FOUNDRY CO LTD
Open Churches Week always turns up something new and this year (2015) was no exception. On the opening Saturday a lady who was browsing the s/h books mentioned the Farmers' Foundry and that she had read about it on the church website
She then proceeded to tell me about a cart/wagon lying derelict in a neghbouring field that had a Farmers' Foundry plate on it. What is more she had been told in the past that she could have it for her late father to restore. This all never happened but the cart was still there. I arranged to go and see it later that day and indeed found a once red painted Farmers' Foundry tumbril on pneumatic tyres looking in a rather sorry state but with definite potential for restoration. The kind lady said she would make enquiries to see if the cart was still going begging and before the week was out I was told that if I could get it out of the field I could have it. If any readers remember the Farmers' Foundry built tumbril and especially details of missing parts….. or would like to be involved in finding a way forward to restore it……... or have ideas for its eventual use or would just like to see it please get in touch.
As it first appeared in the undergrowth
After she was rescued on 17th. August 2015
The simple oak framed bed with pitch-pine side and head boards
The tail, flooring, and rave boards are all missing.
Body locked by lever, sword and pin
A Farmers' Foundry design of a traditional system?
The tractor draw-bar (upside down) with fixings for timber shafts
The photograph below kindly supplied by the Watson family shows what could be an earlier model of the Farmers' Foundry tumbril at work in a field at Winter's Farm Gateley complete with Land Army girl, believed to be Noel Hudson's wife Margaret, whose father-in-law, Billy Hudson would have made the iron work of such vehicles:
The cart is currently in pieces awaiting reconstruction
In spite of the complete appearance evident in the above photos, in fact there were no wooden components sufficiently structurally sound to re-use. They have however provided excellent templates in order to re-create the cart. The timber to return the cart to the position of the photos above has all been machined and the cart bed reassembled. The tractor draw bar mechanism has been recreated from the shaft stumps and fragments of timber that survived and seems to be now complete and functional There appear to be very few of the working metal components missing or coroded beyond re-use and nearly all this metal work is re-fixed on the cart bed framework. The corosion is almost exclusively confined to the bolts and studs used, particularly where they were passing through the oak of the cart bed.
There were many different hues of red remaining on all parts of the cart, but assuming it had all originally been the same red colour, the shade that remained on the inside face of the wheel hubs is the one that has finally been chosen. This fortunately is in accord with the memory of those that remember products that came out of the Farmers' Foundry. In due course the cart will be painted in the colour of the name plate below and which had been painted in its last decoration, the blue-grey remaining on the inside of the wheel rims, as seen above.
It has been quite a while since work began to rebuild the tumbril and the photos taken here in September 2016 show some of the progress to date. The sides of the buck are now ready to be drilled do they can be fitted to the cart bed. This, as can be seen from the pictures below is now a fully functioning tipping chassis. Missing or deteriorated metal work has been newly forged or fabricated locally by NIgel Barnett and R.B.S.
Final touches were complete at the beginning of January 2017 and it had its first outing on Saturday February 18th when it performed a useful and fun task collecting rubish bags and more beside and transporting them back to the Village Hall as part of a village litter pick organised by Mike Rundle. Everything stood up well towed behind Doddy Hall's 1947 Field Marshall. It did have need of a hose down afterwards however!
When it was still clean!
20 minutes later!
18 months plus 2 hours and about 8 miles later, doing what it was designed for.