Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Leys Malleable Castings Co

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of Derby. Telephone: Derby 1920 (5 lines). Telegraphic Address: "Leys, Derby". (1937)

of Derby and North Hykeham, Lincoln

1874 At the age of 28, Francis Ley decided he needed to be independent and start his own business which was to become the Leys Malleable Casting Company. He established his malleable castings foundry on Colombo St, next to the old Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway main line.

1878 The firm infringed the patent of an American company making drive chain belts but Ley was soon the recipient of the rights to manufacture Ewarts chain belts under licence

1880 Due to ongoing success, demolished the original works and rebuilt it on a larger scale.

1880 Established Chain-Belt Engineering Co

1897 Incorporated as a private limited company.

The company became the largest iron malleable iron foundry in Europe.

Ley cemented relationships with Rolls-Royce to supply chain belts to the motor car industry.

1905 Francis Ley was awarded a Baronetcy.

1914 Specialities: Ley's homogeneous "Black Heart" malleable castings and chain belts of various types. Employees 1,500. [1]

By 1935 Ewart Chainbelt Co was an associated company

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Ley's celebrated "Black Heart" Malleable Castings, Black and Machined, for various branches of Engineering, the War Office and other Government Departments. Ewart's Chain Belts made of Ley's Metal, and Wheels and Buckets for Elevators an Conveyors. (Stand Nos. D.603 and D.502) [2]

1940s Also see Northern Malleable Foundry Co who also made Black Heart Malleable Iron in Derby

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Malleable iron. [3]

1968 Extensive expansion and modernisation scheme. [4]

1979 A separate company was incorporated for the Lincoln operation

1980 Leys Malleable Castings Co (Lincoln) Ltd became Leys George Fischer (Lincoln) Ltd and later that year as George Fischer (Lincoln) Ltd[5]

1982 Company bought by Williams Holdings; Roger Carr, chief executive, joined Nigel Rudd and Brian McGowan to run Williams[6]

1986 Laid off 270 jobs. Williams sold the foundry and a number of other subsidiaries to Haleworth Holdings; Haleworth then closed the business.[7]

1986 The site was closed down, gradually demolished and factory units built on the site.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  2. 1937 British Industries Fair p383
  3. 1963 Motor Show
  4. The Engineer of 22nd March 1968 p469
  5. Companies house filing
  6. The Times Nov 12 1994
  7. Derby Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 01 April 1987