North Hykeham Foundry

Leys Malleable Foundry was a major local employer from 1938 to 1981 when it was taken over by George Fischer of Switzerland.  In 1986, 350 people worked there, 290 on the shop floor and 60 as supervisors and in the offices. George Fischer made castings for motors, both non-ferrous and ferrous. For ferrous castings they used scrap metal, limestone and carbon. For non-ferrous castings they used aluminium. In 2003 the Meade Corporation took acquired site, renamed the foundry Lincoln Castings under which name it operated until the plant’s final closure in 2006.

Formerly a jam factory, Harrisons, who were iron makers on the Brayford in Lincoln, amalgamated the site into their business in the early twentieth century.[1]

Ray Allen describes working at the foundry in the 1960s:

“I worked in the electrical department and all the electricians wore blue overalls … It was a small ish department, it worked two shifts and a nightshift, so three shifts… There was a laboratory, a grinding department where they used to grind the axles … there was the casting department and the furnaces and there were several lines, production lines of different kinds of castings and ‘D’ line was where most of it was done by hand. Then there was a pressing department – we used to press the castings.

… It was a mucky place, a really mucky place – and we’re talking about the 60s here. There was just black sand everywhere  … and my mate Paddy and I had to clean the lights and we’d go up 30 or 40 feet on ladders to clean the lights. We used to have fun, we used to get the brush and knock the lamp fitting and the shower of black muck used to come down all on the people walking below: we used to have a lot of fun with that. And it was a busy place, fork-lift trucks flying all over the place. Then there were tips and places like that, but it was, possibly, a quarter of a mile long – at least a quarter of a mile long that factory from front to back … two hundred, three hundred yards wide I suppose, in terms of area.”

Hear Ray Allen talking about his time working at the Malleable foundry on the North Hykeham Oral Reminiscence page


[1]Sources: Lincast, records relating to Lincoln Castings of North Hykeham and its predecessor companies 1914-2006, pdf downloaded from Lincoln Archives 5/1/18; Graces Guide to British Industrial History; and Derelict Places viewed 5/1/18