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FRODINGHAM ironstone is rich in lime – one constituent being the fossil oyster gryphaea, sometimes known as Devil’s Toenail, which featured in the Scunthorpe borough coat of arms. Although the local ore field was the subject of some Roman workings, in 1859 it was rediscovered. Here’s some significant dates from the last 150 years of ironmaking in North Lincolnshire:


Rediscovery of ironstone on land to the east of Scunthorpe by Charles Winn while on a shooting party. Work starts on the Trent, Ancholme and Grimsby Railway which by May 1866 had been extended to link with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway line at Barnetby and the South Yorkshire Railway at Althorpe.


July: First iron ore mined in Scunthorpe area by the Dawes brothers of Elsecar. Ore was transported by horse and cart to the River Trent.


May: Opening of Rail bridge over the River Trent and subsequent establishment of railway stations including Scunthorpe and Frodingham. March 26: The first furnace was blown-in at Scunthorpe’s first ironworks the Trent Ironworks. The works, built by George and William Dawes, were blown up in 1935. Building of Frodingham Ironworks starts.


May: First furnace blown at Frodingham Ironworks, the second to be built in Scunthorpe. The first furnace was later destroyed in an explosion. Frodingham National School built by Rowland Winn.


North Lincoln Ironworks built. It was on the site of the later Appleby Coke Ovens and closed in 1930.


Open topped furnaces introduced at the two Frodingham blast furnaces. Official opening of Frodingham School. Scunthorpe and Frodingham Railway Station was decorated to welcome the return of Rowland Winn on his return from a successful law-suit over the ownership of Brumby East Common.


HE 150th anniversary of the beginning of ironmaking in Scunthorpe is now being celebrated – a massive milestone for North Lincolnshire. The part played by 150 years of ironmaking cannot be overestimated. Scunthorpe is no longer a one industry town employing the best part of 18,000 people, but it continues to rely heavily on iron and steel. Integrated iron and steelmaking complexes have long since disappeared in many other parts of the UK. But Scunthorpe is still going strong a century and a half after it all began. It was during spring 1864 that George and William Dawes started producing blast furnace iron at the newly-built Trent works in the town. Within a dozen years there were six firms and more than 20 blastfurnaces lighting up the skies over Scunthorpe. Steelmaking began in 1890, refining the locally made metal into something more valuable than pig iron. Iron-making these days in Scunthorpe is in the safe hands of Dave Collins who is currently overseeing the rebuild of the town’s 60-year-old Queen Bess blast fur nace. Mr Collins said: “Iron-making in Scunthorpe has been a journey. A journey of discovery which has seen great leaps in technology, in safety and in processes.

Scunthorpe is well-known because of its steelworks and I’m sure this will be the case for many years to come. It plays a great part in the local economy Nic Dakin

“This is a journey which continues today and, I am sure, will continue for many years to come. “When the first blast furnace was tapped in 1864 it cost around £260 in today’s money to produce a ton of iron. “Well, 150 years later we can do it for less than half that thanks to the hard work of generations of iron-makers who came to Scunthorpe, made it their home and added to the collective knowledge of great iron-making. “I am very proud to be part of what is really a very short history which has helped create the modern world we live in today. “People often ask what the Scunthorpe ironworks must have been like in its ‘heyday’. Well I feel now – the 150th anniversary of blast furnace iron-making – is the heyday. “At no point in the last 150 years have we been able to produce so much iron, with such precision and in such safety. “That is a real heyday, and it is something I am delighted to be a part of and I know everyone here at Tata Steel is proud of too. “While blast furnace iron-making was brought to Scunthorpe by George Dawes in 1864, it was not long before he was followed by other Victorian iron-makers keen to cash in on the growing demand for iron.


Town Hall provided in New Frodingham, would later serve as cottage hospital and library.


Redbourn Ironworks started production as the Redbourn Hill Iron and Coal Company.

KEEPER: William Dixon, keeper at Trent ironworks, Scunthorpe, getting ready to tap into a pig bed about 1910

Ironmaking in going strong 150 “By 1876 there were six separate iron companies operating 23 blast furnaces within a one mile radius. By that time the pace of innovation was already picking up and these early blast furnaces were each capable of producing around 20 tons of iron a day. “The introduction in 1904 of the first mechanically-charged furnace, which was also equipped for the first time with a steel hearth jacket, tuyeres fabricated from copper and the first revolving distributor, saw a steep change in how much iron could be made. “By then a blast furnace could produce about 1,000 tonnes of iron a week. By 1964 that had shot up to more than 9,000 tonnes a week. Today? Well today Queen Victoria can produce

People often ask what the Scunthorpe ironworks must have been like in its ‘heyday’. Well I feel now – the 150th anniversary of blast furnace iron-making – is the heyday Dave Collins

30,000 tonnes of iron a week using less coke than ever before. “And what we have achieved has only been made possible by the lessons we have learned from those men and women who have been making iron in Scunthorpe for the last 150 years.

“The safety and health of all our employees is our number one priority. We have developed safety performance in line with output and there has not been a lost time injury at the blast furnaces for more than eight years. “However, over the generations people have given their lives during the making of iron and steel in the town. “It is important we remember them and their families.” Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin has called for the fundraising to be stepped up so a special £30,000 commemorative statue to the town’s steelworkers can be erected in Church Square during the anniversary year. Mr Dakin said: “I hope that the 150th anniversary gives further impetus to the efforts to erect a memorial to steel



The Lincolnshire Iron and Smelting Works Co starts production.


