Historic Ironbark foundry site set to be sold

THE Osborne Foundry site in Ironbark is likely to be sold after it has been cleared. 

Built in 1872, the dilapidated building is scheduled for demolition later this month. 

Lance Osborne owns the site with three other family members and said the two-acre block could be quite valuable. 

“It will be sad to see it go,” he said. “But it’s one of the necessities; it’s got to be made safe.

“There are white ants in there and given enough time it will all fall down eventually. It’s in a bad state.”

Mr Osborne said the wood was rotten and the supports broken and cracked. 

“We’re hopefully going to demolish at the end of this month,” he said. “I don’t know who’s going to purchase it, so it could become anything.”

According to Mr Osborne, the business had about a dozen employees at its peak. 

“I actually worked there when I was a kid, I did my apprenticeship as a blacksmith and welder,” he said. “Towards the end in about the year 2000, there were only two left. 

“As modern technology took over the trade tended to die out. It’s all computerised these days... those boys weren’t computerised.” 

The foundry created a range of metal products, including farm ploughs, and some of the machinery is still inside the building. 

“The Bendigo Trust has started removing some of the smaller things already,” Mr Osborne said. “There’s a blacksmith forge, furnaces, pulleys, drill stands and a plethora of tools.

“How quick we demolish it depends on how quick The Bendigo Trust can remove all of that.”

In 2007 repair costs were estimated at $866,000, which Mr Osborne said would have increased. 

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