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6. Phoenix Foundry, c. 1900,6 East Street

The oldest operating foundry in Australia incorporates the original machinery, blacksmith's shop, black sand casting floor, and five thousand cedar pattern pieces. The buildings and contents are of national significance as an industrial site. It was established by Christopher Young (a German migrant who changed his name from Zung) who bought all the equipment from the late Henry Sheldon Goddard's bankrupt "New England Foundry" in Salisbury Street.  Les Young continued the family foundry business until 1976, which is why the whole precinct is still intact.

The Ural/a Times

Wednesday, June 4th, 1890

Henry S. Goddard's New England Foundry

Last Saturday we paid a visit to the New England Foundry, where we found everything lively, the machinery especially so. It is about 17 years ago since Mr. Goddard essayed to throw in his lot with us, and though possessing but slender monetry resources he has by his energy and by his indomitable British pluck built up an engineering establishment capable of turning out any machinery required either for mining, manufacturing, or agricultural purposes. At the present time the enterprising founder is making a five-head stamper battery for the Great Britain Gold-mining Co., Tilbuster. On Saturday we were shown a number of the castings, viz. -- cams, stampers, discs, and driving wheel -- and certainly we have no hesitation in saying that the quality of the work could not be surpassed anywhere, more particularly the driving wheel, which was an excellent piece of work, and does great credit to Mr. William Hunter, the foreman of the moulding department; it is indeed seldom such first-class workemen are found in country towns. Mr. Goddard has now some of the best artisans obtainable, notably Messrs. W. Hunter, W. Hardman, G. Fuller, E. Purkiss, J. Hare, and a number of others whose names we did not ascertain. The above workmen are those that have charge of the various departments in connection with the engineering department more...

 

HISTORY

3.1 Introduction

The town of Uralla today presents a positive image to the casual visitor, with its wide streets, well-treed parks and gardens, and an interesting range of historic buildings and sites. The town is justifiably proud of its historic foundry. This study, however, has been unable to sustain the oft-repeated claim that the foundry was established as early as 1872. This study has also revealed that a number of other claims made in existing popular and anecdotal histories regarding the foundry are somewhat inaccurate as to what and when various things happened. For this reason, the following brief history is carefully referenced, and the principal events are listed in a concise chronological summary in Section 3.6.

It seems as though Uralla has always been a proud town. In 1879, the Town and Country Journal's Traveling Reporter' described the village, which was then said to have had a population of about 400, as "a long straggling line of houses facing each other, across a street which is part of the main thoroughfare between Sydney and the northern and interior portion of the colony". Despite this rather disparaging description, the reporter also acknowledged that Uralla was "what is termed a rising town". "To hear Urallians talk", he observed, "it is the only place in the Australian colonies which has a grand future before it..." The writer continued: More....

 
3.3 Christopher Young and the Phoenix Foundry

After the death of Henry Goddard at the beginning of 1900, the business of the foundry and engineering works was carried on for a short period by H C Crapp, who had worked for some time for Goddard.41 But by the time Moore's NSW Almanac for the year 1902 had been published, C A Young was recorded as the operator of the New England Foundry and Engineering Works. For the previous twenty years or so, Christopher Andrew Young had carried on a blacksmith's business in Uralla. His 1928 Obituary in the local paper stated that Young had

purchased the plant and fixings of the New England Foundry, carried on for some years by the late Henry Goddard, and removed it to his premises in East street, and thence, with members of his family, carried on as founders and engineers under the name of C.A. Young & Co.42

Some local sources state that Young was a German migrant who had changed his name from Zung, but this claim is not supported by the informant who supplied details for Chris Young's Obituary in 1928, who said that he was "a Queensland native", or by the information on the birth registration of his son Jack in 1900, which states that Christopher was born in Brisbane. Regrettably, neither Young's place nor year of birth was given at the registration of his marriage in 1880. Perhaps it was Young's parents, Louis and Christina, who had migrated from Germany.

We are not sure exactly when Christopher Young came to Uralla. His 1928 Obituary stated that he had spent his early years in Tamworth. On October 13th, 1880, Young married Barbara Cooper, a wheelwright's daughter, in St Peters Cathedral, Armidale, and the marriage registration noted that his place of 'usual residence' at that time was Uralla.46 The birth of the Young's' first child, a son also named Christopher, was registered in Uralla hi 1881.47 Young appears in the electoral roll for the state seat of New England for the first time in 1881-82. He is shown as a "leaseholder", and his given name is shown as "Christian".48 Young is reported to have taken over a blacksmith's business operated by B J Smith in a building located in Bridge Street on the site of the present-day tourist information office.49 The first Rate Book for Uralla Municipal Council, made up in 1882, shows Young as the occupier of a smith's shop and dwelling on this site, which was then owned by D Davidson.50 It seems unlikely that Young established a business in Uralla much before late 1880, otherwise he would probably have been picked up in Sands 1881-82 Country Directory, which does not list him. More...