Coalbrookdale foundry closure: Just one ‘Man of Iron’ takes up work offer

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Business | Published:

Just one former worker at Aga's former Coalbrookdale foundry has taken up the offer of a new job, it emerged today.

Workers hung their boots on the gates on the foundry's last day

The boss of a foundry 27 miles away in Walsall has launched a further appeal for the Coalbrookdale Men of Iron to join his team after a disappointing response to his offer.

The Aga foundry shut for the final time at the end of last month, with the 42 remaining workers leaving their boots and helmets on the famous 'Coalbrookdale Co' gates as they left.

Bosses at Walsall-based H Goodwin stepped in to offer some of the men the chance to join its workforce but say they have been surprised by the lack of interest so far.

Managing director Melvin Barnett said: “Only one person has contacted me.

"They were from the admin side and unfortunately my admin is full. I do need a foundry manager and an operations manager.

"Anyone else who applies, if they have the skill factor, I would look at taking them on.

"I was a little bit surprised that more people have not come forward but the offer is still there."

The Aga foundry was started in the 18th century by Abraham Darby I, who developed new processes for smelting iron.


This was a major step forward in the production of iron as a raw material for the Industrial Revolution.

Over the years the company stayed on the cutting edge of iron founding and played a key role in the building of the Iron Bridge and countless other landmarks around the world. It also worked on railway lines, garden furniture, gates and thousands of other items.

Aga Rangemaster announced that it would be closing the Coalbrookdale Foundry in May this year, saying it was no longer “economically viable”.

A crowd of former staff members and residents gathered outside the factory to say goodbye to staff members when it closed for business on November 23.


Many of the last Iron Men had turned up for work that morning and were told they were no longer needed and were sent home.

Dozens of people gathered outside to say goodbye to the iconic workplace.

Aga Rangemaster was sold to Illinois-based food services giant Middleby Corporation in 2015, in a deal worth about £129 million.

Mr Barnett added: “If anybody from the Aga factory is interested, please get in touch.”

The company has asked that anybody interested contact them via 01922 633511 or at

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.


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