The story of 75 years of Ni-Cd Battery manufacture in Redditch

Site Designed, administered and published by  Anthony Green  2015

Date

Activity

1919

Martin Dybeck  started a subsidiary in the UK of the  Swedish battery company AB Jungner under the name Batteries Ltd using the brand name NIFE, and  at Hunt End, Redditch.

1923

Batteries Ltd. commenced manufacturing, assembling batteries from components made in Sweden. During the 1920's production facilities expanded.

1926

Lucas CAV took a financial interest in the company with an entitlement of two directors.

1929

Varta founded Britannia Batteries Ltd at Union Street, Redditch and commenced making dry batteries and lead acid batteries. In the mid 1930's they also began production of nickel-iron batteries.

1933

Chloride acquired a controlling interest in Batteries Ltd. and renamed it Nife Batteries Ltd.

1936

Chloride acquired Britannia Batteries Ltd. This gave them the Union Street plant and also the Britannia and Alklum brands.

1947

Nife and Britannia were merged to form Alkaline Batteries Ltd., operating from the Union Street site.

1964

A manufacturing plant was set up in Pont Henry, South Wales, to produce small sealed nickel-cadmium batteries based on technology and machines designed and developed in Redditch..

1966

Alkaline Batteries Ltd. began using the Alcad brand name and allowed the Swedish Jungner company to gradually buy back the NIFE brand name for use also in the Brittish Commonwealth,except for in the UK.  Alkaline Batteries Ltd  kept the rights to “NIFE” in the UK until the 1980´s.

1973

Chloride bought out the Lucas CAV interest  and the name was changed to Chloride Alcad Ltd.

1982

Chloride sold Chloride Alcad Ltd to the Marathon Manufacturing Inc. of Waco, Texas, USA and the name was changed to Marathon Alcad Ltd.

1987

Marathon Alcad Ltd was sold to the French company, Saft,  The Redditch company then operated under the name Alcad Ltd.

1988

Redditch became the primary manufacturer of nickel-cadmium pocket plate cells for the Saft Group but various cost cutting measures reduced the workforce.

1991

Saft purchased the Swedish NIFE company, the descendant of the Svenska Ackumulator AB Jungner which had started the original Redditch company. Its brand name was changed to Saft-Nife.

1993

The Alcad factory in Redditch was closed and the production of the Alcad products moved to the Swedish factory based in Oskarshamn, Sweden. The Alcad UK sales were moved to the Saft (UK) Ltd offices in Hampton, Middlesex and the international sales moved to Sweden. Although the site was now derelict, due to the contamination of years of battery manufacture, it would be some time before the site could be declared safe for other use.

Since 1993 the Alcad brand name has still continued as a major international brand. but is no-longer manufactured in Redditch.


In 2002 the old Reddich site was eventually declared environmentally safe and sold. Development was able to begin and the first major outlet to open was the B&Q do-it-yourself warehouse. This was followed by other developments including housing, so bringing to an end the history of international battery manufacture at Reddich.



Timeline