Shropshire Star

The Shropshire foundry making pans and forging bonds with Ukrainian metalworkers

A Shropshire foundry that makes pans from Ukrainian steel to raise money for Ukrainian children is spinning up its second batch.

Netherton Foundry owner, Neil Currie with one of the finished Ukrainian pans

Netherton Foundry has sourced steel from war-torn Ukraine to turn into pans at a foundry in Cleobury Mortimer, to raise money for some of the country's most vulnerable residents.

Owner Neil Currie was inspired to help out when the brother of one of his friends, Ukrainian chef and food writer Olia Hercules, was enlisted to fight against the Russian invasion.

Neil explained: "Olia was obviously very upset when her brother was enlisted and began to raise money, so we all whipped round to help.

"In spring last year we raffled off one of our barbecues which raised an amazing £15k. After, we thought about what we could do to continue to support the cause.

"That's when we heard about this amazing steelworks in Ukraine, so we got in contact with a supplier in Kyiv."

Metal spinner Colin Lovell making one of the pans

The Ukrainian steelworks, based in Zaporizhzhia in the south-east of the country, was more than happy to be involved in the project.

Neil said: "We want to give our tiny bit of support to our fellow metalworkers in Ukraine by buying and using their steel.

"They were happy to work with us, cut the steel and supply the European conformity certificates we need.

"They have also assured us this isn't taking material they need for their defence. The hardest part of this project was getting the metal to the UK!"

The steel disks did eventually arrive at the foundry in Cleobury Mortimer, where the team crafted 100 of their most popular prospector pans.

Netherton Foundry is making pans from Ukrainian steel to raise money for UNICEF

The first batch produced late last year sold out completely in just 16 days. Last week, the second shipment arrived, containing enough steel for 250 pans.

Now, the staff are working hard at spinning the new pans, which will be available for sale soon.

Metal spinning is a method of forming a flat metal disk on a lathe into many different shapes, an idea that dates back to the ancient Egyptians.

Netherton's methods aren't quite so ancient, using a spinning technique with roots in the industrial revolution. Their three lathes are almost 100 years old and built by Birmingham lathe manufacturer E.G.Wilson & Son.

The pans are stamped UKR, and sold alongside a special recipe from Ukrainian chef, Olia. £10 from the sale of each pan goes to supporting UNICEF's work with children in the country.

The pans are stamped UKR as a nod to their origins

Pre-ordering is already available online at the foundry's website: