North Walsham & District Community Archive

Randell's Foundry on Mundesley/Bacton Road

Layout of Randell's Foundry on Mundesley/Bacton Road sketched and documented by Russell Sparke, 20th June, 2018

Foundry - Floor moulding -Plough shares Circular pig feed pans, Roll Rings and end boxes, and a range of other small castings were made.  Suppliers recalled - Mansfield Standard Sand and Morgan Crucible.

Tractor shop - Galvanised iron shed between Foundry & Stores buildings. Tractors worked on Allis- Chalmers Model B, Fordson N &E27N Major.  Earlier Massey Harris Pacemaker, 744PD and 745 also numerous small stationary engines, examples Lister, Wolseley, Bamford, Petter and the larger Lawn Mowers such as Greens, Dennis, Ransomes, Atco. The Allen Motor Scythe Model 2 subsequently Models T & TS.  Also the Rotavator Gem and Bantam (Howard products) would have come in later in this decade.

Offices -time office (also Foreman's office ) near gate where workmen would enter via small door on Bacton Road at the sound of the bell located above passage, select their own disc from the peg-board on wall and put it into a tin attached to a slot in the office door.  The time-keeper would empty this at perhaps 3 minutes past start time, record the contents in a register promptly replace the tin behind slot to receive late comers' discs who were duly recorded and lost a quarter! The time clock photographed with a colleague and myself at closure was in my experience never used and I believe is now at the Bridewell Museum.

Main offices - located from cemetery towards gate - Electrical dept., single storey with door to rear leading to Mr. Fred Randell's office and stores.  Accounts office then chief clerk's office but door at rear leading to passage back to el. Dept., also short passage to Mr. John Randell's office,strong-room and enquiry/reception office overlooking yard.  Above this was what had been Senior Mr. Randell's office (1930s) now storage for files and ladies toilet. (Gents' toilet and washroom halfway down previously mentioned passage to el dept.) The space between el office and time office was occupied by Smith shop and paint shop making a continuous brick & tile building on Bacton road, and boundary of property including Main gate and wall to yard and No.35 (Cottage)

Stores - Adjoining electrical stores was what had been some sort of workshop with an oil engine and cooling well outside, then the main stores building but in my time having a belt driven grinder (once shaft driven no doubt from engine I just mentioned) used for trimming castings now el motor.  Above this was the pattern loft for the foundry. Next came the agricultural stores proper with large double sliding doors, reception and despatch area on wood block floor (no counter here)  Steel stairs led up alongside front wall to upstairs stores running the length of the main building including back over the grinder, (pattern loft above). There was a counter on this floor at the top of the stairs.  Progressing down yard towards Mundesley Road, the Carpenters' shop accessed by matching double doors, was underneath that part of the upper floor stores. This completes the location and content of this two-storey building which together with the former formed the boundary to the cemetery.
Progressing finally to Mundesley Road accessed by double high iron gates (never opened unless in emergency!) 6n the right adjoining the stores were galvanised iron open-fronted sheds and across the road to the gates up to the roadway at the rear of the foundry were similar sheds.  Those on the right contained stores too large for previous accommodation and those on the left contained timber (sawn trees) stacked with spacing lathes to season (still there in my time but sawing out of horse shafts and the like was finished then). Also Jeep & Trailer.

Tractor shop afore-mentioned was situated between foundry and stores and formed the boundary of the road that led from the Offices to the Mundesley Road; with access to the left behind foundry to rear of fitting shop, which we are coming to next, joining the roadway from the Main gate to the 'Ramp' as it was always called, a concreted area towards, but not as far as the Mundesley Road, having a sunken pit open towards Mundesley Road with a sloping approach into which railway trailers with tugs were reversed to unload machinery and, of course, Lorries and our own lorry for sales deliveries and despatch.

Fitting shop - Contained overhead shafting & fast and loose pulleys with belt striking gear originally but later modified to individual electric motor drive for each machine except lathe.  Herein were made machines of own manufacture but in my time these had ceased production except No.20 Watercarts and No. 720 with pneumatic tyres.  Ploughs, drills, fertiliser distributors, were repaired here and smaller lawn mowers had Cylinders and bottom blades ground on a special machine and also servicing of the engines and drive systems.  Larger machines of the sports-ground type would have had servicing of engines and drives in tractor shop.  Names remembered, all machines - Ransomes, Massey-Harris, Nicholson, Bamfords, Martins, Samuel Lewis (harrows) teeth replaced or drawn-out by forge-work. One forge in here, another still in use in fore-mentioned Smith shop.

See drawing for location of top shed (combined workshop) and other structures not included above.

Randells Foundry, North Walsham. Layout.