History

William Barr arrived in Melbourne from Liverpool. A letter cutter and monumental mason by trade established himself and a family of eight sons and three daughters.

He impressed on his family the beauty of engraved letters, as his father had done before him. Fortunately the Barr brothers were to experience a long apprenticeship as William nurtured in them a love of craft that he had also learned as a guildsman in England.

When the eldest brother, W. E. Barr returned from World War 1 he went into partnership with his younger brother and formed W. E. and N. J. Barr General Engravers, located in the heart of Melbourne. Following the family tradition, Keith Barr was apprenticed to the firm in 1920, followed by James Barr in 1932.

Having developed competence in their craft, K. W. and R. J. Barr initiated their own business in 1940 as K & R Barr General Engravers and Metal Workers. This became the foundation of a business producing the nation’s finest bronze memorial work.

During difficult times of World War II the business produced for the war effort, ships precisions gauges and dials. In 1943 the business moved to larger premises, still in the heart of Melbourne and the company name was changed to Arrow Engraving. At the close of the War, the experience gained led the Barr brothers to return to lettering in the form of cast bronze.

In 1957 Arrow Engraving moved to Malvern where many improvements were made in the pattern making and overall casting processes. Refinements were introduced according to advances in technology and these made for an even better product.

In 1973 Arrow had outgrown its premises in Malvern and in April the same year moved to Cheltenham, where under the new name of Arrow Bronze we stayed until 2009. Arrow Bronze is now located in modern premises in Dandenong South where the tradition of memorial products and services of the highest quality continues.