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British Industrial History

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Barker and Cope

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Winding engine at Ty-Mawr Colliery, Pontypridd, 2014

Barker & Cope of Union Foundry (Kidsgrove), Staffs

Latterly trading under the name of George Barker.

1860 Partnership dissolved. '... the Partnership, heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, George Barker, of Alsager, in the county of Chester, and Charles Cope, of Norton Green, in the parish of Norton-in-the-Moors, in the county of Stafford, as Iron Merchants, carrying on business at Tunstall, in the said county, under the firm of Barker and Cope, was this day dissolved by mutual consent, and that all debts due and owing to and by the said firm will be received and paid by the said George Barker, by whom in future the said business will be carried on...'[1]

Established as iron founders in 1869 at Norton Green (formerly Norton Green Foundry, owned by members of the Cope family). Moved to Union Foundry, Kidsgrove, in 1871. [2]. Dates uncertain - see below.

1863 'THE EXECUTORS of the late Mr. JOSEPH EDWARDS have great pleasure in announcing to the Public that they have DISPOSED of the BUSINESSES of Engineers and Ironfounders lately carried on by their Testator at the Union Foundry, Harecastle, near Stoke-upon-Trent, in the County of Stafford, to Messrs. BARKER and COPE, and they have every confidence in recommending those gentlemen as persons fully qualified to carry on the businesses in all their branches, and worthy of the extensive patronage which has been bestowed upon their late Testator.

1867 'Messrs. Hawley and Bridgwood, the proprietors of the Old Moss Field Colliery, and a few friends, met on Monday, at the new workings of the company at Woodhouse near Longton, to celebrate the starting of a pair of coupled engines, erected there for the purpose of recovering the Moss Yard birches and other seams of coal. The engines were named "Speedwell," were manufactured by Messrs. Barker and Cope, of Kidsgrove, and are of first-class workmanship and finish. They are over 100-horse power, and general satisfaction was expressed their performance.' [4]

1867 Supplied engines, boilers and other equipment to the new shale oil refinery of the North Staffordshire Oil Co.

1874 'KIDSGROVE. Narrow Escape.— On Monday an accident occurred at the works of Messrs. Barker and Cope. While a large steam cylinder was being hoisted the travelling crane by which it was suspended fell, breaking the cylinder, and occasioning much damage. There were several men engaged in the operation, and how they all escaped is a wonder.' [5]

Makers of stationary steam engines.[6]

1875 Twin cylinder winding engine at Hetty Shaft, Tymawr Colliery, Hopkinstown, Pontypridd. Photographed by George Watkins in 1967.[7]. This engine has been preserved in situ.

1876 Partnership dissolved. '...t the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, George Barker and Charles Cope, carrying on business at Harecastle, in the county of Stafford. and Lungton in the same county, as Engineers, Ironfounders, and Iron Merchants, under the style or firm of Barker and Cope, was, on the 27th day of November last, dissolved by mutual consent...'[8]

1877 Advertisement:
GEORGE BARKER, ENGINEER, IRONFOUNDER, and BOILER-MAKER, Maker of all kinds HIGH PRESSURE and CONDENSING ENGINES for Colliery, Mill, and Forge Work ; SPECIALITY WINDING ENGINES of the largest size, with Drums for flat ropes or round ropes, either Plain, Conical or Spiral Drums ; PUMPING ENGINES up to 100-in. cylinders, with pump lifts and gearings complete, of all kinds. Maker of every description of VERTICAL, HORIZONTAL and LOCOMOTIVE BOILERS, with internal conical tubes. GENERAL, MILL and FORGE CASTINGS and ROLLS, for all Sections in Iron and Steel, Turned and Finished, up 30 inches in diameter. CASTINGS UP TO TWENTY TONS WEIGHT.'[9]

