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Alu7masc factory, Burton Latimer - as originally built (Sterling Metals) in 1942
The newly-built Sterling Metals factory, seen in an aerial shot from 1942

As the name of the firm implies, Alumasc specialises in the manufacture of goods made of the metal aluminium. Aluminium has many valuable qualities - it is light, strong, non-rusting, and easily transformable into many shapes and sizes via the casting and moulding process. In addition it has one further useful property. At a time when we are being encouraged to recycle more and more things in order to reduce our impact on the environment and our consumption of limited natural resources, aluminium is over 90% recyclable.

Alumasc started life as Sterling Metals - a factory built in 1941/42 to manufacture cases for incendiary bombs used in the Second World War, and having a mainly female workforce. The urgency of wartime made manufacturers look for ways to speed up the process in low pressure die casting of aluminium.

The Sterling meatls workforce c.1944
The Sterling Metals workforce - management & factory hands - c.1944
Some of the youing ladies in this photo had been drafted in from South Wales

At the end of the war, when the factory was no longer needed by the government, there was a management buy-out in partnership with A Strauss and Company, which formed the basis of the new company name. The expertise acquired in wartime was put to use in peacetime for the manufacture of goods for the commercial market.

Click here to read about the development of the firm

Click here to read Sue Humphrey's account of her time working in the office at Alumasc in the 1970s

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