Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,661 pages of information and 235,200 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co

From Graces Guide
87.5 ton ingot mould, 1921

of The Wicker, Sheffield.

1756 A business was established.

1865 Ambrose Firth commenced business on his own account as a Master Foundryman, in a small shed by the side of the River Don - A. Firth

This site soon proved inadequate to the needs of the business, and a new foundry was established in Newhall Road - presumablyBrightside Foundry Co

The original foundry site was later included in the area occupied by the works of Vickers, Limited.

It was only a few years before Mr. Firth found his original works too small for him, and so he acquired what were known as the Old Newhall Running Grounds. He turned the grand stand into a pattern store and an existing hotel into offices. For some time this larger space was sufficient to satisfy the growing needs of the business, but eventually it, too, became too small, and the Carbrook Works and the Wicker Ironworks were started. In these the making of large rail rolling mills was commenced and in time very considerably developed.

1899 The company was registered on 18 September. [1]

Subsequently incorporated the firm of Walker, Eaton and Co., which made steam engines and rolling mills, and J. C. and J. S. Ellis, which made cast-iron pipes, boilers, and radiators in Sheffield and as heating engineers, London.

1900 Acquired Clayton, Howlett and Co., London

The following businesses were later acquired and absorbed into the Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co Ltd.:

Horizontal two cylinder compound engine for Sheffield Forge and Rolling Mills Co of Millsands, Sheffield [3]

1914 Ironfounders, engineers, heating engineers and brick machinery manufacturers. Specialities: large castings up to 100 tons, chilled rolls, general and hydraulic engineering. Employees 600. [4]

1920 Acquired Pullan and Mann[5] of Leeds, manufacturers of brick-making machinery

1921 - see illustration of ingot mould weighing 87.5 tons[6]

Acquired Moorwoods, Limited, of Brightside, who were also specialists in large castings as well as other branches of engineering.

1923 Ambrose Firth died

1925 Mr Ambrose Firth's son, Mr Thomas H. Firth, was chairman of the company until his sudden death in 1925[7]

1926 June: The company decided, for reasons of convenience and economy, to close the Wicker Works, Sheffield and henceforth carry on business at Newhall-road Attercliffe and Ecclesfield Works. The closing of the Wicker Works was to enable the company to offer considerable extra facilities for the production of all its manufactures at Newhall-road and Ecclesfield, where large extensions and improvements were carried out. One of the reasons influencing the firm was that of rating. The rates in Ecclesfield which is only just outside Sheffield, were lower than those in the city itself. The firm's head-office in future was now at the Attercliffe establishment.[8]

1926 November: Manufactured a casting weighing as much as 90 tons for an anvil block. It was said to be one of the largest anvils ever made.[9]

1927 May: Mr Ambrose Firth (son of Thomas H. Firth) was director of the company, and was appointed President of the Sheffield and District branch of the Institute of British Foundrymen.[10]

1947 Acquired Buckley and Taylor, makers of marine distillation equipment and heat exchangers.[11]

1956 Holding company formed: Brightside Engineering Holdings[12]; subsidiaries:

  • Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co - rolling mill equipment
  • Brightside Heating and Engineering Co - pipework and heating equipment
  • Moorwoods Ltd - commercial catering equipment[13]
  • Buckley and Taylor Ltd - heat exchangers

1961 Acquired Graham Firth Steel Products and its subsidiary Metal Mouldings of Walsall and Park Royal.[14]

1968 Davy and United Engineering Co acquired Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co.

1971 Jessel Securities acquired Brightside Holdings including its subsidiary Moorwood-Vulcan[15]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. The Engineer 1923/01/19
  3. 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain: Volume 1: Yorkshire'. Landmark Publishing Ltd., 2000
  4. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  5. The Engineer 1921
  6. The Engineer 3rd June 1921
  7. The Engineer 1927/05/06
  8. The Engineer 1926/06/18
  9. The Engineer 1926/11/26
  10. The Engineer 1927/05/06
  11. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 19 October 1948
  12. The Times, Jul 02, 1956
  13. The Times, Nov 05, 1956
  14. The Times, Jan 20, 1961
  15. The Times, Dec 10, 1971