Loughborough Works

Loughborough Works:

About / John Taylor & Co. Bell Foundry / Anstey Wallpaper / Contributors

Bell clapper moulds, John Taylor & Co. Bell Foudry
by Piers Ross-Roberts

Loughborough Works was a documentary photography workshop involving students at Loughborough University, led by photographer David Severn. Over four weeks in early 2020, participants collaboratively produced and edited their own exhibition of photographs looking at the significant heritage of manufacturing in Loughborough. The students had the opportunity to develop their photography skills during two supervised site visits to the historic John Taylor & Co. Bell Foundry (the largest bell foundry in the world) and Anstey Wallpaper, specialist printers of high-end wallpapers.

Collaborating in small groups, a brief was set to capture a range of portrait, working environment and object study photographs. The resulting series of images provides a fresh insight into the skills and craftsmanship that were key to the emergence of Loughborough as a prosperous industrial town in the 19th century, well situated for transporting goods along the Midland Railway and Grand Union Canal.

Both Anstey and Taylor’s proudly continue to use time-honoured traditional processes such as hand block printing or loam moulding (an ancient practice using a mixture of sand, horse manure, hair and clay to form a mould case for each bell) respectively. Participants in the workshop were encouraged to explore how both manufacturers use a combination of old and new technologies in their work.

Exhibition date and venue TBC

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