After my Best of British food blog yesterday I want to tell you a bit about Great British Manufacturing which is part of my job role as AGA Brand Ambassador. AGA cookers, style icons of the UK, are made in Shropshire in the Coalbrookdale Foundry – the same one that Abraham Darby started the Industrial Revolution from by manufacturing cast iron with coke rather than charcoal. It was in this foundry that the famous Iron Bridge over the River Severn was cast in 1777.
Before that Darby was granted a patent from Queen Anne in 1707 on the basis that he made the manufacture of cast iron cooking pots the most efficient in the world. And that he did by making them thinner and lighter. Last week the original patent was found in the National Archives in Kew. Darby went on to cast many more items such as the Halfpenny Bridge over the River Liffy in Dublin and the gates for The Crystal Palace, which now have been re-located and stand proud as the gates to Kensington Gardens in London.
Last week I was at the AGA owned foundry in Ironbridge, Shropshire with some international guests. I’ve been to this foundry many times and the more I go the more fascinating I find it. Five minutes away one can see the Iron Bridge. What makes me proud is not only that the Industrial Revolution that changed the world started with a cooking pot, but that 300 years later AGA are sill manufacturing quality cast iron products from the Coalbrookdale Foundry for AGA Rangemaster. British manufacturing at its best! When I go into the foundry I always look at the molds and play the game of guess the cooker component! These handcrafted molds are pressed against sand for the castings to be poured into. Other chaps love cars, I love AGA cookers!
We have many things to celebrate this year as a country; 60 years for Her Majesty on the Throne, the Olympics in London and 90 years of the AGA cooker. (albeit originally invented in Sweden in 1922 but manufactured in the UK since 1935). Just have a look at this beautiful AGA Cookshop collection of products. In Royal Blue, Claret and White, all hand crafted in cast iron in the Coalborookdale Foundry – handcrafted in Shropshire. Prices start at £26.99
I have many of these pieces at home. They can be used on any cooker, including Induction and not just on AGA. They heat up very quickly and evenly and look beautiful. Dishwasher safe too!
I’m proud of the history I represent and that my client is still manufacturing both famous and excellent products in the UK. When the best is made in Britain, why buy anything else?