One of a series of photographs taken during the period of the second World War. George Cohen Sons & Co. Ltd., known at the time as the 'firm of 600', had a depot in Town Street. The business began in 1843 when George Cohen opened a scrap and ship-building business in the south of England. In 1876 it relocated to 600 Commercial Road in East London and the address eventually became part of the name. This depot opened in 1929 on premises and land previously occupied by John Butler & co. Ltd., Iron roof manufacturers, between 118 and 126 Town Street. The image shows two employees heading a 5.5" gun howitser shell in a 200 ton Hydraulic Press. Between 1939 and 1945 bombs and shells were manufactured here by a workforce of over 350. The depot was on the decline 1987 when it closed down partly due to the expense of running and mantaining old buildings. By the the workforce had dwindled to 19. However, George Cohen Sons & Co. Ltd. had registered as the '600 Group Ltd' in 1975 and has evolved into the largest machine tool company in the U.K. Many manufacturing companies are part of the group including Colchester Lathes, T.S. Harrison, Crawford Collets, Electrox, Garnet Bearings and Pratt Burnerd International.