Hardy and Padmore The Worcester Foundry

  • 17 Jan 2012
  • Archaeology
  • Back
The Company, Hardy and Padmore was founded in 1814 , when Robert and John Hardy migrated from across the Scottish border to set up business in Worcester. Fifteen years later they were joined in partnership by Richard Padmore who arrived from Shropshire. But, alas, the glorious days for Hardy and Padmore began to fade after the Second World War and it eventually went into voluntary liquidation in 1967.

Hardy and Padmore's Worcester Foundry was a major English Foundry. Over the 155 years of trading they produced many fine castings World Wide includinghte following:


  • On Wedstminster embankment the lovely "Dolphin" Lamps, which are so of ten shown on our television screens

  • The Great Western Railway Bridge across Foregate Street. The patterns for this were still kept in the Foundry at the time of the sale.
  • The Fountain in Cripplegate Park.
  • The Clock opposite the Guildhall in High Street.
  • Many cities across the world had lamp posts and tramwire supports cast in Worcester.
  • Hardy and Padmores patent process enabled them to cast poles of a considerable length and accuracy. This unique skill was eventually used in the manufacturer of machine tools, such as verticle borers for Archdales. These were a regular order.
  • Tramploes at the Crich Tramway Museum are still in use.

Street Furniture

  • Traffic light control for Revo Electric.
  • Traffic bollards and pedestrian bollards. A nice examble of bollards are still in use at the Old Canel Basin in Hereford.
  • Manhole covers and drain grills of every size and shape were made and sent all over the world.
  • Cooking stoves for gypsy caravans and narrow boats were made in a variety of styles and sizes.
  • Joseph Southall, was the grandfather of Jocelyn, nee Southall wife of Max Sinclair a friend of Bill's for over fourty years, Joseph was the Managing Director. He invented an early Hot Air Engine. There are two examples on display at the Science Museum in London. he even produced a tiny candle power motor to drive watchmakers lathes. His success with such small engines led to futher patents on oil and gas engines. Bill had an interesting catalogue showing their range of oil and gas engines. Made in 'Ideal' name. The larger engine powered pumps and lighting sets, and well as heavy farm machinery. ( The family name of Southall is also well known for the connections of Samuel Southall School and Samuel being Town Clerk as well as Secretary of The River Severn Commissioners , Frank Southall son of Joseph followed in his fathers footsteps by being Works Director at Hardy and Padmore.)
  • A further development in production was a range of rockcrushing machinery, as was their sand and gravel washing and grading plant. Staff members from Worcester installed these huge machines in some of the wildest and most remote parts of the world.
  • Also famous and long lasting were the cast iron doorsteps, these were of subjects as widely different as Punch and Judy and the Duke of Wellington.. The patterns for these articles were hand carved by a Cathedral Mason.