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Issue 328 – Future of Singers factory artefacts sought

Residents of a Frome neighbourhood are being asked for their views on the future of various artefacts that were once part of the Singers factory site in Henley Way and Foundry Barton.

The artefacts in question are the camel statue and column, the factory gantry and railings and the scarp kiln and sand-blast box.
The camel statue is located at the Foundry Barton open space, set on a Singers factory column. It was created by artist Gordon Young in the 1980s and is a modern, miniature representation of the famous statue of Gordon of Khartoum which was cast on the Singers site in 1889.
Also at the Foundry Barton open space is a Singers factory gantry and surrounding railing. These formed part of the old casting shed where ‘Gordon of Khartoum’ and many other works were cast.
The scarp kiln and sand blast box remain in place at the riverside open space on Henley Way; essential facilities for the Singers factory when it was in operation, and now a reminder of Foundry Barton’s industrial past.
When the former Singer’s factory site was developed for housing, a number of artefacts from the factory were located on open spaces in the housing area, together with new art pieces, to reflect the former industrial heritage of the area. These items form part of broader arts and craft trail across Frome that was put together by local people, with Heritage Lottery support.
In a joint consultation with residents, Frome Town Council and Mendip District Council are seeking out opinions to help decide what happens to the artefacts in the future, when they transfer from being the responsibility of the neighbourhood’s developer.
Residents in the immediate area will have received a questionnaire which, when completed, should be handed in at the Frome Town Council offices or the Mendip District Council, Council Access Point at Frome Library.
For anyone else with an interest, the questionnaire is available to fill in online by visiting Frome Town Council’s website and clicking the news section. The consultation closes on 24th June.