Archive : Farewell to a teaboy that reached the top


AB Smith
AB Smith

Fifty years ago Bernard Smith joined the Rover Car Company as a seven shilling a week tea boy. He retires next week as £20,000 a year chairman of the company.  Alfred Bernard Smith – “A.B.” to those that know him – spoke yesterday of the past – a past which has made the Rover car renowned throughout the world.

He joined Rover in 1925 in the stores at Tyseley, Birmingham, with the job of making tea for the storekeeper. He vividly remembers the 1930’s, when Rover which had been spawned from a little firm making the first safety bicycle, was turning out the Rover 10 car at £185.

But during the war years Rover turned to the manufacture of aircraft engines under the ministerial control of Lord Beaverbrook. Mr Smith, relaxing at his home at Dorridge, Warwickshire, said: “Beaverbrook was a fantastic force.

There was no red tape with him. He was single minded and he set his targets – and achieved them.”

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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