F. H. Lloyd & Company Limited - The 1960s

An advert from the early 1960s.

In 1957 the old Darlaston based structural steel manufacturer E. C. & J. Keay Limited became a subsidiary of  N. Hingley and Sons, Limited. In 1960 the firm was acquired by F. H. Lloyd and became part of the Lloyd Group.
Read a brief history of E. C. & J. Keay Limited
Around the same time as the acquisition of E. C. & J. Keay, Lloyds took over the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Company (Walsall) Limited.
Read about the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Company (Walsall) Limited
Read an article about 'The Good Old Days' from the Christmas 1960 edition of 'The Steel Casting'
In 1962 the Lloyd group acquired railway coupling manufacturer ABC Coupler, shortly after it had gone into liquidation.

Read about ABC Coupler Limited.


Using multi-ladles for a large casting. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Casting another multi-ladle job in the foundry. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.


Two more views of the casting process. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A batch of tyre presses in the Machine Shop awaiting despatch in 1960. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Precise machining in the Machine Shop.

From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Machining another casting in the Machine Shop.

From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

One of F. H. Lloyd's products, a 55 inch Maclloyd twin tyre press. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.
A 6 inch spindle table type Collet and Engelhard horizontal borer in action. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.   An Asquith O.D.4 drilling and machining a casting. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The design team discussing the casting of a Ruston gas turbine assembly. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

In July 1961, Mr. F. N. Lloyd (centre) presented retirement gifts to four long serving employees, Jack Davies, George Powell, Roland Lavender, and Harold Parsons. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A Lloyd 400 ton press. The presses were designed and built at the James Bridge Works. The innovative design featured vertical and horizontal rams, and a moving table, which were all electrically controlled. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.
A huge steel casting weighing 30 tons, designed and cast at James Bridge in 1962.

It is part of a coil handling machine.


Two large castings, cast at Burton and machined at James Bridge.

The first magnet wheel for the C.E.G.B. to be cast in two halves and successfully welded together at James Bridge. 
The 28 ton magnet wheel being ultrasonically tested for cracks.

The electric heat treatment furnaces at James Bridge were the best of their type in the country. They had an accurate temperature range of over 1,000 degrees Centigrade.

Removing castings from one of the heat treatment furnaces.

The firm's largest radial drilling machine, an Asquith OD4, at work on a power station feeder head.   The impressive MacLloyd 75 twin tyre press, designed and built by the company.
Part of the display put on by Lloyds (Burton) Limited in 1962 at the second Engineering Materials and Design Exhibition and Conference at Earls Court.

Another part of the display.


Mr. F. N. Lloyd and V. T. Grantham.

The works entrance with the machine shop on the right.

The ladle pre-heater unit.

In 1962 one of the problems facing many foundries was overcome at Lloyds (Burton) Limited. The ladles used to transport molten steel around the foundry had to be heated to ensure that there was no moisture in the lining. Failure to do so could result in an explosion, if the molten metal came into contact with moisture in the lining.

Ladles were usually heated using a large burner, similar to a blowlamp, which was wasteful in fuel and energy. Lloyds developed a radiant tube heater using a special nickel-chromium steel, which was resistant to oxidisation and wear, and did not distort.

The new pre-heater reduced ladle heating costs from 7s.6d. per ton to 1s.6d. per ton. 100 ton ladles could now be heated to 600ºC. in five hours. The first ladle heater unit was supplied to the English Steel Rolling Mills Corporation Limited, at Sheffield.

An interesting job carried out at Lloyds (Burton) Limited in 1962 was the building of the twin expansion loop shown opposite, for the Power-Gas Corporation of Stockton-on-Tees.

It was made of sections of centrifugal tube that were welded together to form a loop.

After completion it was successfully pressure tested to 1,500 lbs. per square inch.

1962 was British Foundry Year, commemorating the centenary of the opening of the first steel-making furnace. Lloyds celebrated the event with an exhibition, and works open days for the general public. Vast marquees were erected on the sports ground to display exhibits from the whole of the Lloyd Group. During the three days of the exhibition, over 1,000 visitors and guests enjoyed the displays.
Viewing the company's display about a new technique called casting-weldments which enabled Lloyds to produce a wider variety of fabrications.

Mild steel castings and mild steel plate, varying in thickness from 1 inch to 12 inches were welded-together to form fabrications which were then machined.