Appleby Iron Co formed.


Appleby Ironworks at Santon blow in first blast furnaces. The works was taken over by the Frodingham Iron and Steel co in 1912. It later became North Ironworks of Appleby Frodingham.


Joseph Cliff dies leaving Frodingham Ironworks to his five sons.


Ironstone workings between Frodingham village and Brigg Road, worked out.


Lincolnshire Iron and Smelting Co bought by Redbourn Hill Iron and Coal Co and renamed Lindsey Ironworks.


Small foundry near Trent Works, known as Nibblem Clink acquired by Frodingham Ironworks.


Second Scunthorpe Railway Station opened on the Doncaster Grimsby Line about where Brigg Road Bridge is today. Scunthorpe’s Station Hotel also opened.

Scunthorpe is still years after it began workers in the town. “Scunthorpe is built on steel. Everyone I meet locally is extremely proud of this heritage. “It is amazing that wherever you go in the world you will see Scunthorpe steel – an essential part of the global economy. “We have a fantastic record of producing the very highest quality steel and I know that all those working in the industry today are committed to building on the success of the past to ensure a successful future. “Only last year the Scunthorpe works delivered a million tonnes of rail in its contract with Network Rail. Since then the future contract has been won which is a massive vote of confidence in Scunthorpe steel and

Scunthorpe steelworkers.” North Lincolnshire Council leader Councillor Liz Redfern said: “It is great to see this fantastic milestone being celebrated. “The steel making industry in Scunthorpe is a major part of the town’s history. “It was and still is a big part of many people’s lives in North Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas. It has had a huge impact on the area as a whole with many people relying on the industry to support their families. “One hundred and 50 years on and the industry is still going strong in the area. Scunthorpe is well-known because of its steelworks and I’m sure this will be the case for many years to come. It plays a great part in the local economy.”

HISTORIC: The Yankee furnace at Frodingham Iron works where the British Steel administration block is now. Main picture: Early Frodingham ironworkers


Station Hotel built opposite Frodingham Ironworks. It was demolished in May 1958. Cliff brothers of Frodingham Ironworks decide to build a steelmaking plant. Austrian engineer Maximilian Mannaberg, pictured, appointed general manager at the Frodingham Ironworks. He was to be responsible for introducing open hearth steelmaking to Scunthorpe.


March 21: First steel in district made at Frodingham Iron and Steelworks.


St John the Evangelist Church built in Scunthorpe. It was donated to the town by Lord St Oswald. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

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December 2: Strike by steel and ironworkers broken by employers acting together through the Lincolnshire Iron Masters’ Association.


August 10: The foundation stone for Scunthorpe’s first library in High Street East (then Station Road) was laid by Joseph Cliff, one of the pioneers of iron ore extraction in Scunthorpe who established the Frodingham Iron Company. Joseph Cliff had donated the site for the library.


First mechanically charged blast-furnace in Europe commissioned at Frodingham Iron and Steelworks to an American design. The existing practice had been to tip material into the furnace by men with barrows. Lindsey Ironworks demolished.


April 15: Scunthorpe Blast furnace men started five week strike over union recognition, bonus payments and plans to cut wages. It was led by Henry Nixon, a full time officer of the National Federation of Blastfurnacemen. The strike ended with the union being recognised. Arthur Squire Charlesworth, landlord of the Oswald Hotel, distributed bread to strikers. He moved from Cleckheaton to Scunthorpe in 1894. The strike ended on May 10.


Construction started on John Lysaght’s Normanby Park Iron and Steelworks.


John Lysaght’s Works Scunthorpe blast furnaces blown in. The complex was connected to the main railway network by Dragonby sidings. The national coal strike bankrupts Appleby Iron Co which is taken over in June by the Frodingham Iron and Steel co in partnership with the Steel Co of Scotland.


Enterprise bus co established by Charles Chatburn, a foreman at Frodingham Ironworks.


January 16: Zeppelin attack on Scunthorpe and the Ironworks. It stayed eight and a half minutes dropping 20 high explosive bombs.


Redbourn Hill Iron and Coal Co taken over by Richard Thomas and Co which later became Richard Thomas and Baldwin.


Appleby Iron Co is bought out and merged with Frodingham Iron and Steel Co Ltd to become Appleby Frodingham Iron and Steel Co Ltd. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

WORK FORCE: Dawes Trent Iron's work force in 1880

Century of ironmaking at Redbourn ended in 1979 A

LTHOUGH Scunthorpe had more than 20 blastfurnaces on the go in the 1870s, bigger was definitely better. Over the decades that followed the furnaces got larger and produced much more iron, meaning fewer were required. For the best part of the 20th century the furnaces were on three main sites – Appleby-Frodingham, Redbourn and Normanby Park (Lysaght’s). Sadly, cutbacks by the British Steel Corporation meant that ironmaking at Redbourn ended in the late 1970s, with Normanby Park following suit just a few years later. A century of ironmaking at Redbourn ended in October 1979 when No 2 blastfurnace made its last cast. The moment was watched with great sadness by former production men, engineers and managers who went along from other areas of the Scunthorpe works complex, chiefly Appleby-Frodingham and Normanby Park. No 2 furnace was built in 1951/2 to replace two hand-charged ones which had stood on the site since 1875. Two sister furnaces had already closed. Redbourn No 4, built in 1919, had made its last iron in 1977, while No 3, dating from 1909, finished in September 1979. After making its last iron, the furnace was emptied, the gas main purged and water drained out of the system. Iron and steelmaking came to an end at Normanby Park works on February 25, 1981. Despite nationalisation and the formation of the giant Scunthorpe works,