1878 'SERIOUS COLLIERY ACCIDENT. A large party of gentlemen, members the Staffordshire Institute of Mining Engineers, paid a visit yesterday to the Sandwell Park Collieries, in the south of the county, for the purpose of inspecting the newly-discovered coal seams. All went on well until a second part of the company were nearing the bottom of the pit, when from some cause or other Mr George Barker, of the Kidsgrove Foundry, and Mr Arnold, of the North Staffordshire Carriage Works, Stoke-on-Trent, fell out of the cage. Mr Arnold was killed on the spot, and Mr Barker, who fell through the scaffolding into the sump, died two hours afterwards from his injuries. The excursion, may supposed, ended in great sadness -the gentlemen being well known and highly esteemed in North Staffordshire.'[10]

1880 An advertisement appeared which was identical to that of 1877, except that the proprietors were 'The Executors of the late George Barker'[11]

1881 Works advertised for sale:
The above well-known ENGINEERING, IRON FOUNDRY, and BOILERMAKING WORKS, as for many years carried by Messrs. Barker and Cope. MESSRS. WHEATLEY, KIRK, PRICE, and GOULTY are instructed by the Mortgagees to SELL BY PUBLIC AUCTION, at the North Stafford Railway Hotel, Stoke-upon-Trent, on Wednesday, the 31st day of August, 1881, at Three for Four o'clock in the Afternoon prompt, and subject to conditions to be then produced and read :—
The Valuable FREEHOLD LAND, BUILDINGS, ENGINES, BOILERS, GOING GEARS, FIXED MACHINERY, and PLANT, comprising the above old established concern. The Freehold Land on which the works are built contains some 9,882 square yards or thereabouts, with extensive frontage to the high road from the Potteries to Cheshire, and bounded on the other sides by private road leading to the rear of the works, the Kidsgrove Gasworks, a private canal, and Messrs Bidder and Elliott's Railway Siding. The Buildings include expensive erecting, turning, fitting, pattern making, smiths', boilermakers', and other shops, pipes, and general foundries, convenient offices, stores, &c., and are replete with high-class machinery by eminent makers, embracing lathes of every description, planing, drilling, slotting, shaping, screwing, milling, grooving, and other up to very large calibres. The shops are well supplied with swing and overhead cranes. Rails from the main siding run into every shop under agreement with Messrs. Bidder and Elliott. The Foundry has two cupolas, steam hoist, capacious stoves, and patent pipe moulding pit. The Boiler Shop is furnished with steam rivetter, plate-bending, drilling, punching, and shearing machines, and indeed each department most amply provided with machines and appliances for saving labour. A Private Canal belongs to the property (subject to certain rights granted to adjoining owners), and there ample yardroom for extension. The Works are situate within three minutes' walk of Kidsgrove Station, on the main line of the North Staffordshire Bail way. They are in a most complete state, having been improved from time to time to meet the requirements of long-continued and very extensive business, and this affords an unusually favourable opportunity for acquiring an old-established concern in full work. Arrangements can doubtless be made for the purchase the loose utensils, stock, &c. The greater portion of the purchase money may remain on mortgage, and be repayable by instalment*. Plans and further particulars on application to Mr. T. K. Pedley, Kidsgrove; Mr. Thomas Sherratt, Solicitor, Kidsgrove; the AUCTIONEERS, Albert-square, Manchester, and 11, Queen Victoria street, London, or at the Offices of E. HOLLINSHEAD, Vendors' Solicitor, Tunstall.[12]

1880s William Robert Renshaw took over the Union Foundry.[13]

1896 Henry Pooley and Son took over the Union Foundry.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette Publication date:28 December 1860 Issue:22464 Page:5253
  2. [1] Norton Green Village Community website.
  3. Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser, 3rd October 1863
  4. Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser, 16 February 1867
  5. Staffordshire Sentinel - Friday 10 July 1874
  6. 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain: Vol 10' by George Watkins
  7. 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 4: Wales, Cheshire & Shropshire', by George Watkins, Landmark Publishing Ltd
  8. The London Gazette Publication date:16 May 1876 Issue:24326 Page:3009
  9. Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser, 24 February 1877
  10. Edinburgh Evening News, 7 November 1878
  11. Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser, 21 February 1880
  12. Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser - Saturday 27 August 1881
  13. [2]Website relating to W R Renshaw’s life