Barlby Road


Note the Talbot crest, which later became the Sunbeam badge under Rootes.
Barlby Road was the original Talbot factory founded at the turn of the century. All pre-war British Talbots were built here. Under Rootes, all Sunbeam-Talbots were made here too up until the war.

Today, only the administration building remains. The factory itself has been demolished to make way for a housing estate. After car production ended, the site was used as a television studio for many years.

Many of the streets through the housing estate are named in honour of the area’s car making heritage. Names like “Rootes Drive”, however, would probably make Roesch Talbot fans cringe!

The plant is located on the corner of Barlby Road and Rootes Drive, North Kensington.

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These photographs, apart from the black and white one, were taken on 4 May 1998.


This photograph, taken in the thirties as near as I can judge, makes interesting comparison with the one above. From Anthony Blight’s Georges Roesch and the Invincible Talbot.
This last image is of a plaque in the housing estate, commemorating Talbot car manufacture.


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9 thoughts on “Barlby Road”

  1. During the last war the factory site was used to repair Spitfire engines. I think now of a very fine Rolls Royce trained mechanic , Mr E J Derby of Scamston Garage, Cambridge Gardens, W 10. He had been at Ypres in the First World War and during the second conflict he was a tester of the repaired engines. It would be his job to run the engines up to full speed and then decide if the item could be released back into service. As well as this vital job he also was designated as a stay-behind-operative if an invasion had actually taken place . He was almost 100 years of age at the time of his death.
    Michael Shanahan

    ( formerly of Maxilla Gardens, W 10)

  2. This was the Rootes servicing site until the late sixties, Hillman & Singer through the left gates, Sunbeam & Humber through the right.

    They also modified my Sunbeam Tiger there.

    1. I remember taking my fathers cars to be serviced or worked on under warranty to this site in the late 60’s-
      Hillman Minx and later a Hunter.

  3. I visited Barlby Road in 1983 when working for Peugeot Talbot. I had a role in the P/T Rental business and Barlby Road was used as a store for new incoming cars and of course our 6 month old rentals. Two of us would be sent down from Halkin St in Belgravia, a rental and service centre, in a car with say 12K on the clock, to pick up two new models. I remember the outer area still having a “banked turn” which amazingly was surfaced with wood and very slippery in the rain.

  4. I served an apprenticeship here between 1962 and 1967. I learned a lot, made many friends and even passed my driving test (first time) with them. I own Rootes cars for a long time after. Happy Days.

  5. I was an apprentice there from 1962 to 1967. Made lots of new friends, learned a lot and even passed my driving test (first time) with them. Happy days.

    1. My Father worked for British Light Steel Pressings in Acton, part of the Rootes Group.
      We always had Hillmans as an employee of the Group he got a good discount…

  6. I’m currently landscaping the front gardens of Ladbroke Hall on Barlby road and have become fascinated by the history of this site! Does anyone have any information about a petrol station on the west wing?

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