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TWO VILLAGES, ONE HEART

LACEY GREEN & LOOSLEY ROW

LACEY GREEN & LOOSLEY ROW

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On this Page

The Premises Staff & Trends

The Owners

Aluminium Casting

Wrought-Iron Works

Bus Shelters

Visitors

 

The Premises, Staff & Trends

 

 

Gomme's Forge is to be found tucked away behind the cottages in Foundry Lane, Loosley Row, Buckinghamshire. It is one of the longest established businesses in the district although early records have been lost in the mists of time. However, it is known to have been in operation at least as early as the mid 19th century, when John Gomme was the proprietor. At that time about sixteen persons were employed, including smiths, farriers, iron founders, pattern makers, carpenters, wheelwrights and even a millwright.

Much work was obtained from the local agricultural industry for horse-drawn machinery and later the maintenance of stream traction engines.

 

 

As the needs of the farming industry slowly began to decline, attention was turned to the manufacture of early band saws. Supply of castings for heating stoves was also undertaken. Both these items were for the furniture factories of High Wycombe, the latter for space heating and kiln drying.

 

 

With ever-changing times and customer requirements, Gomme's Forge today specializes in aluminium casting and wrought ironwork.

 

The Owners

 

 

The present proprietors are direct descendants of the original founders, the Forge being handed down to succeeding generations ....

 

 

Graham Baker, the eldest son of Mrs. Constance Baker, nee Gomme, and the late Mr. Frederick Baker.

 

 

Geoffrey Baker, Graham's younger brother.

 

 

Graham and Geoffrey's married sister, Jenny, administers the Office and Showroom.

 

 

Jeremy Baker, Graham's son, who specializes in wrought iron Work.

 

Aluminium Casting

 

 

About once a fortnight, a day is set aside when aluminium casting takes place. Amongst the items produced are dog irons, Wall lights, house nameplates and house numbers.

 

Much care is taken in preparing the mounding boxes, which are filled with special sand. The impression of the required article is then made in the sand, using the patterns, which in this case are brackets for Wall lights.

 

 

The moulds having been successfully completed, the boxes are clamped together, numbered and marked up according to the content, in readiness for casting.

 

 

The oil-fired furnace is started up, bringing the aluminium to the correct temperature....

 

 

...to be gently ladled into the moulds.

 

 

With larger moulds, a full crucible has to be lifted from the furnace....

 

 

....and the molten liquid poured into the moulds by hand - a two-man job!

 

 

Once the aluminium has been given sufficient time to cool and set....

 

 

....the moulds are 'knocked out'....

 

 

....revealing the various components.

 

 

The completed article - a lamp bracket.

 

Wrought-Iron Work

 

 

A variety of wrought iron items produced in the Forge are attractively displayed in the Showroom. These include fire baskets, canopies, screens, spark guards, and curtain rails.

 

 

Gomme's Forge is pleased to offer a unique 'one off' service to prospective clients. Apart from the 'ordinary man in the street', a number of well-known celebrities are included amongst the customers. Items have been produced for Chequers, the nearby country retreat of the Prime Minister.

 

 

Geoff is seen here 'setting out' the metalwork for a tree seat. The seat, for the Puttenham Trust in Hertfordshire is being designed to encompass the circumference of a tree trunk.

 

 

Other work is undertaken for the National Trust and Buckinghamshire County Council. The County's 'Best Kept Village' signs are produced here.

 

Replacement Bus Shelters

 

 

In the summer of 2002 a need arose to replace the bus shelters adjacent to 'The Whip' and St. John's School, in Main Road, Lacey Green.

Lacey Green Parish Council commissioned Gomme's Forge to design and construct the shelters.

It was suggested the shelters should commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. A plaque was therefore attached to each, inscribed thus:

'1952 Golden Jubilee 2002'

 

 

The basic structure of the new bus shelters being prepared in the yard of Gomme's Forge.

 

 

With a touch of paint and some final adjustments....

 

 

....the shelters are taking shape and nearing completion.

 

 

Once completed the shelters were carefully hoisted on to the firm's truck and safely secured, in readiness for transportation to their respective locations.....

 

 

The first delivery is made adjacent to 'The Whip' Public House, where the shelter is successfully placed in position.

 

 

The second delivery arrives at the site next to St. John's School, Where likewise, there is 'lift off and a secure and safe landing!

 

 

The replacement bus shelters, in-situ and ready for use, complete with commemorative plaques.

 

 

It is hoped both these shelters will provide the passengers of Lacey Green and Loosley Row with protection from Wind and Weather for many years to come.

 

Visitor Treat

 

 

In the private garden adjoining the Forge and viewable from the road are several decorative items, including this magnificent galleon.

 

 

These two 'Workers' casting, illustrate the heritage and skill fostered by this family run village industry, extending from the distant past to the present day.

 

 

And, if you haven't spotted it already, take alook at developments in the garden opposite.