Garton and King

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a history

The Golden Hammer

Welcome to the Exeter Foundry Website

AdvertThe Holladay family, who have been involved with the business of Garton & King from 1898 until 1990, have put together this History of the Company and hope you will find it of interest.

Garton & King, and its predecessors (which includes, amongst others, King & Munk and Garton & Jarvis) can trace their trading history back to 1661, that is well over three hundred years of business within Exeter, mostly in and around the High Street.

Since the Website was created in 2009 we have added much additional information. Chapters on 'The Dunbar' or to use its catchier title 'The Curious Incident of the Sunken Stoves' and then a Chapter on the almost unbeaten length of time the Company has been AGA Agents under the Title 'AGA, A Grand Affair'. We have also added the Guestbook and some interesting comments have been posted, some by past employees and if you have worked in the past for the Company, either under Alec in the Showroom or down at the Foundry when it was at Tan Lane you are sure to recognise some of the names mentioned in the Postings. Perhaps you will be suitably inspire to add your comments - but keep it clean, no Foundry Language please! or, if you would rather, contact me direct.If you have any Archive Material or memories I really would like to hear from you - see the 'About Me Page' for contact details.

We now have much more information on Stove Sales and an alphabetical list of who bought what and where they lived.

A new addition to the Home Page will take the form of an image or two of items I have discovered or have been told about and a brief description. This will be up dated every month or so - in time it is hoped to create, perhaps every 6 - 9 months or so, a Chapter incorporating these and other discoveries and providing more detailed information.

Don't forget, if you live fairly local to me (Chudleigh) and belong to a Club or Social Group I am equipped to give Illustrated Talks on G & K Ltd's History - all my Contact Details are on the About Me Page.

Richard Holladay. (March 2014)


Although there are huge areas still severely affected by flooding or the effects of flooding some of the causes of this depressing event can and should be easily remedied.

I have been out and about recently looking at roads where flooding has occurred, not all of it severe, but certainly areas where large pools of water form and are slow to drain away or where water has been directed because of blocked roadside gullies. Pools of water on highways present a hazzard to motorists, large areas can make roads impassable.

I was surprised to find many drains and gullies blocked - I have attached a few images to illustrate the point. What to me is patently obvious is that:-

A. One of the main cause of blockage in rural areas particularly is the result of Hedge Trimming - actually 'Trimming' is too soft a word - the effect of the modern flail type mechanism is to thrash the hedges to bits and leave a trail of vegetation of the sort of size that, with the onset of rain, heads towards the nearest gulley or drain, and

B. the failure of those performing the hedge cutting to clear up the gutters & gullies afterwards. They actually have a legal obligation to clear up afterwards (According to Devon C.C.) Because this is seldom if ever done the grilles, gratings and drains become blocked and, guess what, the local authorities only very ocasionally send the Gulley Sucker Vehicle out to clear them other than on the Once Per Year Cleaning and often this i operated on a Priority Scale:- 'A' Class Roads first, then 'B' etc etc. so it's up to the Individual to report blocked drains. > Report It (midway down Home Page) > A Faulty Drain or Ditch from the list. Fill in the approprate questions as asked and SUBMIT.

To the uninitiated these drains at the side of the road are, so I believe, very similar to your 'S' Bend and Trap on a domestic sink or bath. Initially material passes through the little holes where the plug goes in, then the heavy matter accumulates at the bottom of the 'S' bend. If the holes get blocked or the 'S' bend gets blocked - Hey Presto - Flooded Kitchen - or Bathroom - or Highway!

Remedy ? - keep the trap clear and the grille clear. If a roadside gulley / drain gets blocked water will accumulate or get diverted, usually to where it shouldn't.

To add a miniscule amount of humour to this otherwise serious subject - ONLY TWO OUT OF THE EIGHT BLOCKED ROADSIDE DRAINS I FOUND WERE MANUFACTURED BY GARTON AND KING LTD, the other six were unmarked.

HOWEVER - they were all in Devon but I am convinced this problem extends nationwide and is neglected by every Local Authority and in reality the cost of rectifying the damaged caused is far in excess of the cost of regular cleaning by that not so often seen Appliance - The Gulley Sucker. For the uninitiated I have attached an image of one!

My Thanks to Tim Pile, IT Manager, Whale Tankers Ltd, SOLIHULL for providing the 'In Action' image.

Tel: 0121 704 5700


Richard Holladay

March 2014

Clogged with straw
Even more clogged
Lots of leaves in this one.
Another Garton and King