|The company was started on 1st April 1946 by Walter Downs and
Horace for a full account of how this came about Click
During the 1970's two of Walter's three sons Alan and Nigel, finished further education and entered the family business. During the 1980's more technological developments were required for the future of the company, the limits to the maximum casting size was raised from 2 ton to 5 ton, procedures and documentation were introduced to benefit both customers and the foundry production.
Further advances in the acknowledgement of the benefits of SG iron prompted the brothers to contemplate installing electric furnaces along side the coke melting cupola. At this point John Booths of Ripponden was offered for sale offering the electric furnaces and other foundry production equipment, although dated the equipment could be used to produce special irons that were starting to come to the fore.
In January 1986 H. Downs & Sons purchased John Booths. The two foundries together were capable of offering a wider range of iron alloys. The next few years saw an investment in both foundries to drag them out of the 1800's into modern production units.
1993 saw the input of computers and a bespoke system designed by the brothers for the control of pattern equipment, production control and accounts.
The late 90s brought about expenditure on environmental issues commencing with the purchase of a new cupola furnace for H. Downs in Huddersfield closely followed by a sand knockout and reclamation unit for John Booths. A similar unit was installed in Huddersfield in 1998 allowing a change of moulding techniques and an increase in casting appearance.
2005 H.Downs & Sons purchased the buildings next door. Formerly Pneumatic Conveyors Ltd. All production from John Booth was moved to the one 4 acre site. The original foundry was organised as the moulding, melting and casting area, the electric furnaces, moved from John Booths were installed to work in comjunction with the cupola to increase melting capacity for various alloys such as SG iron and Ni-Resist.
The majority of employees from Ripponden made the move to Huddersfield.
Part of the new building, which was originally Pneumatic conveyors, was converted to a fininishing department. A new shotblast room was constructed and a smaller automatic unit was installed. Fettling takes place in this area and use is made of the existing paint spray booth. A palleting and shrink wrap area was created in dispatch.
The remainder of the building is mainly used for pattern storage and overnight vehicle parking.