‘Innovate Drogheda – Engineering’ is the fourth of a series of four events, celebrating Drogheda’s industrial & entrepreneurial past with its present and future entrepreneurs.
- A Drogheda Millmount Museum historian will lead a discussion on innovation in Grendon’s Foundry and Engineering Works, product development, engineering skills and interesting & quirky facts in relation to working at Grendon’s.
- Stuart Carolan of Cisco Engineering will speak of product development, innovation and staying profitable in a competitive sector.
- An open discussion will be held amongst attendees.
Grendon’s Foundry and Engineering Works was established in 1835 on the South Quay. The Irish Times in December 1921 stated: In 1845 when the first locomotive was built by Messrs Grendon and Company, and up to 1885, the Drogheda Foundry was one of the most famed of its kind in the Three Kingdoms, employing between 600 and 700 workers. The firm specialised in bridge building and one of these, in wrought iron, spans the Boyne at Oldbridge (the Obelisk Bridge 1869), with the Grendon name inscribed on the bridge parapet. Dominic’s Bridge (1863) was also by Grendon, as were many canal bridges and others sited as far away as Malta. Other examples of their work, clearly inscribed ‘Thomas Grendon and Sons 1870’, may still be seen around town, such as street drainage gratings in Magdalene Street, Fair Street and Bolton Square, which had a cattle weighbridge erected for the Corporation by the foundry. A large water tank at Drogheda Railway Station prominently displays the firm’s name. Four iron inscribed bollards at the top of Catherine’s Step were never replaced after the steps’ restoration and are accepted as lost.
Mr St George Smith, a partner in Grendons, had a shipyard near the foundry and it was here in 1878 that he built and launched the ‘Mouse’, broadside into the river. Built from a specific design, its registered tonnage was 60, with a length of 70ft, breadth 16ft and depth of hold 7 ft, and was schooner rigged. The character of the ‘Mouse’ stated after inspection that her hull, decks, rigging spars, sails, anchors and chains to be a first vessel, fit to carry dry and perishable cargo, for a period of 20 years from the date of launching.
After Grendon the foundry passed to a Scotsman named McCoy, who had risen from the ranks of the workmen, to become foreman. Later the industry declined, it was claimed ‘owing to increased foreign competition’ and it was forced to close. The brochure for the subsequent auction, which attracted buyers from all over the British Isles, indicated the wide range of the firm’s activities.
In 1914 the foundry reopened as the Drogheda Ironworks under Telfer and Taylor, and an extraordinary amount of lighter goods were produced, such as the ‘Congress Range’ (1932) and then during World War Two, the ‘Taylor Turf Range’: window sash weights, farm implement parts, manhole covers, street lamp standards, garden seats and wheels for hay slides. An unusual item was a four pound weight used in cinema tip-up seats, which caused the seat to snap back in position when the sitter stood up. Up until the foundry again closed in 1970 it gave employment to about 70 men.
(Text above courtesy of The Drogheda Independent)
Cisco Engineering Ltd was founded in 1976 and employs 30 staff. During this time Cisco has satisfied the needs of local major industry including Irish Cement, Premiere Periclase, Natures Best, Thorsman Irl, Becton Dickinson and to the wider area including New Boliden Tara Mines, SIAC, John Sisk, PJ Walls Ltd, Ascon & PJ Hegarty.
Cisco’s 20,000sq.ft unit on the Donore Road Industrial Estate boasts a well equipped workshop containing a wide range of highly specialised plant and tools.
The range of activities of Cisco extends to the provision of stainless steal and aluminium, structural steel for new buildings, installation of plant for existing ones, alteration work to structures internally in factories and working underground, in New Boliden Tara Mines.
Details & Booking
Date: Tuesday, 25 November 2014 (Postponed from October)
Time: 8.00pm to 9.00pm
Location: The Mill Enterprise Hub, Drogheda
Cost: Free – Booking is Essential