East Coast Casting Company began trading in 1969, from premises in Melton Constable, Norfolk, producing sand castings in various non-ferrous metals. The firm was headed by Wilfred Henry Isbill, ( formerly of Blandy Isbill Foundry in Slough ), assisted by his two sons, Michael & Edward.
- East Coast Casting Co Ltd Foundry Norwich
East Coast Casting Foundry Norwich.
Business In the Foundry 1948 was good and the company moved to premises in Shipdham, Norfolk in the early 1970s. Following the death of Wilfred Isbill, and the departure of Edward due to ill health, Michael was joined by Barry Sutton & Adrian Bennett, and the firm was incorporated as a Limited Company in 1980.
The eighties was a difficult period for British manufacturing, and during that time many foundries up & down the country were closing. Thankfully, due to efficient organisation & the advantage of a wide customer base, East Coast Casting Co was able to survive, even to flourish. In 1983 the company absorbed a small pattern shop & non-ferrous foundry based in Suffolk, run at that time by Jim Thackeray, who is now works manager at ECC.
A major change came in 1985, when the company moved to it’s current location.
The history of the Carbrooke site is long and varied, having been in industrial use for a continuous period of around 200 years. The original business, started and developed by the Page & Hunton families, was firstly a blacksmith’s forge, and later, also a foundry. Page Hunton Foundry Ltd was still producing iron castings, mainly for agricultural use, until it’s unfortunate demise in 1984/5, when the business was placed in receivership. East Coast Casting Co Ltd then purchased the business and premises from the receiver. The former manager of Page Hunton, Mike Wynne, joined the board of ECC at this time, and the production staff were also retained. Although many years have now passed, one of the original employees has only recently retired, having worked at the site for 50 years, and another is still with us today.
This take-over gave ECC, for the first time, the ability to offer both ferrous and non-ferrous castings, including pattern-making facilities, and this has proved to be a vital selling point in the modern business environment.
Trading continued strongly throughout the nineties and the company enjoyed steady growth, including considerable expansion and modernisation of the Carbrooke site. In the 21st century however, the foundry industry is now shrinking again, along with it’s customer base, and ECC Ltd is managing, as in the past, to ride out the storm and adapt to changing markets.
In August 2000, Mike Wynne retired through ill health, and sadly died the following May.Barry Sutton retired as a director in December 2004, although he still retains an interest in the company. In 2005, Barry’s son, Nick, was appointed to the board, together with the third generation of the Isbill family, Mike’s son Chris. Following Adrian Bennett’s retirement in January 2006, the company is now left with only one original member, Mike Isbill.
We now look forward to a period of stability and hopefully many more years of production on this site, offering a wide choice and high level of service to our customers, both old and new.
Neville Watts seen at his farewell 2005