Congratulations to Mike Harvey who has been awarded the Pre-War Car Michael Sedgwick Award 2016 for his publication ‘Skinners Union – A History of the skinner family and S.U Company‘. The award, that takes the form of a plaque and £250 given by the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust, hopes to ‘encourage new research into motoring history and to make the finding available to the public’.
The winner has to demonstrate excellence in research, presentation, readability and novelty, that will materially further our understanding of the subject. A short list of nominated books were assessed by a panel of judges, who are themselves respected authors and highly knowledgeable enthusiasts. The panel was headed by chairman Guy Loveridge, motoring author and broadcaster and Deputy Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers.
‘Skinner’s Union – A history of the Skinner family and the S.U Company‘ is a comprehensive history of the S.U. Company and the members of the Skinner family involved. This new book by Mike Harvey comprises over 300 pages with copious photographs, drawings and illustrations (many not previously published).
The book’s main focus is on the period from 1908 when the leather bellows carburetter,designed by George Herbert Skinner, was first put into production by his younger brother Thomas Carlyle Skinner (whilst originally a partner in the firm of George Wailes & Co), through to Carl Skinner’s retirement in 1947, by which time the S.U. Carburetter Company Ltd was part of the vast Nuffield Organisation.
Two chapters cover Barbara and Peter Skinner’s hill climbing and racing activities and give details of the Skinner Specials. Another chapter covers the period leading up to and during WW2, when SU manufactured the aero-carburetters and single point injection systems for many RAF aircraft. During the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in every Spitfire and Hurricane had an SU Carburetter. Two Appendices cover the the history of the company from the 1950’s to the present day and list the main S.U products from the first prototype carburetter of 1904 through to 1994 when the original company ceased manufacturing the KIF carburetters for the Rover Metro. A further Appendix lists details of the original patents and drawings.