Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Parkfield Foundries

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Stockton on Tees

1961 Parkfield Foundries (Tees-side) Ltd was established to take over the Parkfield foundry from Ashmore, Benson, Pease and Co Ltd. who planned to shut it down. The foundry business was to be sold as a going concern[1]. Secured substantial contracts for machine tool castings for India; output from the foundry increased especially in high ductile irons.

1964 specialised in ‘spheroidal graphite irons’ which were replacing traditional steel castings, which meant that the company was in a position to expand and create another 60 jobs.

1973 new factory building and equipping throughout the country was creating more work for Parkfield Foundries who were able to re-employ 40 workers they had laid-off the year before. The workforce was now 300 and the assistant M.D. said that prospects were "very good"[2].

By 1977 the firm had suffered from strikes and walkouts followed by redundancies in the recession. Pollution levels from the plant were also a concern. A £40,000 plant would be installed to cut emissions by 80 per cent.

1981 100 jobs axed with the light foundry being closed.

1983 Roger Felber (Felder?) took a 25 per cent stake in the company and was appointed deputy chairman.

1984 Parkfield Foundries was back in the black for the first time in some years. Felber had diversified the company into nuclear work.

1985-7 surging profits enabled the company to take over several suppliers.

1986 Parkfield won contract from American locomotive manufacturer.

1987 supplied 5,600 iron segments for the 2 initial bores of the Channel Tunnel. More Channel Tunnel work followed.

1988 Roger Felber announced that Parkfield Foundries was now part of a group of companies which would be known as the Parkfield Group, with an annual turnover of £35M and which employed nearly 1,000 people.

1988 Parkfield pledged to reduce emissions rather than face prosecution after notices served on the foundry under the Public Health Acts.

1990s Administrators took over.

1992 C V Buchan, a member of the AMEC group, bought the foundry. Parkfield Group was being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

1993 Parkfield foundry won a contract to build tunnel segments for the new Jubilee Tube line in London.

1996 Plant closed.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Parkfield Foundries [1]
  2. Parkfield Foundries [2]