Report - Thomas Bolton Copper Foundry, Froghall - May 2009

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Oxygen Thief

Staff member
Oct 17, 2005
This site has gone downhill in the last few years, in fact it's ruined.

There's still some good things to see though but it's maybe not worth the effort.

A tiny bit of history...

The Thomas Bolton Copperworks at Froghall (and the closed works in the nearby village of Oakamoor) are famous for the world's first transatlantic telegraph cables, which were manufactured and rolled at the plants.

During the Second World War the factories made wiring components for Spitfire fighter planes. The Copper works are the Staffordshire Moorlands' last link to the historic copper-mining industry that was centered on the nearby Manifold Valley and its famous Ecton Copper Mines.[1]
Part of the site is still active, but this bit isn't...



Anyway, on with it...

We're liking the odd design of crane, entry through a hatch in the top...







Wouldn't want to tangle with the local pikies...


Some sort of lab...




Along the loading platform...




A few patterns...


Cheeky view down from the water tower...


The main shed again...


That's about really. Took a few more but this will do for the record.


This shed was once the Foundry of TB&S. The "damage" was done by the people who removed all of the equipment when the foundry closed 6 or 7 years ago.

The bulidings on the far side of the railway were far more impressive than this shed, as they were victorian brick built, roughly the same size, but far more attractive to the eye.

I was taken on a guided tour of TB&S when I was in the first year of my mechanical appreticeship. The visit was to give us some idea of what working in a factory would be like.......Hence I bucked up my ideas and went to work fot JCB (as this dump put me off for life!)

A few of my relitives have worked there in the past, and an Uncle still does.

In it's time TB&S was a massive concern, with a large fleet of lorries that were always blocking the local roads.

What's left now is on it's last legs. It's a real shame to see industry in decline like this, especially when I can remember it being the biggest thing next to JCB, and something that you'd imagine would last another lifetime. Sadly not to be.