Saturday, 31 July 2010

Tapping the salamander - last days of steel on Teesside

File:Redcar Steelworks at Night.jpg

Some of you might know I'm originally from Stockton-on-Tees, where both sides of my family moved from Staffordshire c. 1900, drawn there by the steel industry. So I have been following the shutting down of the industry on Teesside with interest and a gloomy feeling.

Tonight, there was a very interesting programme on Radio 4 - Redcar: Made of Steel - click here It looks like the programme may not be available on the iPlayer, but you can catch a repeat on Monday afternoon.

A large chunk of the programme featured Craig Hornby, who made "A Century in Stone". Check out his website, and the interesting features re the film.

The BOS plant and the furnace that opened in the late 1970s, mentioned in the programme, were both projects my dad worked on. Before he retired nearly 20 years ago, he was a mechanical design engineer specialising in the cooling systems for the blast furnace hoods. We went on a tour of the BOS plant when I came back from Japan in 1992 and it was so interesting seeing the power of a steel furnace in production. I managed to catch him just before tonight's programme and he phoned afterwards, so I'm passing on his recommendation to listen!

More links & viewpoints here -

Teesside Steelworks (Wikipedia) (source of the above image)

Redcar (Wikipedia)

Article with images

Ramble On blog

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