William Anthony Herring was the third generation of the Herring family to run their successful ironmonger and foundry business in Chertsey. His grandfather Anthony Herring founded the business by 1814 and his father, William, expanded the firm in its Gogmore Lane location. The family lived at Burley Orchard, which still survives today.
William Anthony joined the family business as a partner in 1867. The period that followed was the heyday of the Herring’s business, and by 1871 the firm employed a workforce of over 130 men. He acquired 117 Guildford Street as an additional showroom in 1886. The property behind the shop comprised the foundry, a drawing office, pattern shop and machine room.
Under William Anthony Herring’s leadership the business thrived. He was an able manager and displayed a genuine concern for his workforce, which he illustrated by reducing their working hours. He was a prominent and philanthropic member of the Chertsey Society contributing to a number of public causes. He gave to the All Saints Church building fund and provided St Peter’s Church with its heating and tower clock.
After William Anthony Herring’s death in 1901, the foundry continued under the management of executors for a further 28 years. From 1929 the business changed hands a number of times until it finally closed in 1982.