Author Topic: Bishops Foundry, Wellington  (Read 5786 times)

Offline cannyfindit

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« on: Wednesday 30 July 08 13:34 BST (UK) »
Wasnt sure whether to post this under Occupations or here. Its a bit of an official request, really, because I'm helping with sorting out a collection of wooden engineering mouldings that came from Bishops Foundry in Wellington. I'm interested in finding out a bit more about the foundry itself and who worked there, owned it, how long it lasted, etc. Has anyone written a book on the place, or can anyone point to suitable references?
If moderator wishes to move the post elsewhere, please do.
Carey or Carrey (Lanarkshire, Galloway, ?Ireland)
Mathie (Renfrewshire)
Wilson (Cumbria, Northumberland)
Lawson (Cumbria, beyond)
James (Bradford on Avon and Cardiff)
Green (Bradford on Avon)
Tripp (Cheddar and Shipham, Somerset)

Offline lizb

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 346
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 19 August 08 19:01 BST (UK) »
I was really excited to read your post.  I am researching the Bishop Brothers Iron Foundry too.

The foundry was started by my great great great grandfather William Bishop around the 1840s. His sons - including my great great grandfather Frederick- formed the firm Bishop Brothers. It ceased trading in thr early twentieth century. I have found some references to the firm in books on Wellington.  It was responsible for a lot of ironwork in the vicinity including that in Wellington Park.

What are the mouldings you are sorting? Where have they been? Where are they now? What is going to happen to them? Can I see them or have pictures? Please keep in touch.
BEDFORDSHIRE/HERTFORDSHIRE: Coles, Marsom, Hurst
BERKSHIRE/WILTSHIRE: Huntley, Williams,  Maslin, Pinnell, Watson, Gulliver, Penny
DERBYSHIRE: Brinsley
DEVON: Bidgood, Northam, Gillard, Westlake
GLOUCESTER: Abrahams, Pritchard, Washburn
IRELAND: Dean, Bateman
MIDDLESEX: Howe, Leah, Truelove
NEW ZEALAND: Bishop, Frankham, Oliver, Gribble
NORFOLK: Liffen, Hacon
SOMERSET: Bishop, Bridges, Palmer, Newport, Barrow, Hill, Wise, Boyte

Offline cannyfindit

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 19 August 08 19:22 BST (UK) »
Liz
The mouldings are specially designed wooden shapes that were pressed into damp sand, to form a precise shape into which the molten metal was poured. Once cooled, the metal shape was then removed from the sand.
It appears that many years back, members of the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society salvaged a large collection of these mouldings from the old foundry site, prior to its demise. They are currently being stored at the Westonzoyland Pumping Station museum.
At this time, they are not officially sorted, listed or on view to the public. I am trying to help with sorting out the items, since they have been stored for many years with no listing or ID. Officially, they are the property of SIAS and I have only today written to one of the members to ask exactly what they intend doing with these objects, since the collection has not been added to the museum's accessions list.
Their future has not as yet been decided and I don't have full say in that.....but it is certainly possible to see them (none of them have been photographed yet). You would need to come to Westonzoyland's pumping station museum when it is open, on a Sunday afternoon, and I would have to oragnise something to allow you access to the storage-room in company with a museum member.
As you might appreciate, nothing has been done at all with this stuff and therefore any history would be appreciated. I'm surprised that the salvaging-people havent got the collection sorted out before now, it is quite substantial.  If you're in a position to want to visit the museum, contact me via the private mail here at Rootschat, so that I can talk to you more easily.
Chris
Carey or Carrey (Lanarkshire, Galloway, ?Ireland)
Mathie (Renfrewshire)
Wilson (Cumbria, Northumberland)
Lawson (Cumbria, beyond)
James (Bradford on Avon and Cardiff)
Green (Bradford on Avon)
Tripp (Cheddar and Shipham, Somerset)

Offline Wumpletoad

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 2
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #3 on: Friday 28 March 14 00:47 GMT (UK) »
I was really excited to read your post.  I am researching the Bishop Brothers Iron Foundry too.

The foundry was started by my great great great grandfather William Bishop around the 1840s. His sons - including my great great grandfather Frederick- formed the firm Bishop Brothers. It ceased trading in thr early twentieth century. I have found some references to the firm in books on Wellington.  It was responsible for a lot of ironwork in the vicinity including that in Wellington Park.

I have a document of Elworthy Brothers & Co Ltd who owned large woollen mills in Wellington (founded 1780) and addressed to Bishop Brothers, dated September, 1925.

So it would seem that the ironfounders were trading well into the 20th century.


