Winter at Finch Foundry

Ben Shapcott, Foundry Manager, Finch Foundry, Devon

A Foundry manager's job is a very varied one and over winter, as well as catching up with any training courses and taking some well-earned holiday, there's lots to do.

  • The first few weeks fly by, closing the machinery down and making it safe and secure for the winter, basic tidying up of unfinished paperwork and archiving, carrying out the shop stocktake and preparations for St Clements Day.
  • The most vital job over the winter is the Building team assessing the structure and machinery - the forge is a very old building so we need to ensure that everything's staying in one piece. Quite often the machinery needs attention and we get an external engineering company to help with the heavy work.
  • A group of collection volunteers work through the winter cataloguing and keeping an eye out for any missing items on the inventory, at the same time carrying out any remedial conservation required. Finch is a damp place which isn't the best mix for a metal-based collection.
  • A Conservation Management Plan has now been completed for Finch Foundry which has led to all sorts of ideas and planning for the future.
  • It's also time to discuss the marketing strategy and plan a programme of events for the following season.

Finally, preparations for the new season start in the spring - from recruiting volunteers to getting the machinery up and running so that we're ready to welcome visitors on 4 March 2017.