I am currently working on converting a document supplied to me by Jean Asher who is the daughter of W.S. Thomson who worked at ‘The Batteries’ at Hunt End and Union Street from 1938 to 1972. He produced a manuscript ‘‘Nickel-Cadmium vented pocket plate storage batteries.’ for the publisher McGraw Hill which was never published. This is rather a specialist area and there will be only limited interest, but I think that it is important that technical information of this type should not be lost and will be available for future historians. Jean has supplied me with the original manuscript which I am scanning and using OCR (Optical character recognition) to convert to a Word file and then to a PDF. This is quite time consuming, but I plan to publish this as a downloadable pdf later in the year.
Meanwhile, Jean has passed to me several communications received by her father including the post war tests carried out on the V2 rocket.
The communication says…
‘T am writing to thank you for your efforts in supplying batteries for the rocket experiments made in Germany. The batteries arrived on time, gave the desired performance and created a very favourable impression amongst the German staff. Will you please accept the enclosed with my very best wishes, as a small memento of your co—operation.’
This was probably ‘Top Secret’ at the time but is significant that our Redditch battery manufacturer was called upon to supply batteries to support the initial development of the post war rocket development.
As we all know, Wernher von Braun and over 100 key German engineers were moved to the United States and others moved to the United Kingdom and , particularly, the USSR, where they further developed the V-2 rocket for military and civilian purposes. The V-2 rocket also laid the foundation for the liquid fuel missiles and space launchers used later.