Offline cannyfindit

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 14:48 GMT (UK) »
Hi Wumpeltoad,
Sorry not to have responded during these past months...I changed email addresses and forgot to make the change at Rootschat. Thanks for that note on correspondence btn Elworthy and Bishop Bros.
Just an update on the pieces at Westonzoyland Pumping Station...we still have them, but are still unable to put them out on show; far too many. They will be treated with woodworm "stuff" hopefully during the springtime...us museum volunteers have been incredibly busy with so many other things, it isn't true. One day it'll all slot in place (one day  :-\).
Carey or Carrey (Lanarkshire, Galloway, ?Ireland)
Mathie (Renfrewshire)
Wilson (Cumbria, Northumberland)
Lawson (Cumbria, beyond)
James (Bradford on Avon and Cardiff)
Green (Bradford on Avon)
Tripp (Cheddar and Shipham, Somerset)

Offline Wumpletoad

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 2
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 01 January 15 09:58 GMT (UK) »
Hello Canny, I had quite forgotten this!

It might be helpful to explain that your bits and pieces from Bishop’s Foundry technically are known as “patterns”. As suggested, it is these which are used to make female impressions in the sand and it is the void left after removal of the pattern that becomes the “mould” into which any molten material subsequently can be poured.

Sometimes a customer would possess a pattern, perhaps used to replicate an earlier casting but often the foundry would be asked to “make one of these” and would provide the pattern, either from its own workshops or bought in from an outside patternmaker and would then own the pattern and this, no doubt, explains your collection. Patternmaking is a highly skilled undertaking requiring an appreciation of the thermal characteristics of differing materials, draw angles and the like and the patterns, made from soft wood (so need treating with care), can be works of art in their own right. Some are simple, others can be complex and in several pieces depending upon the nature of the end product.

Can I please urge you to secure the stuff you have at Weston Zoyland? We are losing too much of our heritage and the custodianship of often misguided bodies, amateur and “official” alike, does not help. The current state of Fox’s Woollen Mills in Wellington is a very sad demonstration of this.

Best wishes   ;D




Offline cannyfindit

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 01 January 15 20:04 GMT (UK) »
Ref in particular your last paragraph; our museum is accredited (Arts Council England, no.1930) and we can get guidance from conservation professionals. Although we don't actually "collect" foundry patterns as part of our remit, we've got these items now (as explained earlier) and are doing what we can to keep them in order. One or two other museums were approached as regards having some of the specimens but they are small, like our museum, and don't have a lot of room to display them.

Most museums like us are purely volunteer-run, in fact a huge section of heritage relies heavily on them....the government has no idea how many volunteers prop this sector up. Fox's woollen mills are just down the M5 from me; I haven't visited them myself but am aware of their condition. It's things like this that suffer from stifling bureaucracy, disinterest in the past, and in the end, it comes down to determined volunteers to save the day or contents.
Attached is a photo of a few patterns; bit dark but best I can do on a dark day in a dark store-room.
Carey or Carrey (Lanarkshire, Galloway, ?Ireland)
Mathie (Renfrewshire)
Wilson (Cumbria, Northumberland)
Lawson (Cumbria, beyond)
James (Bradford on Avon and Cardiff)
Green (Bradford on Avon)
Tripp (Cheddar and Shipham, Somerset)

Offline Jaymac318

  • RootsChat Pioneer
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #7 on: Friday 30 December 16 21:38 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

My grandfather, Frederick Harold Westcott, together with his father, Frederick Westcott, bought  Bishop Brothers foundry from the Bishops.

Grandfather ran the foundry, at 40 North Street, as a family concern later employing 2 of his three sons as well as other local men. They moved into the house somewhere around 1930, I think, where he lived with his wife, and 5 children. The business existed there until his death in 1977. 

The considerable acreage of land and the house were sold on following his death, the land eventually becoming McCarthy & Stone flats.

Offline cannyfindit

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Bishops Foundry, Wellington
« Reply #8 on: Friday 30 December 16 22:19 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jaymac

Many thanks for the response on this. Just looking back, my word this thread has been running for some years now.
As it is, sadly I am no longer in any formal position to do anything further, with regards to the pattern collection at Westonzoyland. After some years of trying to get better storage conditions for these pieces, and push things on with regard to their safety and future, I found too much indifference and disinterest  within the group; eventually departing just under two years ago. I do not believe these items will ever get the care they deserve, since they are to the best of my knowledge still languishing in a tumbledown building. Maybe, one day, a new round of keen individuals will salvage them.
I thank everyone for replying to this post over the years; some fascinating stories have come to the fore and it has been most interesting. The future of the pieces however is now in others' hands.
Carey or Carrey (Lanarkshire, Galloway, ?Ireland)
Mathie (Renfrewshire)
Wilson (Cumbria, Northumberland)
Lawson (Cumbria, beyond)
James (Bradford on Avon and Cardiff)
Green (Bradford on Avon)
Tripp (Cheddar and Shipham, Somerset)