Normanby Park, even on the day of closure, was still known as Lysaght’s to the majority of people in Scunthorpe and district. The decision to build the new works at Scunthorpe came about as a result of John Lysaght’s Orb works, Newport, needing larger and readier supplies of semi-finished steel for the production of sheet. Scunthorpe was chosen for its proximity to the North Lincolnshire ore bed, the accessibility of the South Yorkshire coalfield, and the presence of the navigable waters of the Trent. Construction began in 1910 on three blastfurnaces, two coke oven batteries, four 45-ton open hearth furnaces, and one 300-ton mixer, a 36-inch blooming mill and a 32-inch finishing mill. The cutbacks of the late 1970s and early 1980s also saw the ending of an era in ironstone mining. Mines close to Scunthorpe, which provided low grade iron ore, were shut and the furnaces supplied solely by the import of ore from abroad with a much higher metal content. When ironstone mining began in the Scunthorpe area during Queen Victoria’s reign, much of the work was done by pick, shovel and wheelbarrow – with assistance from steam navvies. By the mid-20th century, giant draglines were to be found in the mines, taking huge “bites” of ironstone. But it was not all opencast working – the Scunthorpe steel industry also had some underground workings, through which it was possible to drive a Land Rover!

FURNACES: Above, a picture of the old Trent Ironworks, thought to have been taken about 1879, showing the type of all-steel cased blast furnaces in use. Left, the building of Trent Ironworks, Scunthorpe, in 1865


‘We are proud to be part of the 150-year history of ironmaking’ A

SCUNTHORPE firm is hoping ironmaking in the town continues to flourish into the future. Site Service Engineering, based on Woodhouse Road, provides a variety of services to the iron and steel industry in North Lincolnshire and beyond. The company is part of the Stocks Group, which provides integrated engineering solutions to business and commerce across the country.

We have been running for 20 years’ supplying services to the steelworks – and are proud to do so Chris Claypole

VARIETY OF SERVICES: Steel fabrication by a worker at Site Service Engineering

Chris Claypole, managing director of Site Service, said: “We have been running for 20 years’ supplying services to the steelworks – and are proud to do so. “We specialise in structural, mechanical and pipework

BESPOKE DESIGNS: Pipework carried out by Site Service Engineering engineering. We work through the Lincolnshire and Humber region.” Mr Claypole said the firm supplied day work labour 52 weeks per year. This includes welders, mechanical fitters, platers and

pipe fitters. It offers bespoke design, fabrication and installation of structural steelwork, pipe work, plate and ductwork. Mr Claypole said he was pleased to have played a part in the town’s ironmaking story.

He said: “We are proud to be part of the 150-year history of ironmaking in Scunthorpe and hope it continues. “It has provided employment to companies like ours and many others.”

DESIGN, FABRICATION AND INSTALLATION OF STRUCTURAL, PIPEWORK AND MECHANICAL PROJECTS. SPECIALIST WELDING. TCB BOLTING. Site Service Engineering specialises in the fields of structural, pipework and mechanical engineering and providing quality contract trade labour to a wide variety of industries. With over 20 years experience, Site Service work with a range of major clients in the steel, petrochemical, oil and chemical industries throughout the UK. Employing over 200 skilled workers and with an integrated, well-equipped workshop, Site Service is capable of handling projects of any capacity. Our commitment and attention to detail is what makes Site Service Engineering stand out from our competitors.

Site Service Engineering Limited 18 Woodhouse Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN16 1BD


01724 28181 11

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W:22.664cm H:13.2095cm

New gas works in Dawes Lane start operating.


Redbourn Hill Iron and Coal Co Ltd wound up.


Non profit-making coal club formed at John Lysaght’s steelworks, Scunthorpe, to supply members with cheaper coal.


The men who mastered art of ironmaking

October 26: The Duke of Kent, Prince George, opened the War memorial Hospital nurses home and the Scunthorpe Kingsway, Queensway bypass road then part of the Doncaster-Grimsby trunk road. He also visited Lysaght’s Normanby Park Works and Appleby Frodingham.


The Appleby and Frodingham steelworks fully amalgamated to become Appleby Frodingham Steel Co Ltd.


Trent Ironworks scrapped CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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HE men who have worked at Scunthorpe’s blast furnaces down the decades have toiled long and hard. Conditions have improved out of all recognition since the early days when protective clothing and safety measures around the furnaces were few and far between. Scunthorpe ironmakers

initially honed their craft by learning best practices on the job, from other more senior workers. However, with time, various qualifications were introduced to raise standards of ironmaking practice. In the early days there was little in the way of sample testing to monitor how a furnace was operating; much was down to the skill and

ON HAND: Hand charging furnaces at Appleby-Frodingham in the early 1950s, just before this came to an end

experience of those in charge. Many people will be surprised to know the practice of hand-charging furnaces with ironstone, using giant barrows, continued as late as 1950. This was very difficult work and there was a knack to it. It was not always the biggest and strongest men who mastered the art.

