AndyK!

UK Chamberlin & Hill Castings (S. Russell & Sons), Leicester - April 2017

Formed in 1864 when Samuel Russell moved to Leicester from Loughborough, the brass and iron foundry based its head office, engineering and foundry operations on Bath Lane in Leicester.The company later became S. Russell & Sons when his two sons joined the firm in 1881.


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As the company expanded, 1920 saw the opening of a further works in Bonchurch Street in the Woodgate area of Leicester. The Bonchurch Street foundry produced medium-sized castings, weighing 30-100kg primarily for the hydraulics and rail industries.


The Bonchurch Street foundry was taken over by Chamberlin & Hill Castings in 2004 and S. Russell & Sons were dissolved the following year. By 2016 demand for the products produced at the foundry had dwindled, and management announced it would be closing by the end of that year.


Furnaces
Starting where the raw materials and scrap metal arrive, the furnaces would melt it all down ready to be poured into moulds


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The three electric furnaces


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Looking across the furnaces with incoming scrap area to the right


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The tiniest control room I've ever seen


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This rather nice control panel was set to one side of the furnaces


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Inductotherm control panel


Casting and moulding
This is where the molten metal is cast in moulds


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Floor mould for larger castings


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Hand mould shop


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Hand mould shop


Handling and Blast Cleaning
The next stage of the process is to cool and open up the moulds and then clean up the castings


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Moving through to the handling area


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Sand and dust processing


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Hunter HV Turntable


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Hunter HV mould handling machine


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Hunter HV mould handling machine


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Continuous Tumblast cleaning machine


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Beside the CT3


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View towards offices


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Roller conveyors


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Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings


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Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings


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A large area was dedicated to shotblasting


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Shotblasting machine


Core Shop
The core shop is where cores are machined. The cores create voids or spaces inside the castings, and are often destroyed in order to remove them when opening the moulds.


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Eurocor machines in the core shop


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Eurocor Corjob-H16


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Inside the core machine


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Machining area


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Area for manual machining of cores


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Racking with a few cores


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Shelves of cores


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Core store room


Finishing and Dispatch
The building housing the heat treatment, finishing and dispatch facilities was a later addition, one of the last buildings to be built on the site.


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Heat treatment area


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Kiln for heat treatment


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Finishing workstation


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The finished product, although these castings were rejects


Workshops
As well as the production areas, there were a number of workshops to support the main functions of the factory


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The main workshop was crammed full with machines


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Main workshop


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Main workshop


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1922-45 regulations still on display


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Items in office


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Old office with various items


Bathhouse and Office Block
The bathhouse was quite an old building, with a few features remaining. Unfortunately nice skylights and features in the offices had been covered by suspended ceilings.


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Bathhouse showers


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Locker room


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Small lab


Externals


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Main buildings


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Repton Street elevation


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Ghost sign revealing the buildings origins as S. Russell & Sons Ltd, Ironfounders
 

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Superb! What a great place. Not many left like that now. Great shots from here, nicely done!

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An interesting, extensive set! Lots of great photos, like the control panel. But also the bathhouse with the violet shower sponge is well-captured.

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