Chamberlin & Hill Castings (S. Russell & Sons), Leicester

Dating back to 1920 the iron foundry on Bonchurch Street in Leicester produced small to medium sized castings until its closure in 2016.

Chamberlin Hill Castings - Former S. Russell & Sons, Leicester
 

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.

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Front entrance

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Front entrance

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

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - The three electric furnaces

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – The three electric furnaces

Chamberlin & Hill - Furnaces

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Chamberlin & Hill – Furnaces

Chamberlin & Hill - Tiny control room

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Chamberlin & Hill – Tiny control room

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Control panel to one side

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Control panel to one side

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Inductotherm control panel

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Inductotherm control panel

Casting and moulding

This is where the molten metal is cast in moulds

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Floor mould for larger castings

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Floor mould for larger castings

Chamberlin & Hill - Hand mould shop

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Chamberlin & Hill – Hand mould shop

Chamberlin & Hill - Hand mould shop

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Chamberlin & Hill – 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

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Moving through to the handling area

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Moving through to the handling area

Chamberlin & Hill - Sand and dust processing

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Chamberlin & Hill – Sand and dust processing

Chamberlin & Hill - Hunter HV Turntable

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Chamberlin & Hill – Hunter HV Turntable

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Hunter HV mould handling machine

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Hunter HV mould handling machine

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Hunter HV mould handling machine

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Hunter HV mould handling machine

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Continuous Tumblast cleaning machine

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Continuous Tumblast cleaning machine

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Beside the CT3

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Beside the CT3

Chamberlin & Hill - View towards offices

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Chamberlin & Hill – View towards offices

Chamberlin & Hill - Roller conveyors

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Chamberlin & Hill – Roller conveyors

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Roller conveyors with boxes for moving castings

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - A large area was dedicated to shotblasting

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – A large area was dedicated to shotblasting

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Shotblasting machine

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Shotblasting machine

Core Shop

The core shop is where cores are machined in the process of creating the moulds for casting

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Eurocor machines in the core shop

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Eurocor machines in the core shop

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Eurocor Corjob-H16

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Eurocor Corjob-H16

Chamberlin & Hill - Inside the core machine

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Chamberlin & Hill – Inside the core machine

Chamberlin & Hill - Machining area

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Chamberlin & Hill – Machining area

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Area for manual machining of cores

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Area for manual machining of cores

Chamberlin & Hill - Racking

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Chamberlin & Hill – Racking

Chamberlin & Hill - Shelves of cores

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Chamberlin & Hill – Shelves of cores

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Core store room

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – 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.

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Heat treatment area

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Heat treatment area

Chamberlin & Hill - HT Kiln

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Chamberlin & Hill – HT Kiln

Chamberlin & Hill - Finishing workstation

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Chamberlin & Hill – Finishing workstation

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - The finished product, although these castings were rejects

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – 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

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - The main workshop was crammed full with machines

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – The main workshop was crammed full with machines

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Main workshop

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Main workshop

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Main workshop

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Main workshop

Chamberlin & Hill - 1922-45 regulations

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Chamberlin & Hill – 1922-45 regulations

Chamberlin & Hill - Items in office

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Chamberlin & Hill – Items in office

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Old office with various items

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – 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.

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Bathhouse showers

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Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester – Bathhouse showers

Chamberlin & Hill - Locker room

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Chamberlin & Hill – Locker room

Chamberlin & Hill - Small lab

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Chamberlin & Hill – Small lab

Externals

Chamberlin & Hill - Main buildings

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Chamberlin & Hill – Main buildings

Chamberlin & Hill - Repton Street elevation

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Chamberlin & Hill – Repton Street elevation

Chamberlin & Hill Castings, Leicester - Ghost sign revealing the buildings origins as S. Russell & Sons Ltd, Ironfounders

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

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