Blackheart: The History of Leys Malleable Castings in Derby. The Family and the Foundry
For over 113 years Ley's Malleable Castings was at the heart of Derby's industrial life, at one time it was the largest foundry of its kind in Europe. This is the story of a firm that dominated Derby for over a century.
A family firm despite its large size, the company was presided over by four generations of the Ley family between 1873 and 1987. Both the family and the foundry were embedded in the history of Derby and their legacies can still be seen in the city today.
The Baseball Ground, built by Sir Francis Ley as a home for the game of baseball, was sold by him to Derby County FC and has only recently been demolished.
Remnants of the factory buildings and offices, which once covered an area of over 17 acres, can still be seen in Derby streets. Bob Read, a former employee of Ley's, has put together a fascinating survey of the history of the foundry.
This book uncovers a wealth of historical detail, and the account of the firm's fortunes is lavishly illustrated with drawings, photographs and ephemera that bring life to his story of a business that was part of Derby life for over a century.
About the Author
Bob Read worked at Ley's and has been researching this book for over three years, sifting archive material to put together the complete history of the firm.
He lives in Derby and has contributed to the Derby Evening Telegraph Bygones section on the subject of Ley's.
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