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British Industrial History

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Britannia Foundry (Risca)

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in Pontymister, Risca, Mon. (Gwent)

1854: NEWPORT. Risca. —Britannia Foundry.— On Monday last, this foundry, which is capable of casting 20 tons of iron per day, was opened. Messrs. Jordan and Miles are the proprietors. Mr. Jordan and Mr. Spittle, of Newport carried the first ladle of molten iron, and "threw off" the Royal Arms of England with the name of the foundry under it, the whole of Mr. Jordan's staff from his foundry Newport, upwards of 100 men, being present, who were regaled with plenty of "cwrw da." After the ceremony, Mr. Jordan and about 30 friends adjourned to the Bridge inn, and sat down to a splendid repast of the delicacies of the season, provided at the expense of Mr. Jordan. The cloth having been removed, Mr. Robathan was called to the chair; and Mr. Blackborough, of Caerleon, occupied the vice-chair.
—The Chairman prefaced the toast of the evening by observing that he knew Risca when its inhabitants were not more than 500 ; but now they exceeded 2,000, arising from the perseverance of a few individuals who had developed the resources of the district, and who have been rewarded for their exertions. He had no doubt but that the present undertaking would be to Messrs. Jordan and Miles equally successful, and he had great pleasure proposing "the health of Mr. Jordan and success to the Britannia Foundry."—Mr. Jordan replied, stating that he had commenced this foundry in consequence of his partner (whom he had known for many years, having worked by his side) coming to him and saying he had £200 to begin with, and he determined to support his laudable endeavours. There was room in that district for many more such foundries, for immense quantities of castings were now procured from Gloucester, Birmingham, and elsewhere, whilst that valley abounds with material and means of transit. Had he the means he would establish one of the largest locomotive manufactories the kingdom, so certain was he of his success. He concluded by thanking the company, and proposing the health of his old friend and employer, Mr. Cross, of Risca, to which -Mr. Cross observed that seven years ago Mr. Jones asked if he could make half a dozen trams, which he did. Mr. Protheroe came to his house and saw one, and asked him if he would make 50 for him in three months. He asked his father his opinion, and was told he could not do it. He asked his wife, and had a great mind to run away, but she persuaded him to try, and he did complete them in the time, and had an order for a hundred more. He trusted that the present undertaking would meet with a similar success. The healths of Messrs. Spittle, Miles, Robathan, Jones, Brookman, Partridge, &c, were drunk during the evening, and drew forth some excellent remarks from those gentlemen. The company separated at a late hour, highly gratified with the proceedings.' [1]

Note: 'Mr. Jordan' was Charles Jordan

1858 Produced the iron castings for the impressive Tredegar Town Clock [2]

Location: By the railway line in Pontymister [3]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Hereford Times, 12 August 1854
  2. [1] Wales & Marches Horological Society website, Tredegar Town Clock webpage, by Stephen Dutfield
  3. [2] RISCA INDUSTRIAL HISTORY MUSEUM & OHIHS website, 'The development of Pontymister' webpage, by Tony Jukes