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British Industrial History

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Coedpenmaen Foundry

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Also known as Coed-pen-maen Foundry

Shown on the 1874 O.S. map as Coed-pen-main Foundry.[1] Location: to the north-east of the old bridge across the Taff, and on the western bank of the canal. Several small buildings are shown, together with a row of what appear to be cottages. A narrow gauge railway line passed through this row, connecting the back yard with the canal basin. Also included at this location is the Newbridge public house. This is doubtless the present day 'Ye Olde Newbridge Inn'. The present Foundry Row is aligned with the former cottages shown on the 1874 map. The canal has gone.

1882 'THE COEDPENMAEN ENGINEERING WORKS AND FOUNDRY COMPANY (LIMITED). The above company is formed to acquire and carry on the Old-established engineering and foundry known as the Coedpenmaen Foundry, situate at Pontypridd. The works have attained a high reputation for clean and sound castings, wrought iron and brass work, and Stationary engines, large and small. The prospectus (which will be found in another column) sets forth fully the objects of the company. The accounts show that the profits made are sufficient to pay 12 per cent. On the purchase money. The Vendor (Mr. Philip Williams), who is an experienced mechanical engineer and iron founder, agrees to act as managing director for three, five, or seven years, at the option of the company.' [2]

Extracts from the prospectus:-

1882 THE COEDPENMAEN ENGINEERING WORKS AND FOUNDRY COMPANY (LIMITED).....

'.......DIRECTORS. Mr. JAMES THOMAS, Colliery Proprietor, Standard Steam Coal Collierv, Porth.
Mr. MOSES MORGAN, Colliery Proprietor, Naval Steam Coal Office, Bute Docks, Cardiff.
Mr. W. H. MATTHIAS, Railway Contractor, Porth.
Mr. P. WILLIAMS, Coedpenmaen Foundry, Pontypridd
Mr. Williams will join the Board as Managing Director after the allotment of Shares. The remaining Directors, not exceeding three, will be appointed by the Shareholders at the first meeting. ......

'PROSPECTUS. The Company is formed to purchase and acquire the Engineering Works and Foundry known as "The Coedpenmaen Foundry," at Pontypridd, with the dwelling-houses, plant, tools, and machinery, stock-in-trade, and the goodwill of the business connected therewith. The Works, which have been established over 25 years, are situate at Pontypridd, in the centre of the South Wales Colliery district, and cover an area of 1 acre, 1 rood, and 184 perches. They comprise a Foundry, with stoves, cranes, cupolas, and appliances for making castings, machines, patterns, smith and fitting shops, engine and boiler houses, drawing office, counting- house, stores and stables, with the fixed plant, machinery, and tools therein, all in complete working order, and well adapted for the manufacture of steam engines, colliery requisites, and general engineering work. The fixed plant, machinery, and tools (an inventory and valuation of which can be seen at the Office of the Solicitors) include an horizontal boring machine, 38in. centre, screw cutting, sliding, and other lathes, slotting and shaping machines; self-acting planing machine, to plane 3ft. by 3ft. 3in., 6ft. in length; three cupolas, with cranes and full sets of tools for heaving castings; brass furnaces, large tubular boiler, water tank, and 15-horse power horizontal engine, sheer-legs, cranes, crab winches, circular saw bench, band sawing machine and a large quantity of useful patterns.
The stock-in-trade (an inventory and valuation of which can also be seen) consists of wrought and cast scrap iron, bar iron, iron and brass valves, wrought iron tube fittings, gauge-cocks, tram-wheels, &c., &c., steam pumps, and sundry engine castings. The Works are held under three leases .......

'The Works were carried on most successfully by the former owners until the month of April, 1879, when unfortunately a dispute arose between the partners, which led to litigation and the stoppage of the Works. This stoppage continued until May, 1880, a period of thirteen months, when the Works were purchased by friends of Mr. Williams, who have carried on the business under the name of the Coedpenmaen Engineering Company, and they purchased the Works and carried on the business solely for the benefit of Mr. Williams. An assignment to Mr. Williams has been executed by them. Full particulars of these transactions can, if required, be obtained of the solicitors. During the five years prior to the stoppage of the Works a net average annual profit of about £1,700 was realised by the proprietors. The Works were re-started under the management of the present Vendor, and he has had to carry them on under the disadvantage of having to collect his old customers together, and of unprecedented depression in trade....

'..... The Vendor is an experienced engineer and iron-founder, and has a thorough practical and commercial knowledge of the trade and business. The directors have entered into an agreement with Mr. Williams for the purchase of the works, with the plant, stock, and goodwill of the business belonging thereto, for the sum of £12,000, .....

'......The works are at present most advantageously situated on the banks of the Glamorganshire Canal, by which they are able to receive their materials from Cardiff and the Merthyr and Aberdare Valleys, and transport their products to those valleys by cheap water carriage; but the Pontypridd, Caerphilly, and Newport Line of Railway, now being made and fastly approaching completion, and a branch of the Taff Vale Railway, lately authorised to be constructed in the immediate vicinity of the works, may readily be made available for placing the works in direct Railwsay Communication with the whole of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal and Iron Districts east of the Taff Valley and with the whole of the Taff Vale Railway system. The only contract entered into is the above-mentioned agreement, dated the 13th day of September, 1882, and made between Philip Williams (therein described), of the one part, and the Company of the other part. By this agreement the said P. Williams agrees to act as managing director for three, five, or seven years, at the options of the company. ...... [3]

1887 'COEDPENMAEN ENGINEERING WORKS AND FOUNDRY, PONTYPRIDD. BY ORDER OF THE MORTGAGEES. MESSRS. STEPHENSON & ALEXANDER are instructed by he Mortgagees to SELL, by AUCTION. …. The valuable and important MECHANICAL ENGINEERING WORKS & FOUNDRY, known as THE COEDPENMAEN EGINEERING WORKS AND FOUNDRY Situate at COEDPENMAEN, PONTYPRIDD, in the County of Glamorgan; Also the VALUABLE MACHINERY PLANT, MATERIALS, and STOCK-IN -TRADE Connected therewith.
The Works have a good connection with the collieries of the district, and are situate contiguous to the Glamorganshire Canal, and have a branch, nearly completed, to the Taff Vale Railway.
The Machinery is of the best class, and is in every respect suited for a large trade, It consists of several well-constructed Steam Engines, Steam Lathes, and Planing, Shaping, Screwing, Slotting, Drilling, Punching, Turning, and other Machines. The Buildings consist of three Cottages, Casting and Moulding Houses, Fitting Shops, Carpenters' Shops, Smithies' Offices - &c. Several Crabs, Cranes, and Weighing Machines together with other usual Machinery and Appliances, Plant, Patterns. The Leases, with all the Plant, Stock, and other Articles, will be Sold in One Lot as a going concern. …..' [4]

1891 'COED-PEN-MAEN FOUNDRY, PONTYPRIDD. Mr THOMAS DAVIES, late of the Trealaw Iron Foundry, Trealaw, desires to inform the Public that he has recently Acquired the above Foundry, and has opened Business there as an IRON and BRASS FOUNDER. All Orders entrusted to him will receive strict attention.' [5]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Extract from 1874 25" O.S. map in 'The Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals' Vol. 1, by Stephen Rowson and Ian L. Wright, Black Dwarf Publications, 2001
  2. Western Mail, 11th October 1882
  3. Western Mail - Saturday 14 October 1882
  4. Bristol Mercury, 2 April 1887
  5. Western Mail, 4th August 1891