Sunday, 9 June 2019

Derwent Castings, Derbyshire

History

The ironfounding operation at Derwent Foundry was first introduced in 1946 by Wragg & Hawksley to produce cast iron pipes for the water industry. In 1950 the foundry was acquired by WH Davis & Sons Ltd to supply castings for their railway wagon building business. Following a management buy out in 1984 the company was renamed Derwent Foundry Ltd and following its closure in July 2002 was bought by its present owners and renamed Derwent Castings Ltd.

The company had traded profitably for a number of years but in late 2013 / early 2014 saw the cancellation of its largest sales contract which represented 70 per cent of its turnover.

Bosses at the company, which employed 16 staff including three directors, struggled to attract replacement business and had to drop prices. Further business was lost as a result of foreign competition.

Sheffield’s insolvency specialist Wilson Field was called in as liquidator and worked with the creditors’ committee of Derwent Castings Limited to secure the positive dividend.

Source:
https://www.qimtek.co.uk/profile/derwent-castings-ltd
https://www.wilsonfield.co.uk/case-studies/derwent-castings-matlock-liquidation/

Esoteric Eric















Sunday, 2 June 2019

Deluxe Beds, Broadfield Mills, Huddersfield

History

Broadfield Mill is a partially demolished mill complex located beside the River Holme in Lockwood, a mile south of Huddersfield town centre. The mill dates back to at least the 1840s. 

Godfrey Berry moved to this mill from Folly Hall Mills in 1850 to form Messrs. Berry & Crowther; this later became Henry Crowther & Sons. In 1897, Kaye & Stewart took over the mill. The 1937 Directory lists Gledhill Bros. & Co at the mill in addition to Kaye & Stewart. Deluxe Bed Ltd were the last tenants of this part of the mill, possibly leaving the site around 2004/05.

Godfrey Berry purchased land in Lockwood in the 1840s, including land on which a 'Chapel or Meeting House' had been erected. This seems to have been bought as 'lots' and later further shares in the land were sold, possibly as a means of raising money. Earlier deeds had referred to 'land belonging to John Berry', so the family seem to have been fairly well off. Earlier members of the family owned mills in Honley and had been involved in local politics. Godfrey Berry went into partnership with Henry Crowther - purchasing Broadfield Mills in Lockwood in 1845, and it seems that his son Josiah also had some interest in the business.

After his father's death, Josiah - with Alfred and Henry Crowther - purchased the land and mill of Broadfield Mills in Lockwood with the agreement of Samuel Naylor, who was the executor of the late Godfrey Berry's will. Josiah was described in 1851 as an 'employer of 208'. At this time he lived in Yews Hill, just above the mills at Lockwood, with his wife and children. Josiah's interest in Broadfield Mill must have been sold later, when the firm of Henry Crowther & Sons began. Later, Kaye and Stewart (fancy worsted manufacturers) took over Broadfield Mill and became one of the largest employers in Huddersfield. 

Large parts of Broadfield Mill were demolished in the early years of this century, and the remaining parts were subdivided into smaller units. There are still some firms operating out of various corners of the mill with Deluxe Beds appearing to have vacated around 2004.

Source:
https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/broadfield-mill-huddersfield-june-2018.113787/

Esoteric Eric









Bath Mills, Huddersfield

History

A former woollen and silk mill built around 1890 by William Cocking.

The 1937 Directory lists Allen Priest & Sons, Ltd. (yarn spinners) to be at the mill.

In recent times the mill has been home to several small businesses and flats and is currently up for sale.

Esoteric Eric









Girls' High School, Leeds

History

Leeds Girls' High School (LGHS) was an independent, selective, fee-paying school for girls aged 3–18 founded in 1876.

LGHS was founded in 1876, at a time when female education was limited but expanding. Frances Lupton and other members of the Ladies’ Honorary Council of the Yorkshire Board of Education decided that campaigning for access to the universities was of little use without better all-round education for girls, equivalent to what boys received at traditional academic grammar school. Established interests prevented the use of existing charitable funds, so Lupton and her colleagues created a new way forward: a joint stock company.

