A project is aiming to resurrect the manufacturing machines which were used at the famous Mullard’s plant in Blackburn.

The site on Philips Road employed more than 6,000 people and now the Great British Valve Project (GBVP) aims to rebuild a "working heritage factory".

Volunteers have tracked down the original machines and drawings from the Blackburn plant in the Balkans.

The company employed assemblers, technicians, chemists, scientists and engineers - it was the largest and best-equipped vacuum tube and manufacturing plant in Europe. It closed in 1982.

The machines, originally built and used by Mullard and Brimar, were said to be in a terrible state of but a team of 40 strong volunteers are restoring them back to their former glory.

The biggest group of machines were rescued from a yard in Serbia where they had been for fifteen years.

Most of them had not been used since the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Rebuilding them proved to be immense task and the project has been running since 2017.

A project team spokesperson said: “We have been cleaning and carrying out basic repairs in order to start the process of bringing them back to life and learning about their operation.

“It’s a very dirty job and also nasty at times with fine glass, tungsten wire clippings and years of detritus to be scraped away before we can start to lubricate, free up, and start the mechanical motion of the machine.

"Thankfully, we have a great band of volunteers who have worked hard to clean virtually all the machines in just over a year.”

Roy Hollyer and Bob Manekshaw run the project from two factory units in Bromsgrove and their team include physicists, Rf engineers, toolmakers, glass (lampworkers) electricians, plumbers, scientists and mathematicians.

However, they lack some vital hands on some information regarding the processes and the machinery itself.

Roy said: “I tried many times to run the ring mill to make valve bases but seem to be missing vital operator information.”

Bob said: “I’m struggling to work out how the anodes were made grey but no one seems to know.” It is hoped people still living in and around Blackburn may be able to assist.

The project is calling on anyone who may have worked at Mullard’s to get in touch and see if they can help. You can e-mail roy@brimaruk.com or call or text 07597 271 002.

The project team added: “No matter how small or insignificant you may think your knowledge is please do contact us, it would be lovely to hear your stories.”