New Braiswick Park History

New Braiswick Park is in Myland, North Colchester. It's a development which began in 2007 and is now complete. There are more than 700 houses here, but there is only one way in and out of New Braiswick Park - along Tufnell Way, from Bergholt Road. Here's a picture of Tufnell Way:

Tufnell Way

Tufnell Way was - and is - a residential street, but few of the original houses remain. The remainder of this large site is the former home of Woods of Colchester (now know as Flakt Woods) and is one of Colchester's most prestigious employers, and one of the world's greatest makers of fans.

The company was formed by Maurice Woods in 1909, and was based here from 1937 to 2006. Its original aim was to build motors, which were used in a number of applications including bumper cars at fairgrounds! However, they soon saw the market for fans, and Woods developed both commercial (still done today) and domestic fans such as the iconic Xpelair which developed from the original Woods of Colchester range. 

After being used as a munitions factory during World War II, the company grew into the important organisation it is today, and is famed for the fans it installs into buildings, car parks and even tunnels. For instance, they provided all the fans for the recent Jubilee Line extension, and have even provided the ventilation for the tunnel in Turkey linking Europe with Asia! One of their latest commissions was to provide ventilation for the Shard in London, Europe's tallest building. After being known by its many thousands of workers, customers and Colcestrians as "Woods", the company became Woods Air Movement - and then Flakt Woods in 2001; then in 2006 came the opportunity to move to new, efficiently-designed premises to the north, in Axial Way, near the Weston Homes Community Stadium, still maintaining its importance within the community and flourishing through the labour provided from the town.

Woods logo Woods Air Movement logo Flakt Woods logo

The Woods heritage lives on in New Braiswick Park; almost all the streets are named after parts of fans, and we have included a fan in our logo to remember the history of the site. Visitors to the Community Room will also see three photographs on the wall, provided through the generosity of Flakt Woods Ltd, including an aerial view of the factory.

 

Wall photos of Flakt Woods

Here's the aerial view, with details of what went on in each part of the site:

Aerial view of Flakt Woods1. Large fan assembly
2. Air handling units
3. Duct shop
4. Foundry
5. Dev lab
6. Training
7. Machine shop
8. Stores
9. Administration
10. Directors
11. Motor assembly
12. Fan assembly
13. Paint shop
14. Gatehouse
15. Warehouse
16. Despatch

 

 

 

 

If you used to work for Woods (or still do!) and would like to contribute to this potted history of New Braiswick Park, we'd be delighted to hear from you. Why not email us? Residents will be enthralled to know what went on before they arrived!