Meet the Halifax firm repairing the roof of the Houses of Parliament with brake discs

A Halifax company is making repairs the roof of the Houses of Parliament -- using tiles made from BRAKE DISCS. (SWNS)
A Halifax company is making repairs the roof of the Houses of Parliament -- using tiles made from BRAKE DISCS. (SWNS)

A Halifax foundry boss who works with Angel of the North sculptor is helping repair the roof of the Houses of Parliament -- using tiles made from BRAKE DISCS.

Michael Hinchcliffe, 59, and his team are supplying tiles, pillars and columns made of cast iron to repair 10% of the iconic roof - which was last replaced over 150 years ago.

His company supplies the products sourced from scrapyards which include brake discs - a component that makes up over a third of the finished product.

Cast iron roof tiles supported by wrought iron were installed on some parts of roofing at the House of Parliament in the mid-1800s and are now being replaced.

Hargreaves Foundry, in Halifax,, have sourced and supplied items for London landmarks including Buckingham Palace in the past.

The firm was featured on an episode of 'Scraps Kings' - shown on Quest TV every Tuesday at 9pm.

Michael says the project - which has been running for the past three years - has been the biggest achievement for his iron foundry business set up 43 years ago.

He said: "We need a very high grade of scrap to turn into the products and brake discs are perfect.

"When cars are scrapped at the yard, the brake discs are removed and graded before being sold on.

"They are one of the most valuable elements as the standard of scrap is so high.

"We then turn them into the different products needed for the new roof."

The roof is in the process of being completely renovated, with around 10% of the square footage being supplied by the company.

Michael believes the high standard of products his company have provided should be sustainable for an extremely long time.

He added: "The last roof has only just been changed after 160 years but I really believe the repair work could easily last for 260 years this time.

"The efforts of my team and the high standards of the components should last.

"The fact the roof has only just been replaced is testament to the durability of cast iron."

Michael's company also recycle segments of the old roof into the new products.

He said: "Around 10 to 15 per cent of the new products we supply are made from the previous cast iron work on the roof which is sent to us to replicate.

"I think it is sentimental to include the old roof too, it is important archaeologically."

Michael said the contract to help supply products for the Houses of Parliament shows a huge turnaround in the fortune of the industry.

He said: "In the 1980s there were over 3000 foundries in Britain.

"Now, we are one of only 50 still surviving.

"It was about being entrepreneurial and thinking outside the box.

"Our main product is drainage systems but we have worked on Edinburgh Castle and Buckingham Palace recently too.

"The project is around a third of our workload and has transformed the business."

Michael, who has worked with esteemed artist Anthony Gormley in the past, said he can't wait to see the finished product.

He added: "The estimation is that the tent will be taken off the roof on our section around New Year's Eve.

"I am planning to go down with the team to see the work in reality.

"I can't wait, I am so proud our company has helped to repair one of the most iconic buildings in the world."