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Talk on Ford Foundry 18th February 2014

An interesting talk given by Ipswich Engineering Society member Pete Grenfell who worked at the foundry from the early 1970s through to the 2000s. Pete started with a brief history of the foundry covering the period as the Imperial Stove Company then as Flavel's Foundry between 1902 and 1939. Ford took over the foundry in 1939 to help with the war effort, following World War 2 the foundry was used by Ford to cast both agricultural parts for the Fordson business as well as automotive parts. Pete provided an interesting aside was that there was a tie up with Ransomes Sims and Jeffries, the Ford foundry at Royal Leamington Spa manufactured Ransomes ploughs under licence. Ransomes was the subject of a talk in 2013 and details of this local Ipswich company can be found in a separate meeting report. Pete told us that when he joined Ford the foundry had two iron lines and one steel line and that these were largely manual. Pete took us through the various changes that were made over the years to modernise, mechanise and expand the capacity of the foundry. The foundry was often at the forefront of technology. The foundry became exclusively an automotive foundry in September 1984 and finally closed in 2007. The last pour was made on July the 13th 2007, the site stood empty for a few years but now has been redeveloped as a superstore along with parkland and other retail buildings. Two of the accompanying photos show the foundry after operations had ceased and before demolition

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