Norman and Underwood


Tuesday saw the parish outing to Leicester. This was a two part trip. Initially to the headquarters and works of Norman and Underwood to watch our recycled lead being melted and recast and then on to the centre of the city to the Richard III centre and cathedral. There was a connection in that the managing director of Norman and Underwood had been the last person to see Richard's bones as he was responsible for sealing the new lead coffin in which the king's remains were re-interred.

The work being done on the factory floor was hugely impressive. There were three operatives who were continually on the go setting up and casting a huge sheet of lead roughly every 20 minutes. First up the tray of casting sand had to be prepared and carefully leveled before the silver stream of molten lead was pushed along to create a sheet of even thinness which was then rapidly marked out, cut and rolled and set aside to bring back to Cropredy. This was hard physical work and represented a curious mixture of the hi-tech furnace and breathing apparatus with casting methods that date back millennia.


            The freshly cast lead being cut into manageable sized pieces.               The Cropredy crowd mill around admiring everything that was going on.