DIFFICULT WORK: Hand charging barrows used for charging furnaces at the Frodingham Iron and Steel Company in the 1890s. The barrows were filled with coke and iron ore and hoisted to the top of the 75ft furnace and then emptied into the open top furnaces


We’re training next generation of steelworkers with apprenticeships A

TRAINING: HETA apprentice Samantha Coolledge, training at the company’s Hull site

S IRONMAKING in Scunthorpe marks its 150th anniversary, one company is very much focused on the future of the industry. The Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) has trained apprentices for the Tata Steel works for around six years. It also supplies training to apprentices from other engineering-based industries. James McIntosh, the organisation’s business and marketing manager, said: “We do 50 to 60 Tata apprentices a year, so some have now finished their apprenticeship and are working on the site. “Others are still working through their apprenticeship. “We have also just bought our own site in Scunthorpe on the Foxhills Industrial Estate and it will open in July for the first cohort to start in September. “We are looking for companies to come and

recruit apprentices from us. “Training for Tata Steel has put us in good stead and that is the backbone of our business in Scunthorpe. “We train about 100 apprentices a year on the south bank of the Humber for big-budget companies and smaller manufacturing firms as well.” Mr McIntosh said he thought it was a “fantastic” achievement to reach 150 years of ironmaking in Scunthorpe. He said: “What was interesting for us when we moved to the area was the way Scunthorpe has developed around the steelworks. “If it wasn’t for the steelworks, there wouldn’t be the employment or the people in Scunthorpe that there are now. “It plays a big part in the area and there is no reason ironmaking can’t get to 200 years and further beyond that.”

‘FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT’: James McIntosh, HETA’s business and marketing manager

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Celebrating 150 years of iron an

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, writes

ONE hundred and 50 years of Ironmaking in Scunthorpe is truly worthy of celebration for all the gainful employment and prosperity that the industry has brought to the town.

Community and its predecessor unions, particularly the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC), have been proud to represent Scunthorpe's iron and steel workers for most of the past 150 years. Trade union organisation was yet to be decriminalised in 1864 and it wasn't until steelmaking arrived in Scunthorpe that some of Community's original members joined together in the Steel Smelters' Union. Building that collective organisation we have been able to create a safer, more productive steel industry and made sure that our members have had a share of the success. From the early struggles to get a premium rate for working on Sundays to the annual debates over productivity and bonus, the role of the union in increasing the prosperity of the workforce and consequently of North Lincolnshire has been ever-present. We've faced our challenges through the years in a cyclical industry. Scunthorpe's iron and steelworkers

have been through amalgamation, nationalisation, privatisation and globalisation. If you had told George and William Dawes in 1864 that Scunthorpe ironmaking would eventually have an Indian company owning and investing in the business, which is run by a German, they never would have believed you. During those 150 years there have been hard times, not least the steel strike in 1980 - three months of hardship and struggle that tested every steelworker, their families and the wider community. We've also seen thousands of job losses over that time as a result of new methods of producing steel and increased productivity and capacity in the industry. The union has been with our members through all these changes, getting them the best deal, defending their pension to give them secure retirement and, where necessary, providing support or training to help them ďŹ nd new employment. Working together we've succeeded

nd steel making in Scunthorpe

“We want the chance

to celebrate many more milestones in the history of iron and steel making in Scunthorpe.


in keeping steel making in Scunthorpe. As the industry and the world around steel has changed, so too has the union. But we have always remained close to our members and rooted in the communities that we represent. Those men and women on the Scunthorpe site who have volunteered to be union representatives, both direct employees and contractors, have been the backbone of the union and remain so today. They have been the ones on the frontline, providing representation and negotiating for a better deal. It's union representatives that have also been at the forefront of making the steel industry a safer place to work. One hundred and 50 years ago was a dangerous time to work in the industry. Today, health and safety is a priority for Tata Steel, which is reinforced by a network of active health and safety union reps. Community, as our name suggests, has also recognised the need to be active in the wider community. That's why it's local Community reps who have been leading fundraising efforts for the food bank based at Scunthorpe Baptist Church. Our members have responded positively to the appeal,

raising thousands of pounds and clocking up hours of volunteering, working in partnership with the local charity.

This spirit of partnership runs through what Community does as a union. Where we can, we work with employers such as Tata Steel or the contractor companies. It's not always an easy option and there are plenty of examples where we have had our disagreements. Nevertheless, we do believe we can achieve more by working together than against each other. This will be important in overcoming the challenges that lie ahead. Steel has always been a global industry. Steel made in Scunthorpe continues to be shipped around the world. But now much of the world can also make some of its own steel. So today, our focus is on ensuring that Scunthorpe steel has a chance to compete. This is why Community has

consistently called for an active industrial policy that recognises the importance of foundation industries, like steel, on which the rest of our manufacturing and construction is based. We want to see the government take immediate action on industrial energy costs, which are almost 60% higher in Scunthorpe than they are in a competitor country like Germany. We want recognition that steel is part of the solution to climate change not part of the problem. After all, you can't make a wind turbine without steel. Finally, we want public procurement to support steel in Scunthorpe. There are some fantastic opportunities ahead for Scunthorpe steel not least HS2 rail and the offshore wind developments on Humberside. Community will be working to make sure that those opportunities are part of securing a sustainable future for steel making in Scunthorpe. Community will continue to work in the best interests of both direct and contract workers in the steel industry. We want the chance to celebrate many more milestones in the history of iron and steel making in Scunthorpe.

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January 1: The British Iron and Steel and Kindred Trades Confederation concludes national agreement reducing the working week from 56 hours to 48 hours including short meal breaks.


Building of South Iron Works started. Frodingham Ironstone Mines started a drift near Appleby. Appleby Ironworks becomes known as the North Ironworks of Appleby Frodingham.


