Search

Family-run Norfolk business create iconic Selfridges signs for London flagship store

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 14 October 2018

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

Courtesy of East Coast Casting

A family-run foundry in Norfolk was approached by Selfridges to create new bronze signs for their flagship store in London.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, had previously made signs for the high-end department store 18 years ago at the turn of the millennium, which are still displayed at the Oxford Street branch.

Earlier this year, staff at the metal casting company were tasked with creating two bronze signs emblazoned with the Selfridges logo for its new entrance at Duke Street, as part of a £300m revamp of its flagship London store.

East Coast Casting director Chris Isbill said the signs were made in January this year in time for the entrance unveiling last month.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

The process of creating the signs has not changed for many years, said Mr Isbill, it is a traditional method combined with modern technology.

Around 200kg of bronze was fed into a furnace which reaches a melting temperature of 1,200 degrees. The molten bronze was then tipped into a crucible before being poured into a mould.

After a cooling period of around 24 hours, the mould was broken into two pieces to remove the casting, revealing the iconic Selfridges & Co typeface.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting has been with Chris Isbill’s family for three generations. It began trading in 1969 in Melton Constable in north Norfolk and was headed by Chris’ grandfather Wilfred Henry Isbill.

The business moved to Shipdham in the early 1970s, and following the death of Wilfred Isbill the company was taken over by his son Michael Isbill with Barry Sutton and Adrian Bennett.

The foundry moved to its current location in Norwich Road, Carbrooke, in 1985 with the third generation of the Isbill family, Michael’s son Chris, joining in 2005.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

“The foundry trade is dying in the UK,” Mr Isbill said. “Which is a shame, we are probably only one of about 100 left.

“It’s great that Selfridges have come back to us, they were happy with our signs the first time.”

A film commissioned by Selfridges demonstrating the sign-making process at the foundry was broadcast during the unveiling of the bronze signs in Duke Street, London.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

“It’s a solid piece of history,” Mr Isbill said.

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

East Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast CastingEast Coast Casting, in Watton, created two new bronze signs for Selfridges department store in London. Picture: Courtesy of East Coast Casting

Other news

38 minutes ago

The impact of alcohol-related liver disease on the health service in Norfolk has been revealed in newly released figures.

Yesterday, 16:42

A Swaffham-based charity have been reaping the rewards of the harvest festival and collecting food for those in need.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Megan Baxter is a keen gymnast, she trains 19 hours a week and has won numerous county competitions - and she is only eight-years-old.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A family-run foundry in Norfolk was approached by Selfridges to create new bronze signs for their flagship store in London.

Most Read

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Friends of one of the men killed in an industrial accident at Banham Poultry have told of his kind personality and passion for fishing.

Read more
Friday, August 25, 2017

A resident’s group, councillors and a wildlife organisation have expressed their anger after a planning inspector overturned a council’s decision to reject a housing development.

Read more
Keith Gilbert
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The closure of a major American airbase is to be delayed by another year.

Read more
Sunday, October 14, 2018

A family-run foundry in Norfolk was approached by Selfridges to create new bronze signs for their flagship store in London.

Read more
United Kingdom

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 11°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy