The Industry & Railways of the South West Black Country
JOHN BRADLEY & Co.
Forge and Rolling Mills
FOSTER, RASTRICK & Co.
Structural and Mechanical Engineers.
At Stourbridge we waited upon Mr. Foster who took us over his works.
These works are the largest & most complete of any in this part of the
country & perhaps the most so of any in England; they employ 8 Steam
Engines some very large; the large Rolling Mill has a 60 Horse engine in
the middle the floor iron plated & everything kept in the best order.
They roll all kinds of bar iron the second rolling mill has an engine of
the same power not so new but all laid out in the same way. The third engine
is very handsome a 6 column engine of 30 H Power working a blowing cylinder
of 5 feet, 6 feet stroke. The 4th Engine was abt 20 H Power working
hammers. The Iron pig iron is brought here from a work they have in Shropshire
to be refined and worked into plates & bars; they turn out from 2 to
300 Ton weekly; the other engines are scattered about the works to drive
lathes for the Engine factory for they make all their own steam engines
and carry on an extensive engine trade for the West Indies. Mr. Foster is
intimate with Mr. Coulson and makes engines for him. The Engine &
Foundry departments are conducted by one of the partners named Mr. Rastrick.
They are now building a new Foundry very large should suppose 200 feet long
by 50 wide with an iron roof in which the tie beams are of cast iron, the
rafters cast iron & all the braces &c. round wrought iron bolts
very well contrived. The centre of each tie beam has a boss adapted to receive
a crane post, diagonal braces from these centres running all through the
roof. They are now letting down some wt iron pans for pits about 10 ft diam
the ground being wet. - The old foundry is octagon with a crane in the centre
reaching all round the furnaces are placed outside; the design was good
but the plan is small. The Boiler shop is very large but common boiler macking
- In the Work almost every 2 Puddling & balling Furnaces has a cylindrical
boiler upon it; one boiler is placed between 4 Furnaces. A cut from the
canal runs quite into the mill. An order & regularity prevails throughout
this work we have not seen in any other.
© Tom Cockeram 1998