The school motto was Age Quod Agis, which means "do what you do". While seemingly tautological at first glance, it is in fact a corruption of the Biblical exhortation, "whatsoever thy turn thy hand to, do it with all thy might". The pupils were divided into four houses, named after the four patron saints of the United Kingdom: Andrew, David, George and Patrick. Girls were placed into the houses that their families had been in before them. There were various house competitions throughout the year, mainly sports and arts orientated, the main one being the house music competition during the spring term.

The school had three sections situated in the western suburbs of Headingley:
Infant School (Rose Court): 3- to 7-year-olds
Junior School (Ford House): 7- to 11-year-olds
Senior School: 11- to 18-year-olds

The Infant School (Rose Court) was situated on the large Senior School site on Headingley Lane, while the Junior School (Ford House) operated 1 mile (1.6 km) down the road in a converted mansion house. The Senior School building was built in the early 1900s, and efforts are currently being made to have the building listed. The fine oak wood panelling in the Assembly Hall detailed where Old Girls went to university on completion of their education at LGHS. The furniture within the Senior School Library was designed by Robert Thompson (The Mouseman), but was sold when the school moved to Alwoodley Gates (the Leeds Grammar School site).

In 2004 LGHS was the highest performing school within the Leeds LEA area, achieving top results at both GCSE and A Level.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Girls'_High_School

Esoteric Eric








Saturday, 25 May 2019

RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire

History

RAF Thurleigh is a former Royal Air Force station. Thurleigh was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force on 9 December 1942 and designated Station 111, and used for heavy bomber operations against Nazi Germany.

Thurleigh was built for RAF Bomber Command in 1940 by W & C French Ltd. 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the village of Thurleigh on farmland between the farms of Buryfields, Bletsoe Park, Manor, and Whitwickgreen. It was eventually modified to Air Ministry Class A airfield specifications, with three converging runways, extended in 1942 to lengths of 6,000 feet (runway 06-24) and 4,200 feet (runways 18-36 and 12-30). Thurleigh was unique among bomber bases in having four T2 type metal hangars where most bases had only two.

With the end of military control, the airfield has been divided into two parts. The southern part is now known as Thurleigh Business Park, and includes the runway, which is currently used for the mass storage of new cars, although it remains intact for possible future use. The northern part houses the Bedford Autodrome, as well as Thurleigh Museum which is dedicated primarily to the airfield and life in the area during the Second World War.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Thurleigh

Esoteric Eric








RAE Bedford, Bedfordshire

History

RAE Bedford was a research site of the Royal Aircraft Establishment between 1946 and 1994.

Starting in 1946, construction work began to turn the wartime RAF airfield into what became known as the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford. The runway was extended in the post-war period to accommodate the Bristol Brabazon aircraft, which required a very long runway but which never went into production. A lot of the development for what became the Harrier was done here, one early version became known as the 'Flying Bedstead'. Also Thurleigh had a catapult runway and it was here that the 'ski jump' later fitted to some aircraft carriers was also developed. One local road was put in a cutting for a runway to be put above it, linking the Airfield site to the wind-tunnel site about a mile and a half away, although ultimately this was never carried out. The runway is some 10,500 ft long, and some 300 ft wide and as of June 2011 is used by a number of car storage companies.

Naval Air Department and the BEA Helicopters Experimental Unit was here at some point.

The airfield was decommissioned in February 1994 after a lengthy study determined that flight operations should be centralised at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. Due to the cost and impracticality of relocating the Advanced Flight Simulator system the site retains some of its development work (under the banner of QinetiQ from mid-2001 onwards). As of early 2007, QinetiQ have sold their remaining stake in the Bedford Airfield site (as well as the nearby 'Wind Tunnel' site) and are planning to relocate the remaining staff to Farnborough in early 2008, finally ending the site's long association with military aviation.

The airfield was closed officially in March 1994 and sold in 1996 with the RAE having become the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). DERA consolidated its experimental flying operations at Boscombe Down, moving aircraft from Farnborough as well as Bedford.

The wind tunnel site is now the Twinwoods Business Park and some of the buildings are in commercial use. Red Bull Racing use one and Body Flight use a vertical wind tunnel for a free fall simulator.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAE_Bedford

Esoteric Eric