Queen Bess and Queen Mary blast furnaces blown in, although originally described by numbers rather than names. First underground drift mine of Frodingham Ironstone Mines opened.


August 1: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) visited Lysaght’s Normanby Park and Appleby-Frodingham Works.


The last hand-charged blast furnace is demolished at the Redbourn steelworks.


Appleby-Frodingham commissions new Queen Anne and Queen Victoria furnaces to join Queen Mary and Queen Bess.


June 27: Model Traffic Area in Laneham Street, Scunthorpe, opened by HM the Queen. It was designed to train youngsters in cycling Proficiency. The Queen also visited Appleby Frodingham Steelworks and North Lindsey Technical College. A new pioneering cantilever stand was built with Scunthorpe steel to replace the old East Stand which was destroyed by fire on March 17. Winterton mine opened up to supply ironstone to the Redbourn steelworks. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Memories of mining days live on D

AYS of underground ore mining in Scunthorpe were consigned to history with the import of higher grade ores from abroad. But recollections of mining days live on. Ironstone in the Scunthorpe area was originally extracted

by removing topsoil and other materials which covered the bed of ironstone. A shaft for the development of the deep mine at Santon was sunk in 1938 and iron ore was extracted through to 1981 when it was closed. To open up the deep mine, men with experience elsewhere were brought into Scunthorpe by the company which was still in the hands of the Winn family. One of the most difficult aspects of opening-up underground was that it was an entirely new field compared with above ground workings with the need to deal with difficulties of supporting the roof and the sides of workings. Development of the mine with its board and pillar galleries was stalled in the early 1940s by the decision of the Home Ore Department, a division of the Ministry of Labour to transfer all but a

few of the men to a producing mine in Northamptonshire, which they felt was more productive. Some of the men transferred were unhappy with their living conditions and wages and returned to Scunthorpe only for the ministry to successfully bring criminal charges against them for leaving their place of work! Until the war ended, the work on opening up the mine therefore came to a halt. In the post-war years intensive preparations for putting the mine on a permanent production basis commenced. The recruitment of about two dozen European voluntary workers, trained by the nucleus of men who had been retained as caretakers, together with the ordering of the first units of plant for intensive mechanised mining facilitated the process of getting the mine operational.

UNDERGROUND AT SANTON: Pictures featured in Underground at Santon which gives a brief history of the first 20 years of Winn’s underground ironstone mine, from 1938 to 1958. Below, underground mining for ironstone at Dragonby mine which began in 1948


125 years of representing iron workers T

ACHIEVEMENT: Nigel Freear, Tata site convener for the GMB’s Scunthorpe branch

RADE union GMB has recognised the achievement of reaching 150 years of ironmaking in Scunthorpe. Nigel Freear, site convener for the union’s Scunthorpe Tec branch, said: “It is a big thing, especially considering the present economic climate. “I think we are doing quite well to be able to survive under the circumstances.” Mr Freear has been in his role for seven years at the branch, which has around 250 members employed by Tata Steel. The GMB dates back to March 1889 and the union as it is today

was formed through a series of mergers. The last of them happened in 1982 and saw it become known as the General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union. The initials of the first three words became the union’s current identity. Mr Freear said: “It was previously a crafts union until becoming a general union. “Our area is predominantly structural craft-based. “It is predominantly based in the steel workshops in Scunthorpe, although we do have an outside site gang.” Mr Freear emphasised the



David Hulse E: T: 07971266157

Nigel Freear E: T: 0774982665

importance of the iron and steel industry to Scunthorpe. He said: “If the steelworks in Scunthorpe were to disappear for whatever reason, it would have a similar impact to how the mining community went in the 1970s.” But he said he could see a bright future for ironmaking in the town and hoped it would continue for another 150 years. He said: “Nowadays, the primary concern is the market conditions and everybody is struggling, especially the steel industry. “It is an ongoing thing and it will be a continual fight for the company and the unions to maintain.”

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Nationalisation of the steel industry. One of the first acts of the new British Steel Corporation is to approve the giant new Anchor steelworks development in Scunthorpe.


Redbourn and Appleby-Frodingham steelworks merge.


Steelmaking ceases at Redbourn. The Queen visits Anchor works.


November 4: An explosion centred on a molten iron carrying torpedo ladle claims 11 lives in the Queen Victoria blast furnace disaster, Scunthorpe.


Normanby Park steelworks merges with Redbourn and Appleby-Frodingham to form BSC’s Scunthorpe works.


Plans for over 4,000 redundancies in the Scunthorpe steel industry were announced. Santon and Winterton iron ore mines close. National steel strike lasts 13 weeks. Redbourn iron and steelmaking plants demolished, below.


Normanby Park steelworks closes after 69 years.


Normanby Park Reclamation scheme started to bring new jobs to the former steelworks site.

