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British Industrial History

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Wirral Foundry

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of Beaufort Road, Birkenhead

Proprietor: George Bayliff

George Bayliff's business was previously located across the River Mersey in Liverpool. See Soho Foundry, Liverpool

1867 Newspaper article: 'LARGE CYLINDER FOR "THE CAPTAIN" - On Monday afternoon Mr. George Bayliff, of tbe Wirral Foundry, Beaufort-road, cast the first of four cased trunk cylinders, 90 inches diameter, for the engines of her Majesty's turret ship "The Captain" (on Captain Colt's plan), now in course of construction by Messrs. Laird Brothers. The present large casting may be regarded as the inaugration of the Wirral Foundry, this being the largest cylinder ever cast in Birkenhead. The building is situated on the margin of the Great Float, in close proximity to the 60-ton crane, and the railway leading to the works is connected with the main line of the Mersey Dock Board. The moulding shop and yard are traversed by a steam travelling crane on wrought -iron girders, having a span of 50 feet, and capable of lifting 40 tons. This powerful machine was made by Messrs. H. and J. Ellis, Manchester, and is made so that one man can make it hoist or lower, move in a longitudinal and transverse direction, that is three different movements at once, and that with any weight up to 40 tons. There are also two steam swing cranes of wrought iron, each capable of lifting 20 tons, made by Mr. Sampson Moore, of Liverpool. These are also arranged for the three movements, and are each managed by one man. There are in addition numerous small cranes in different parts of the shop for light work, and they are so arranged that every foot of the moulding floor is commanded by the cranes. At the present time there are now in progress castings for eight pairs of marine steam engines, representing an aggregate of 1530 horse- power. On the afternoon of Monday Mr William Laird, and a number of gentlemen engaged in the iron trade, assembled to witness the operation of casting the cylinder. Almost to the minute, the metal was in readiness for the run, the facilities of melting iron being on a very extensive scale. There are two air furnaces, each capable of holding twenty tons of metal, and three large cupolas on the new principle. The metal required on this occasion was melted in the two air furnaces, then run into two reservoirs; and when these were full the molten metal was run into the mould. The time occupied in running the casting was one minute and forty seconds, and the quantity of iron used was about thirty tons.'[1]

1871 Newspaper article about the steamship 'Spain' recently launched by Laird Brothers: 'All the large forgings and castings for the engines of the Spain have been made in Birkenhead. The castings, some of which are upwards of 25 tons weight, were made by Mr. George Bayliff, of the' Wirral Foundry; and the shafts by Messrs. Clay, Inman, and Co, of the Birkenhead Forge Company.' [2]

1884 Newspaper article: 'A HEAVY CASTING - One of the heaviest marine engine castings ever made was run by Messrs. George Bayliff and Son, of the Wirral Foundry, Birkenhead, yesterday, this being the first of two cylinders, 102 inches in diameter, intended for a pair of very powerful oscillating engines in course of construction by Messrs. Laird Brothers. The quantity of molten metal needed was about 44 tons, and the operation, which was most successfully performed, was witnessed by several gentlemen interested in engineering.'[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Cheshire Observer - Saturday 27th July 1867
  2. Liverpool Mercury - Wednesday 10th May 1871
  3. Liverpool Mercury - Thursday 25th September 1884