boats.

In 1918 these works became the English Electric center for small to medium sized industrial AC and DC motors and generators including fractional horsepower machines and also eventually a specialised unit manufacturing generators and motors for aircraft applications. In 1930, the Dick, Kerr West Works at Preston closed and Traction electrical design and manufacture transferred to Bradford. Some key staff left and joined Crompton Parkinson. Important traction work included motors and generators for early diesel electric applications and continued manufacture of Metrovick designed motors for the Southern Railway. After the Second World War, most of the traction manufacturing transferred to the Preston East works factory but the design and commercial offices remained at Bradford until 1967. Some traction and associated military manufacturing work continued including conventional submarine control gear and pulse generators for mine sweepers.

The Aircraft Equipment Division merged with Lucas Aerospace and left Bradford in the 1970’s and industrial machine manufacture ceased in the 90’s with complete closure in 1999. A B&Q store occupies the former Traction part of the site. An office block built in the 1950’s is all that remains of the factory.