The father of county’s ROWLAND Winn is one of they key figures in the history of this town, and its iron and steel industries. Nigel fisher explains why he was such an influential figure


INN’S exploitation of a vast belt of iron ore across north Lincolnshire transformed Scunthorpe in the space of a little more than 40 years from an insignificant village of 300 souls to a mushrooming town of more than 11,000. But it was Winn’s intention that Frodingham rather than Scunthorpe should be the epicentre of this industrial blast-wave generating rapidly outwards over the agricultural landscape. He had visions of an industrial village – like Cadbury’s Bourneville and Lever Brothers’ Port Sunlight – and built a series of streets in Frodingham to house the influx of workers. His development included a school for 120 children, a town hall to hold 400, a library, allotments and a cricket ground, all centred on a wide boulevard – Rowland Road – which would become the shopping centre. But the traders who followed the immigrant workers to the new utopia preferred the next village, half-a-mile or so away, where freehold sites were being offered as opposed to Winn’s leasehold – and Scunthorpe High Street took shape. Winn cut his losses and filled in Rowland Road with more houses as his “New Frodingham” became swallowed up as part of an expanding Scunthorpe. The location might not have been his exact choice but Winn changed the physical landscape of Lincolnshire more than any other individual in modern history. Winn became the father of the county’s iron and steel industry without ever producing either. He simply recognised, and then exploited, what lay beneath his feet. The huge resources of iron ore sitting just below the surface – more than 30 feet thick in places – had been tapped in a tiny way as far back as Roman times though by the mid-19th century it was generally being used for building, road repairs and in agriculture, the ironstone being rich in lime. While other areas not too distant WORK ATTIRE: It was hard, hot and dangerous work for people like William Dixon who tended Scunthorpe’s early blastfurnaces during Victorian times

PIONEER: Rowland Winn were undergoing the vast changes of industrialisation, Lincolnshire was still an agricultural backwater, cut off by the Trent and Humber and lack of road and rail communications. Scunthorpe as we know it today was, in the 1850s, a collection of five agricultural villages – Scunthorpe, Ashby, Crosby, Frodingham and Brumby – numbering 1,245 people in all. Scunthorpe wasn’t even the biggest of the five. The land was a mix of agricultural and heath, overrun by rabbits! Rowland Winn’s father, Charles, lived at Nostell Priory, near Wakefield, but owned 2,000 acres in Brumby, Scunthorpe, Appleby and Frodingham where he was lord of the manor. Rowland lived at the family’s local seat, Appleby Hall, and in 1859 began searching the estate for ironstone beds. The arrival of the railway age had brought a huge demand for iron and deposits of ore were desperately being sought. Tradition has it that a member of a hunting party led by Winn kicked over a piece of stone on the estate and exposed the ore, but this is probably a romantic image, much like Newton and the apple and Archemedes and his bath. Rowland was educated enough to know the ore bed was there and what it offered; it was really a matter of timing. With the South Yorkshire smelting works expanding and looking for additional sources for their raw material, Rowland realised he now had potentially a huge market for the natural resource that had always lay beneath his feet. He interested Barnsley ironmaster, George Dawes, who leased an area of Winn land in 1859 to feed his south Yorkshire furnaces. Being just below the surface, the ironstone was easy to

excavate and was hauled by horse and cart down the escarpment to the river Trent and transported by barge to Yorkshire for smelting. The iron content was poor so massive quantities of stone had to be transported. Winn and his customers quickly realised that it would be more sensible to process the ironstone on-site. The coal for smelting was on Dawes’ doorstep in south Yorkshire and it made no economic sense to transport four tons of ore to the coal for smelting when you could take two tons of coal to the ore to achieve the same result. Winn was not an ironmaster but Dawes was and they reached an agreement by which Dawes built three 40-feet high blast furnaces in 1864 at what was to become the Trent Ironworks. The first cast was 466 tons of coal, 470 tons of Appleby ironstone, 13 tons of foreign ore and 67 tons of flue. The iron and steel industry in north Lincolnshire was born. By the end of that year, the works had produced 9,600 tons of pig iron and were employing 100 people out of 1,700 now living in the five villages. Exactly 100 years later, Scunthorpe steelworks produced 2.3 million tons of pig iron, 2.4 million tons of steel and employed almost 21,000 out of a population of 67,000. Word of the new industry in Scunthorpe quickly spread and others saw the opportunities just waiting to be exploited. Although he had no experience in ironmaking, Leeds brickmaker Joseph Cliff signed a lease with Winn to built blast furnaces on 400 acres also to the east of the villages and, in December 1864, set up the Frodingham Iron Co, constructing two furnaces 65 feet high.

Word of the new industry in Scunthorpe quickly spread and others saw the opportunities just waiting to be exploited

Only a week after signing up Cliff, Winn struck a deal with a consortium of Manchester businessmen led by Daniel Adamson who would, 17 years later, champion the building of the Manchester Ship Canal and project Lincoln firm, Ruston’s to the forefront in the construction of steam excavators. Adamson’s North Lincolnshire Iron Company was permitted to build its


British Steel announced its best operating results since 1976-77. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

WORK FORCE: Staff of Joseph Cliff & Sons, Frodingham, in 1886. From left, Dickinson, traffic; Kirk, cashier; Veitch, clerk; Smith, chemist; Threadgould, office boy and Walshaw,blast furnace manager

own furnaces but Winn stipulated the company would have to buy its ironstone from him, whereas Dawes and Cliff were allowed to mine their own. Winn had realised he was missing a financial opportunity and all future leases for building ironworks on his land were on the understanding that he provided the ore. It was, understandably, a point of contention among the later arrivals on the scene that while the first two companies could mine their own ore, they were at Winn’s mercy regarding the quality of ironstone offered them. As the industry grew, transportation became a problem. The old horse and cart road from the iron works to the river was totally inadequate for the heavy loads of pig iron and Winn built his own railway. This still only got the ore to the riverside where it faced a long, meandering journey by river and canal; what was needed was a direct link to the main rail network, tantalisingly close on the opposite bank of the River Trent where the existing railway stopped at Keadby. There was a line to Grimsby to the east of Scunthorpe but the five insignificant little villages were by-passed. Winn successfully campaigned for Scunthorpe to be connected and, jointly financed by Winn and two railway companies, a link was constructed both east and, more importantly, west, including a bridge over the Trent and an 85-arch viaduct leading down the escarpment over Scotter Road. The shipping concerns running passenger and cargo vessels down the Trent from Hull to Gainsborough were not happy about this obstacle but the bridge was eventually constructed so that it could be raised to allow shipping to pass unimpeded. This finally gave the iron ore grounds direct rail access to South Yorkshire, allowing essential materials like coal to be brought in and the pig iron transported out straight from the works. The 14 mile link from Keadby to a new junction with the Sheffield-Grimsby line at Barnetby was completed in 1866. Now, Scunthorpe really was in business ...