A casting-weldment  consisting of a fabricated rolling mill drive gearbox produced for Henry Simon (Engineering Works) Limited.  It weighed 14 tons.

A model of the 31 MeV Betatron that was installed at James Bridge Works.

The Parker Foundry display.

The Lloyds (Burton) display.

The Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Company's display.

E. C. & J. Keay's display.

In 1962 the old cottages adjoining the Park Lane entrance were demolished.

In 1962 the Radiography Proving House opened at James Bridge. It contained one of the latest pieces of equipment for non-destructive testing, the Betratron. The Brown Boweri 31 MeV Betatron is a very powerful x-ray machine that was used for radiographic inspection of thick-walled castings. It produces x-rays of a shorter than normal wavelength which is far more penetrative. Castings of up to 18 inches thick could be inspected. This was the first installation of its kind in the country.

The Radiography Proving House. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The Brown Boweri 31 MeV Betatron. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A large turbine casting is got ready to be transported from the Wednesbury site.

From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The Works Agents Committee. Left to right: J. Rickuss, G. Williams, E. Green (Chairman), S. Brookes, and
R. Bayliss. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A new acquisition in the Machine Shop in 1967 was an Asquith ram borer, seen here machining a revolving frame for a Ruston Bucyrus excavator. The machine had a maximum vertical travel of 19 feet and a maximum horizontal travel of 35 feet. It carried out both milling and boring. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.
The Tipton Factory

On 4th November, 1963 a team of men from James Bridge works moved into the two empty bays of Wright's Forge in Factory Road, Tipton. Lloyds acquired the site in order to fettle large turbine castings which were occupying valuable space at James Bridge. Heading the team of ten was George Wilkinson who had the task of setting up the operation there. Initially there was no shotblast or heat treatment facilities, just hard work.

Within twelve months, a shotblast plant and a heat treatment furnace had been installed, and by the end of 1964 there were 13 welders, 17 finishers, 3 burners, 3 shotblasters, 2 heat treatment furnace men, 2 crane drivers, and 1 labourer. By the 1970s the building had grown to four bays covering 100,000 square feet. Around 3,000 tons of fabrications were produced annually under the control of George Roberts, Production Superintendent.

Machinery in the factory included a 700 ton twin 'C' frame hydraulic press, designed and built at the James Bridge factory. It could handle steel plate up to 16 feet wide and ¾ inch thick. There were 4 automatic gas profile cutters and fully automatic welding machines.

The Fabrications Section moved to Tipton in 1966, and became a separate division of F. H. Lloyd and Company Limited in 1967. Lloyds Steel Fabrications became one of the country’s leading manufacturers of welded steel fabrications. It was a great success.

Dick Howett was general manager, in charge of sales, estimating and process planning, costing, buying and production. The production superintendent was George Roberts who was responsible for all production and work schedules. He maintained liaison with customers on delivery and ensured that the right materials were in stock for the job.

Colin Hammond was chief planning engineer at Tipton. His department prepared estimates against enquiries, from which quotations were submitted. The department also translated orders and drawings into detailed working instructions for manufacture. George Arnold oversaw quality control, which included checks on raw materials, work in progress, and completed fabrications, using special test equipment.

Muriel Simmons was secretary to Mr. Howett, and the young lady, known as the voice of the division, Barbara Potter, was the telephonist.

Plate preparation equipment in the factory included four automatic gas profile cutters, a Hancoline HL.3 and HL.4, a Hanco-ordinate c.90 and BOC Bison, which were giant pantographs to exactly reproduce on a sheet of steel a design or profile which was read from a specially prepared drawing by an optical sensor. There were also a number of straight-line cutting machines, and twin C-frame hydraulic presses, designed and built by Lloyds.

Four welding processes were used:  manual arc, cored wire CO2, submerged arc and electra-slag, the last two being fully automatic. The electroslag machine is a prototype and the only one of its kind in this country, manufact:ured by ESAB of Sweden. It could butt weld plates up to 15 inches thick.

There was a North Sea gas fired heat treatment furnace with a capacity of 24 ft. x 16 ft. x 11 ft. where fabrications were heated to a temperature of 650°C to relieve any stresses set up by welding. The shot blast plant was in a heavily shielded room measuring 27 ft. x 24 ft. x 18 ft. high with an opening top to permit the craning in and out of fabrications. Steel pellets were 'shot' from a nozzle by compressed air at high speed to scour the surface scale from the fabrication and reveal the pristine grey metal that is steel.

