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T&R Lees Engineers, Hollinwood - spindle moulder

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jcge

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I'm hoping someone in the UK can shed some light on an old English machine manufacturer

T. & R. Lees Engineers, Hollinwood (near Manchester)

I've located several of their early patents that indicate the makers were Thomas & Ralph and William Lees (Jr) of Park Foundry, Hollinwood (near Manchester)

I have recently picked up an old spindle moulder (shaper) by this maker and I'm trying to locate further information about the machine (or any of T&R Lees other machines) and its makers.

Table is 2'x2', with a 1" spindle.

TR Lees 1.jpg

TR Lees Hollinwood.jpg


Any info at all would be most welcome

Thanks
John
 

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jcge

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Really - not a single person in the UK woodwork world knows anything about T&R Lees ???
 

marcros

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jcge

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Thanks marcros,

I had seen both the No. 40 catalogue (about $300 AUD !!!) and the steam reference previously, but I had not seen the ebay leaflet - greatly appreciated !!!

Regards,
John
 

jcge

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bump - in the hope that someone can help with info on T&R Lees
 

AndyT

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The two places I would look first for this sort of information are the Old Woodworking Machinery site and Grace's Guide.

OWWM has an outline history here: http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=3036&tab=0

and four pages of pictures of some of their machines (not including a spindle moulder). You could submit some photos of your own machine to the site.

Grace's Guide has seven pages of old ads and a couple of photos - http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/T._and_R._Lees - but again, no spindle moulders.

However, checking the forum on the OWWM site I can see that you are already there - hardly surprisingly - so this has just gone round in a circle!
 

jcge

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Appreciate your taking the time to respond AndyT, thank you.

Stilll looking for info...
Regards
John
 

anniemj

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I know a little about this company as it was owned by my great grandfathers Thomas and Ralph. The company unfortunately folded long before I was born but a member of my family has some old photographs of the workforce including Thomas and Ralph and Charles (my grandfather) and Tom (my great uncle) and also the workshop in action and there is also a catalogue of their products. I vaguely remember going up to Oldham as a child and visiting a wood workshop with my parents and being told it belonged to someone in the family (I think it was something to do with my great uncle Tom) but will need to find out more info on that. I also visited a small engineering workshop in Madeley Staffordshire with my father in the late 70s to view a piece of T&R Lees machinery.

Charles also continued in the engineering trade, moving to Shropshire in the early thirties, eventually becoming works manager at Rubery Owen Farm Machinery in Prees until his retirement. My father was also employed there as an engineering inspector until 1962. My father died in 1981 but I will ask my mother who is now 84 and some other relations for any further information
Regards
Anne Jackson (nee Lees)
 

wallace

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Hello Anne it must be nice to see something your family created from a long time ago. Was it you who got the hinge off Jimmy?
Mark
 

jcge

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Hello Anne

Thanks for taking the time to reply, although I must say that I'm greatly (pleasantly) surprised to hear from a descendant of the Lees family directly !!!! I was very interested to read your post and the additional history you have provided.

Below is something I found on the net about the Lees foundry...it's taken from "A Window of Memories by Edith Warburton" Copyright 2004 Diane L. Richard, Mosaic Research and Project Management. Page 18.

"T & R Lees’s Foundry
Almost at the top of Drury Lane was “Lee’s Foundry”. The foundry floor itself was way down below ground level but just above pavement height there were square unglazed windows, at night they were covered by shutters, but during working hours they were open to let out the smoke and fumes from the furnaces. I found that if I hurried on my way home from school, I could get there in time to see them “pour”. I used to squat on the low sills, my head almost inside the smelly, smoky cavern, watching enthralled as two brawny men, bare to the waist but with leather aprons from neck to feet, opened up the furnace and with huge tongs pulled out the crucible filled with glowing molten metal. They fitted a sort of rim with extended handles round the crucible and carried it to the waiting moulds and then tipped it over for the metal to pour out. Oh what a sight it was, liquid fire pouring into the moulds, steam, smoke, drops of molten metal splashing around like sparklers on bonfire night, smelly, hot and primitive and I loved every minute of it
."

Should you ever come across the catalogue you mentioned in your post above, please do not hesitate to contact me - I'd be most interested in seeing how this machine was in it's original state

Regards
John
 

jmlees3

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I am also a distant descendant of the above and would like to contact Anne M.Jackson.I have a photo of a large hand grinder made by the firm and is situated at the Beamish Museum.My great,great grandfather is James whose father was Thomas who maried twice and T.& R.Lees are descendants of that side of the family! Our daughter is called Hannah Jane after Thomas and Ralph's sister and lived at 384 Manchester Road,Oldham.
 

anniemj

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Gosh, another Lees! Can't post my email on here, but I'm happy for someone in admin to send it you. I've got some copies of the workforce including our descendents and also of inside the factory. If you'd like to see them let me know.
Anne
 
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