iron and steel industry

STEELWORKERS: Group photograph of the managerial staff at Lysaght's Steelworks, Scunthorpe, in 1922

‘We need to fight to make sure industry survives next 150 years’ OFFICIALS from Unite the Union have stressed the importance of the ironmaking and steel industry to the region’s economy. Stephen Miller, secretary of the union’s Scunthorpe steelworks branch, said: “Unite the Union recognises the importance of the steel industry to Scunthorpe and the local economy. “We need to keep fighting and campaigning to make sure the industry survives and continues for the next 150 years so local economy can keep being vibrant.” The branch has around 1,300 members, with another 400 part of a separate management structure branch. Mr Miller said he thought reaching 150 years of ironmaking in Scunthorpe was down to the people of the town. He said: “It is no mean feat and it is testament to the people of the town that they have fought to keep it and worked through the difficult periods to make sure it survives.”

Celebrating 150 years of Iron-making in Scunthorpe

Unite the Union Scunthorpe Steelworks Branch Campaigning for Uk manufacturing

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British Steel is privatised, the price of shares being fixed at £1.25 – well below City expectations.


British Steel takes over rail and civil engineering firm of Grant Lyon Eagre for an undisclosed sum.

MODEL: Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by United Steel's chairman Sir Walter Benton Jones, views a model of the Jodrell Bank telescope during her royal visit to Scunthorpe. Left, the Royal Party at Appleby-Frodingham

‘Iron queens of England’ get royal seal of approval

1990: Scunthorpe celebrates 100 years of steelmaking with a special 56-page supplement in the Telegraph.


Caparo Merchant Bar opens a new £10-million steel mill in Scunthorpe


1999: British Steel and Dutch company Hoogovens merge to form Corus, the biggest steelmaker in Europe and number three in the world.


Tata Steel acquires Corus, making it the world’s fifth largest steel producer.


ROYAL VISIT: With the Queen Victoria blastfurnace in the background, Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by United Steel's managing director (production) Lt Cmdr G W Wells, tours the Appleby-Frodingham south ironworks during her royal visit to Scunthorpe on June 27, 1958

January: Iron production by three blast furnaces at Scunthorpe works resumes for the first time since September 2011 – the re-lighting of mothballed Queen Bess been applauded by union leaders.

QUEEN’S VISIT: The Royal Party at Appleby-Frodingham

RON and steel have long kept Scunthorpe in the headlines, its quality being recognised throughout the world. Television cameras were sent to Scunthorpe to record the blowing in of the new Queen Anne blastfurnace at Appleby-Frodingham in 1954, which gained national and international recognition. It was part of the massive Seraphim south ironworks extension scheme, which set the seal on a post-war extension development and modernisation programme which the company carried out at a total cost of £26-million.

The Queen Victoria furnace was also lit that year, and a new sinter plant introduced. The works management said: “These two furnaces, Queen Victoria and Queen Anne, are the focal points in the Seraphim development. “All the other plant in the £14-million extension is dedicated to the job of serving these two queens and two others.” Naming the furnaces after queens was the idea of the chairman of the United Steel Companies Ltd, Sir Walter Benton Jones. He stood at the base of the two new furnaces and said: “I think they can be nothing less

than queens – iron queens of England – Queen Mary, Queen Bess, Queen Anne and Queen Victoria.” There was a royal visit on Friday, June 27, 1958 - the Queen being accompanied by Prince Philip. They inspected the new Civic Theatre, Charter Hall, the Model Traffic Area, which Her Majesty formally opened, and Queen’s Gardens where the Queen and the Duke each planted a tree. After visiting the North Lindsey Technical College, they were shown over the large iron and steelworks of the Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company.


Holme Steel History T

he driving force behind Holme Steel Fabricators Ltd is Managing Director David Chapman, who founded the firm more than 30 years ago. Starting as a Post boy with British Steel at the age of 15, David went on to serve his apprenticeship with the then United Steel Structural Company which later became Redpath Dorman Long, who at that time were completing the last phase of the steelwork for the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope. After a period in the drawing office and estimating department, David went on to manage a local company before setting up DC Engineering, later to become Holme Steel Fabricators Ltd.