George Wilkinson and the new shotblast at Tipton.

George Wilkinson on the left and the heat treatment furnace, larger than the one at James Bridge.

George Wilkinson and his team.

In the autumn of 1965 a new canteen opened on the Tipton site. It became known as the 'Wilkeyville' canteen, named after the boss, George Wilkinson. On the opening day, hot meals were brought from the James Bridge canteen by Ted Hardingham, and Wilf Vann. At 12.30 the doors opened, and in a few minutes 31 piping hot meals were served, consisting of hot pork with all the trimmings, followed by blueberry pie. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Mrs George Wilkinson gives a helping hand. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Mr. and Mrs George Wilkinson and the canteen staff get ready for the official opening. Left to right: Mrs Keatings, Mrs Wilkinson, George Wilkinson, Wilf Vann, and Ted Hardingham. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The meal is greatly enjoyed by all of the diners. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A large fabrication built at the Tipton site, being readied for transportation. It is a half measuring beam for a rolling mill, weighing 40 tons, with a length of 106 feet. It is destined for Brightside Engineering Company of Canada.  From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The fabrication gets underway. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A view inside the Tipton factory. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

A large fabrication nears completion in the Tipton factory. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The fabrication is readied for transportation. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The fabrication leaves the Tipton factory. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The fabrication leaves Penn Road in Wolverhampton and enters the Ring Road. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The journey continues as the vehicle approaches Chapel Ash island. Courtesy of Wendy Marston.

Barbara Potter, Receptionist & Telephonist at the Tipton factory.

Dick Howett, the General Manager at the Tipton factory.

A 50 ft. fabricated revolving base for a Bucyrus Erie walking dragline which was built at the Tipton site in 1975. From 'The Steel Casting', courtesy of Wendy Marston.

The largest British tyre mould ever made. Produced by Lloyds (Burton) Limited for Dunlop.
Around 1963 the Lloyd Group expanded with the formation of F. H. Lloyd & Company Limited, Cardiff, and new techniques were introduced including the CO2 sand process, particularly for cores. Also shell moulding and shell core making, and the use of CO2 as a gas shield for wire welding.

On 1st April, 1966 the local boundaries changed as a result of the Local Government Reform Act, after which the whole of the James Bridge site, except for the sports ground was in Darlaston.


Visitors study the welding of centrifugally-cast thermalloy tube during a two day seminar at Lloyds (Burton) Limited.
Read an article about the new heavy foundry
In 1966 The Lloyd Group acquired the group of companies owned by N. Hingley and Sons including M. and W. Grazebrook, Dudley; John Bagnall and Sons, Wednesbury; Wright Hingley, Netherton; and Brown, Lenox and Company (Pontypridd). Hingleys had previously been run by a relative of the Lloyds, Cyril Lloyd, a descendant of the Lloyds banking family, who died in 1963.

Brown Lennox, based at Pontypridd, were an ideal addition to the Lloyd Group. They produced steel castings from a few pounds to four tons in weight, in all compositions from carbon steel to low and medium alloy steel. They had excellent testing facilities including gamma ray, ultrasonic, and magnetic crack detection, and a proving room for testing chain up to 400 tons.

On 25th October, 1967 Lloyds acquired another company, Thomas Summerson & Sons Limited of Darlington. The company, which had been producing steel castings since 1910 became Lloyds (Darlington) Limited.

Thomas Summerson & Sons original foundry at Albert Hill Works, Albert Street, Darlington.
Cecil Whitehouse, Managing Director of Lloyds (Darlington) Limited, an old foundryman whose passions included cricket, football, and golf. It was thanks to his efforts that the old company survived for so long.

Tapping the 25 ton melting furnace that began operating at James Bridge in January 1967.

On 12th August 1969 F. H. Lloyds became part of F. H. Lloyd Holdings Limited.

In August 1969 F. H. Lloyd Holdings Limited was created to oversee the various companies in the Lloyd group. The Managing Director was Mr. Francis Nelson Lloyd. On 5th September, 1970, Francis Nelson Lloyd retired and handed-over to his younger brother Mr. Michael Charles Lloyd.

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late 1950s
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later years