F. H. Lloyd & Company Limited - The Late 1950s and Early 1960s

Tapping one of the 10 ton arc furnaces. From the Christmas 1958 edition of  'The Steel Casting'.
Read about the rebuilding and re-equipping of the Parker Foundry.

In 1958 a number of improvements were made at James Bridge which involved several large building projects.

View some photographs of the 1958 alterations.
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
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 which was installed at James Bridge Works. The Betatron, the  first of its kind, greatly reduced the time taken in radiographic testing.

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.

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 furnacemen, 2 crane drivers, and 1 labourer. By the 1970s the building had grown to four bays covering 100,000 square feet. Around 2,500 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. Chief Planning Engineer was Colin Hammond, with Dick Howett as General Manager.

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.

Barbara Potter, Receptionist & Telephonist at the Tipton factory.   Dick Howett, the General Manager at the Tipton factory.
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.

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early years
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