With over 30 years experience serving the Steel and Power industry throughout the North of England. Holme Steel Fabricators Ltd are Structural Steelwork and Mechanical Engineers based in Scunthorpe. Specialising in the fields of structural and mechanical engineering, and providing quality contract trade labour to a variety of industries. We also offer Turnkey managed projects including steel design, fabrication and erection, along with mechanical installation and commissioning. Our workforce consists of over 100 skilled and experienced engineers committed to providing the highest quality work for our clients. Our premises are located in Scunthorpe, with direct access to the motorway network via the M18 and M180. Set within a fully secure site which extends to 1.25 acres, including offices and a 7500 square foot, two bay workshop, equipped with 4 x 5 tonne overhead cranes, forklift and sideloader. Recently Holme Steel have been working with companies from overseas and are currently involved with various sized projects across the TATA Steel sites and national companies across the UK. A recent project required a total of 45 local craftsmen, supplied by Holme Steel to complete the assembly and installation of 30 metre high Bypass Stacks to the Glanford Brigg Power Station. Over 190 tonnes of steel were used in this project. We have also supplied and fabricated a number of 5 meter squared Dock Fenders for installation at a Harbor in the south of England.

examples of projects include

One of the ongoing projects in our workshop is the fabrication of a pipe gantry including a 35m long pipe bridge to carry overhead pipes & cables, which we will be installing in a new build Renewable Energy Power Station in Sheffield. Holme Steel is also manufacturing steelwork for a major engineering project which will be erected later this year at Immingham Bulk Terminal. Our part in the project includes the supply, fabrication and installation of over 200 tons of structural steelwork including a new galvanized access walkway spanning a length of over 400metres along the jetty. Tony Wilson, General Manager said “It is still hard times for the steel industry generally, but with the continued commitment from TATA and associated companies, of Holme Steel being one, I believe steel making in Scunthorpe can continue for many years to come.” Holme Steel Fabricators Ltd are accredited to ISO 9001:2008 which is the internationally recognized standard for the quality management of businesses. We are currently undergoing external auditing to enable Holme Steel to complete all its projects under the new “CE” marking principals, which becomes mandatory from July of this year and will see all manufacturing industries generally being regulated within its standards set by the European Union. Managing Director David Chapman said “I have been involved within the steel industry for over 50 years. Holme Steel was formed in 1983 and like many Engineering Companies of the day, derived much of its turnover from its association with the then British Steel Company, which went on to become TATA” David went on to say “Holme Steel are proud to be associated with 150 years of steel making within the town of Scunthorpe and recognise what an achievement this is”

Managing Director David Chapman has been involved within the steel industry for over 50 years.

Tony Wilson General Manager receiving Holme Steel’s Safety Award from North Lincs Health & Safety Group for Accident Prevention.

Telephone No: 01724 280503 Email: Website: 2 Bessemer Way, Scunthorpe DN15 8XE

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‘Town’s steel is as vital today as it was 150 years ago’


CUNTHORPE’S products are as important to the UK today as they were in the 19th century. That is the message from Ian Rodgers, pictured, the general secretary of the UK Steel Association, as the town marks this incredible milestone. And Mr Rodgers is confident that as the economy recovers, local businesses and workers will continue to lead the way. He said: “The products that Scunthorpe makes today are as

vital to Britain as they were 150 years ago. “Our railways, energy industry and the construction sector – to name just three – all rely on steel made in Scunthorpe. The town’s steel can be found in products ranging from cars to bridges. “As the economy recovers, as we expand our railways and invest in new energy technologies, I am confident that Scunthorpe’s steel will continue to play a key role in the economy, delivering value for money to other manufacturing sectors and supporting investment in the built environment. “Steel is a key player in the UK economy. For example, every year we contribute around £2 billion to the nation’s balance of payments. Steel underpins our manufacturing supply chains.” The UK steel industry directly employs 160,000 people and a further 800,000 jobs are sustained throughout the sector’s supply chain. The industry provides £95 billion of the country’s gross domestic product – equal to a fifth of all manufacturing. It also contributes an estimated £12 billion in taxes and levies and a

further £7 billion in wages and national insurance contributions to the exchequer. Roy Rickhuss, the general secretary of the Community trade union, said: “We know how important the steel industry is to the UK’s manufacturing base, not least in supporting thousands of jobs and developing important skills.”

Steel is a key player in the UK economy. For example, every year we contribute around £2 billion to the nation’s balance of payments. Steel underpins our manufacturing supply chains Ian Rodgers

The European Union is the second largest producer of steel in the world, with a potential output of more than 177 million tonnes. The 500 production sites split

‘KEY PLAYER’: Tata Steel works in Scunthorpe between 23 member states account for 11 per cent of global output. And one expert is predicting growth. Peter Fish, the spokesman for Sheffield steel analysts MEPS (International), said: “We believe that steel-making in the EU will increase this year, following a decline in each of the past two years. “Our estimate, at 170 million tonnes, represents an annual increase of 2.6 per cent.

“We predict that the UK steel sector will share in the modest upturn in consumption.” Mr Fish’s optimism has been shared by Dr Karl Ulrich-Kohler, the chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Steel Europe. Commenting on the financial results for 2013-14, Dr Kohler said: “Europe appears to be entering a phase of solid economic growth, which is supporting a recovery in steel demand.”


A PRIL 2014

OUT NOW: Take a trip down memory lane with our monthly Nostalgia magazine for £1.10

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Adventure on the buses lasts 100 years p2-5

Steelman turns to TT racing p14-15


Strike sets Iron on road to ‘ALLO, ‘ALLO, victory p45 officers, a Black‘ALLO – WHAT’S GOING ON Maria and a cache HERE? Scunthorpe during of illegal guns Police 1966. Read in for the constab ulary on pages about this very strange case 12 and 13 of this issue

150 Years of Ironmaking in Scunthorpe  
150 Years of Ironmaking in Scunthorpe  

How the history of ironmaking in Scunthorpe has shaped the town's future