Accles & Pollock: In the Pipeline

Accles & Pollock: In the Pipeline

Lotus –Historic Sponsor and Suppliers Series

General Introduction

The exact interpretation of sponsorship in conjunction with Lotus is difficult to establish objectively. The appearance of a sponsor’s logo on a car is not necessarily evidence of financial support. Access to historical archive and contracts is sought wherever possible but with the passage of time and for various reasons these are not always available or accessible to the public.

This series also embraces the specialist suppliers to Lotus. We are particularly interested in those suppliers and products that have a connectivity with aviation.

In constructing the historic sponsor series, the A&R looks only at the logos worn in period and assumes the company involved had no objection to Lotus promoting their products. The A&R sees much to be gained by the wider promotion of sponsors but in the event that a specific organization disapproves for any reason that article will be removed.

Sponsorship is an instrument of mutual benefit and promotion. Subscribers might like to see A&R articles on Sponsorship and Product Placement to understand the numerical / financial reach provided by sponsorship with its ability to identify and project status through identification.

The principle continues particularly with regard to education based exhibitions [see below for details]

Each of these articles is devoted to a company/ organization that is believed to have sponsored or supplied specialist items to Lotus.

The intention of each article is to: –

  1. Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
  2. Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
  3. To suggest how these two interlocking facets may be translated into exciting, interpretive, educational and commercial exhibitions

Subscribers might to see complementary and structured pieces to this article: –

  • Lotus chassis
  • Individual Lotus types including 12 and 16
  • Related brand sponsor and specialist supplier’s series
  • Williams & Pritchard
  • Chapman, Lotus and British Aviation Series
  • Chapman: Man &Boy Series

Accles&Pollock :The Lotus Connection

The sponsor’s logo has not been seen on Lotus models but we understand they were a specialist supplier of tubing suitable for chassis building. This we know was extremely important in Chapman search for weight reduction and increased rigidity to explore improved handling. When his engines were not as powerful as the competitor’s chassis took on additional significance.

Accles &Pollock: Brief History and Products

Information from the net: –

“By the time of its fiftieth anniversary in 1949, the company had grown into the largest manufacturer of cold drawn seamless precision tubes in the world, employing some 4,500 people locally and occupying nearly 50 acres. At first their tubes were used for bicycles, but their products later went into aircraft, motor cars, hypodermic needles, sten guns, fishing rods, archery bows, javelins, ski-sticks, even furniture”.

Figure 1.Image from” Aircraft of the Fighting Powers”

From company website:-

“Accles and Pollock, part of Liberty Tubular Solutions, have been forming specialist tube since the early 20th century. The company’s significant experience in this arena has enabled it to develop the skills required to produce various tube components that are used in the most demanding of aerospace applications (for example, fuel carrying pressure hoses, which form part of an aircraft’s sub-system and are used to maintain correct functioning of the reverse thrusters).

Another one of Liberty’s subsidiaries, Liberty Defence Dynamics, supply a range of highly engineered anti-shock vibration mounts to the aerospace market. These lightweight mounts are compact enough to be used in a variety of aerospace applications, and ensure cutting-edge performance with every installation………..

Chassis Components

As automotive designers strive to produce improved performance vehicles, the advantages of the high strength to weight ratio offered by steel tubes is being realised more and more. With their own in-group tube mills Liberty Tube Components can procure the high tensile materials required to produce tubular chassis components. Having worked with these materials for many years Liberty Tube Components can manipulate the most difficult of materials using the latest CNC Bending, Machining and Laser equipment. Once developed, tested and approved Liberty Tube Components with its control of material supply and manufacturer can assure its customers of an ongoing stable product performance. Products manufactured include Sub-frame tubes and Suspensions Arms”

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate: –

  • Which aircraft did Accles &Pollock supply?
  • What was advantage of tubing in aircraft design, what structural properties are required?
  • How did Accles &Pollock diversify skill base? into what related products?
  • What type of products do they currently supply to motor industry?
  • Study graces Guide and note advertising material – which items tend to be memorable?
  • Accles&Pollock have enjoyed continuity to present day, what are the sources of its success and continuing relevance?

Education, Economics and Entertainment

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular an exhibition as outlined above has enormous potential for merchandising. The learning opportunities [individual and collective] and competitions provided might be linked to prizes for individuals, schools and related learning centers etc. In this instance we consider the following exhibition titles are appropriate: –

  • Supply Pipes
  • Lotus: Blow torch and Blowpipes
  • Accles&Pollock From War to Peace pipes
  • Lotus and Throttle pipes
  • Lotus and tube chassis: Pipe dreams
  • Lotus,Accles&Pollock :In the Pipeline


There can be little doubt about the significant contribution made by Accles&Pollock to Lotus particularly in the first ten years. We believe they supplied specialist tube and related componentry which was possibly at its most important in the Lotus 12&16 space frame chassis. Their aviation experience would sit with the increasing aviation technology that inspired Chapman and his engineer colleagues. They would adopt the standard aviation demanded.

Accles&Pollock continue to innovate and inspire. Their contribution, products, research and development are worthy of wider publicity and dissemination. The A&R for the proposed CCM&EC believes that it can achieve this in the most effective manner and capture added value with its educational progammes and allied training opportunities. In such a manner there is greater emphasis on the future. It avoids fossilization or atrophy by ensuring that sponsors are not frozen in time but presented as dynamic. The examination and historical perspective serve the purpose of context, momentum, continuity and an interpretation device for future trajectory.


Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.

ISBN: 0714838381

Graces Guides

Internet websites and local History

Aircraft of the Fighting Powers.Cooper&Thetford.Vol.1.Aircraft[Technical] Publications.1940.