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Posted by STEVE M on

Recently, a rather ordinary little cabinet came into my possession that had an interesting construction with 1/2 inch thick solid oak drawers but top and sides panelled with an oak veneer overlaid ply fitted with rather naive nail fixing.  The drawers had patinated file tabs attached with nails with a slot in them giving the appearance of screw fastening.  Even curiouser are the vertically aligned drawer handles for they are glued to the drawer front!!!!!!  

 Could this be a cabinet maker apprentice piece or just a utilitarian cabinet with a workshop made carcass from whatever materials were to hand yet utilising commercially available solid oak drawer fronts?   It sounds decidedly low rent, I hear you all say but, it has an interesting provenance, unfortunately verbal only in that for may years it carried the car collection related correspondence of an avid Jaguar enthusiast whose collection featured an early XJ12, and XKS and an E Type V12 Series III amongst others and before that, the cabinet was obtained from an acquaintance who had worked for Swallow Sidecars in Blackpool.  

I just had to restore it and I must thank mother and son, Patrica and Paul for releasing it into my custodianship.

Those of you "in the know"  will be aware that  the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company, and Swallow Coachbuilding Company were trading names used by Walmsley & Lyons, partners and joint owners of a British manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars and automobile bodies in Blackpool, Lancashire and later Coventry, Warwickshire.


Under co-founder William Lyons, its business continued to prosper and was renamed SS Cars as they extended manufacture to cars from 1934 until 1940 whereto an SS abbreviation meant something else indeed.  Car production was halted in favour of war related work and post war, SS Cars was renamed Jaguar Cars in July 1945.      So you can see, I had an "ex-Jaguar  cabinet which I suppose is the closest I shall ever get to owning a Jaguar car!!!!!!!

Interestingly, William Lyons remained Chairman of Jaguar Cars right up to the British Leyland years but eventually had enough of the overwhelming odds and crass incompetence that permeated the company in this era so in 1967 he retired to Suffolk to breed sheep.       As a footnote, Sir William's successor,  Michael Edwardes presided over the renewal of Swallow-Jaguar's  Nazi related branding in 1981 with the introduction of the Triumph Acclaim or Ziegheil as acclaim translates in German!!!!   When I was a little younger, how I lusted after one of these svelte Triumphs in glorious metallic hearing aid beige as shown below, but I digress: -

Anyhow, back to the story of the cabinet, stripped, veneer repaired and with a satin wax finish what to do about those file tabs - those pseudo - screw nails weren't going back so what would I do?  Easy, I turned to my old friend Tony Charman, after all, he helped me with suitable screws when I restored my 1914 Tapp & Toothill (Leeds) oak filing cabinet, ex Bletchley Park when I needed new handle screws and so it was the case again when Tony supplied a pack of bronze patinated screws to re-attach the file tabs and I think you will agree they make the most perfect match.

Tony has supplied high grade screws not just for modest little cabinets like mine but some of his rare and exotic screw fasteners have travelled the `World to adorn and hold together vintage aircraft and classic cars worth many thousands of pounds.     Tony is very modest about his knowledge and his superb individual customer service but a young lady who has used his services tells me that "Tony is an expert on screws and gives good screwing advice!"    If you need screw fastenings then why not get in touch:-





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