Classroom Facility at Vanguard South Opened. 10/10/06

Classroom facilities capable of seating up to 20 people were opened with a day long briefing session for managers on the implementation of TS 16949. The photograph shows Richard Hammond from Industry Forum explaining the finer points of the standard.

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Phase Two of Vanguard South Opens On Time. 25/10/06

The new hardsand moulding line is now operational at the new Vanguard South premises. The plant, capable of producing in excess of 15 moulds/hour, will initially be producing between 6 and 10 moulds/ hour while the spare capacity is being filled. Shown in the photo is the first iron to be poured.



Shown below the first castings to be poured at the new South Site.


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EJ Fox Medal, presented to Brian Higgins AMICME.


Annually the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers present awards to those in the industry who have exhibited excellence and commitment to the cast metals industry. This year one of the recipients was Vanguard’s Chairman Brian Higgins.


Brian started work as an apprentice metallurgist at John Harper & Co. in 1953, qualifying in 1958. He then moved to Shotton Bros (later GKN Shotton) in 1961 and was there for over 20 years working as chief metallurgist, technical and quality manager, works manager and then technical director.


Following the closure of GKN Shotton in 1983 Brian joined with a group of colleagues to form Vanguard Foundry, a company set up to produce technically demanding SG Iron castings in low to medium volume. He was MD for 18 years and is currently chairman.


During his time in the industry Brian has always been actively involved with the representative bodies of our industry, a member of IBF/ICME for over 50 years, various trade associations, now CMF and of the technical and research organisations, BCIRA and Cti. Brian is a member of Cti council and has been it's chairman for the last 5 years.

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Vanguard Customer Go-Kart Challenge 2006. August 2006.

Following the success of the previous years customer challenge the event was held again with teams from Borg Warner, Honeywell, J J Churchill and Dana. There were also three foundry teams and a supplier team.


During the race there was plenty of time to chat and talk tactics.


The monitor displaying the team positions and the time left to race was also quite crowded.


Meanwhile there was plenty of aggression on the track, here we see Andy Collins in cart 2 ramming the back of Dave Howell. Team 2 HWS Nights went on to win with team 1 coming in third.


The winning team, HWS Nights L to R Martin Quigley, Paul Mallen (obscured by the umbrella pole), Jason Attwood, Brian Higgins presenting the trophy and Andy Collins.


The second placed team, Honeywell, L to R Anthony Howarth, Simon Freeman, Wayne Moseley (Vanguard's Sales Director generously lent to the Honeywell team), Brian Higgins presenting the medals and Clive Hudson.

      Last years winners in third place, Vanguard 'A', L to R John Willetts, Terry Jeavons, Brian Higgins, Martin Jones and Dave Howell.

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One of Vanguard's longest serving employees retires. 21/07/06


After working for twenty three years at Vanguard (as long as the company has been in operation) as a sand mill operator, John Hickman retired on 21 July 2006. The photograph above shows John receiving a few gifts to remind him of his time at Vanguard, an engraved pewter tankard, a carriage clock and a presentation box of a small quantity of genuine foundry sand. The presentation was made by Vanguard's MD John Willetts.

Vanguard Foundry Ltd South Works opens with phase one of it's expansion plan. 7/08/06

Over the last nine months a second site has been being prepared to allow us to expand our foundry operation. The second site, covering 20,000 square feet will allow us to meet current customer requirements and also future expansion plans. Phase one consists of moving the Dressing shop and Shotblast.



Shown above and below are typical views of the site before renovation work was started.

Some demolition was required as shown in the following pictures.

The result of all this hard work (and money)…

The dressing shop and Shotblast up and running.

Vanguard Go-Kart Challenge. 16/06/06

On Friday 16/06/06 eight teams, six from the foundry and two suppliers enjoyed a two hour endurance race to find the quickest team so far this year.

Jason Attwood car 4 and John Willetts car 1 fighting to pass two back markers. Team 4 subsequently won with team1 finishing third

Jason, having left John far behind drives on to victory.

After two hours third place went to Vanguard "A" L to R Martin Jones, Terry Jeavons, Dave Howell and John Willetts.

Second place was awarded to one of our suppliers Caladar Services. L to R John Moore (event photographer), Anthony Grainger, Darren Willetts and Clive Willetts.

The winning team HWS Nights finishing five laps ahead of Caladar, L to R Paul Mallen, Martin Quigley, Jason Attwood and Andy Collins.

We are all looking forward to the next event in August when we will beat a number of our customer's teams!

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Vanguard commission new furnace. 21 February 2006

First iron tapped out of our new Inductotherm one tonne furnace 16.00 Tuesday 21/02/06. The second furnace of the pair is expected to be commissioned on Thursday 23/02/06.

Furnaceman Jeff Burgwin at the end of a long satisfying day sintering the first lining.

Chairman Brian Higgins and Manufacturing Director David Howell examining the furnace after the first melt has been tapped.

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