Statuary 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

At the suggestion of Sir William Bull, three leading London sculptors, Alfred Drury, Onslow Ford and Hamo Thornycroft, invited Singer to a meeting where they suggested he build a foundry to cast statues. He could not resist this challenge and built a new and well equipped foundry. Heavy duty cranes were installed for moving the enormous moulds and castings, and two cupolas were set up for melting metal. This allowed for an expansion of the existing sand casting methods, and provided space to introduce the lost wax, or cire perdue, process, then only known in Europe. Having travelled in Europe he brought some Flemish workers back to teach his employees the process.

One of the first statues cast was a copy of General Gordon riding a camel in London, for Melbourne, Australia, and the mounting shop was long known as the Camel Shed. Of the famous castings was the Boadicea Group on the Embankment and King Alfred at Winchester.  Work is also found in India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

When a statue was finished, the whole town would line the streets from Cork Street to the railway station.  Men would spend hours throwing buckets of sawdust on Bath Street, so that the horses which would pull the statue uphill would not slip.  As the statue was conducted on its way, the crowd would cheer, wave and clap and throw their hats in the air.

The last castings were mostly soldiers for First World War memorials.  The statue of Charlie Robbins, an employee, was moved to the forecourt of the Frome Memorial Theatre in August 2014.