Taylormade Castings, Stoke-on-Trent - November 2022
Unfortunately the information available about this company and site is very limited, it borders on a vast area of land that once housed the steelmaking behemoth known as Shelton Bar, who's fiery glow is said to have inspired H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (even if that is just an old wives tale, his short story The Cone is essentially set at Shelton Bar). Typically the fiery glow of industry was extinguished some time ago and has now been replaced with a leisure, retail and business development after a short interlude as the 1986 National Garden Festival.
Taylormade Castings was formed in the early 1980's by Taylors Foundry of Suffolk who bought the foundry after the previous operator had gone bust. They concentrated on cast iron products, and upon closure employed around fifteen workers. Fortunately there are several similar operations still going in Stoke, and apparently most of the former employees found new employment with these firms. The parent company Taylors Foundry continues in Suffolk unaffected, being a completely separate business and operating in the non-ferrous sector. The closure was blamed on a combination of the pandemic, rising energy costs and a downturn in sales. Whatever the reasons, it is of course sad to see yet more industrial decline in my city.
Visited here a couple of times in November with MotionlessMike and dweeb , disappointingly this was just a short time after the place had been torn apart by the liquidators.
The main block comprises a large industrial shed adjoined to a two storey office/welfare building.
The upper floor contains a series of offices, these had not really been cleared out and were nicely dated.
The lower floor contains the welfare facilities; canteen, changing room and a rather severe looking shower room.
Moving on into the casting shed, as mentioned we were too late here and as such almost everything including the electric arc furnace was gone. This left just a very dark, dusty space - bit annoying.
A small sectioned off area presumably for grinding.
Remote from the main building was the pattern shop. Little more than a shack this was quite an unusual space. Clearly properly repairing the roof was out of the question so maybe fifty or more paint cans hang from the roof catching the drips. This was a real treasure trove, one of the patternmakers had been a subscriber to the old "analogue" match-making services and rafts of letters and photographs from prospective admirers were stashed in a back corner. As well as this there were old calendars and catalogues dating back to the 1960's with clippings of scantily clad ladies glued into them - very naughty.
The majority of the patterns are now in big mounds around the site, redundant.