David Burnett, the director of Wiltshire-based distributor, Fulcrum Commercial Kitchens, has discovered 60-year-old ashtrays that were cast at the same foundry used by Falcon Foodservice Equipment.
The Allied Ironfounders forge in Falkirk was acquired by Glynwed in the late 60’s and was the same forge where Falcon (the Falkirk Iron Co.) made its pan supports and other cast iron components for many years.
Burnett reminisced: “I came into this industry in 1987, leaving the Meteorological Office and to join my Dad, John Burnett, as a (very) junior draughtsman – at the time, his small company Catervent was supplying the new kitchens at the Holiday Inn hotel in Plymouth.
“Many years prior to starting up Catervent, Dad was head of the drawing office at Allied Ironfounders in Dering Street, London, in charge of a whole floor of designers working at drawing boards with ink and tracing paper. His brother Ray managed the service department on the floor below.
“I can vividly remember being 7 or 8 years old and the excitement of ‘going to work with Dad’ – I’d sit in his office all day, drawing on scraps of trace paper with scale rules and curve templates.”
He continued: “This was the late 60’s and in those days many smoked in the office, including my Dad. A few drawing office relics survived after my Dad died in 2006 – impeccably sharpened Steadtler pencils, wonderfully engineered wooden scale rules, Rotring pens and packs of well-used Wilkinson Sword razor blades used to scratch out mistakes – but recently the ashtrays unexpected surfaced.
“They could do with some restoration and probably need a better home but it will be difficult to part with them – especially with Dad’s memory in my head and the fact that, although I didn’t know it at the time sat in Dad’s office, I was destined to work in this industry for the next 35 years.”