The Casting Shop was on the south side of the courtyard. This is where Newman Brothers’ famous high-quality brass coffin handles were made. Unfortunately, the one-storey range containing this workshop was demolished in 1967 and replaced by the two-storey range we see today. However, with the help of Anthony Allen we can travel back to the 1930s to experience what the Casting Shop was like. Anthony Allen was the son of Arthur Allen, a Travelling Salesmen who worked at Newman Brothers from 1903 to 1939.
As a boy in his teens in the 1930s, young Anthony loved to visit his dad’s workplace, and years later he has left us with very colourful descriptions of Newman Brothers and the people who worked there. Anthony describes the Casting Shop as
“the heart of the business. The furnace was roaring. There were two clay crucibles full of molten brass, which always seemed to be bubbling like a firework, sparks and smoke and bits of stuff flying up in the air all the time. And then when it came to casting, there were two very tough characters in leather aprons, who seized the crucibles with a great pair of tongs, lifted it out and then the molten brass was poured into what are called core boxes. Again, more explosions when the hot brass went into the damp casting sand – there would be steam and more sparks and more fireworks going up in the air. It was really terribly exciting, I always tried to get there when they were actually casting.”