Smethwick’s Newby Foundries Ltd, a family firm founded in the late 19th century, currently produces iron castings for vacuum pumps, turbochargers, and hydraulics. They also manufacture motorsport, medical and marine components.
On the 18th December 2012, Newby’s bought Gabriel and Company, adding the manufacturing of steel castings to their existing iron casting products. They took over the premises, deployed a number of managers to the original site and retained some of Gabriel’s workforce.
Founded in 1884 by Percy Gabriel who bought a small brass foundry in AB Row, Birmingham, for £235, Gabriel’s began trading with 13 employees during the reign of Queen Victoria. The foundry, which remained in the Gabriel family, came to be regarded as a leading manufacturer of stainless steel castings and fabrications, later specialising in the manufacture of fittings for tramways, buses and railways and exporting to Africa, Asia and South America.
Gabriel and Company celebrated 125 years of casting in 2009 and commemorated the occasion with a specially commissioned cast bench in Centenary Square Birmingham in a ceremony hosted by Cllr Michael Wilkes, the City’s Lord Mayor.
In December 2010, after operating from a rented factory in Tyseley for 14 years, they bought new premises and capital plant in Smethwick, hoping to increase production and the size of castings manufactured at the foundry.
However, as Insider Media notes, Gabriel’s was hit by the costs associated with a move to new premises, combined with a ‘sudden and temporary downturn’ in orders. In November last year, Graeme Brown of the Birmingham Post reported that the company had called in PKF administrators. PKF hoped to find a buyer and the firm was continuing to receive orders in the meantime.
Terry Golden, the business development manager of Newby Foundries, who bought Gabriel’s in December, told Engineering Capacity that they have renamed the company ‘Newby Foundries Ltd (Steel Casting division)’.
He added, “As we move along, we will be working with Gabriel’s existing accounts and customers and will introduce some of Newby’s original customers to the steel castings market with the hope of enhancing the development of Newby Foundries. So it’s an exciting time for us but is also a major learning curve.”