British Steel – South Teesside 1974

Mark Lawton very kindly sent me a scan of a book that he’d recently found. It’s a lovely snapshot from 1974 of the South Teesside Works when it employed 16,000 people.

You can download the whole book using the link at the bottom of the page

Black Path by Graham Vasey

Graham made the film during a recent walk that we took along the path. He filmed it using a 1930’s Ensign Auto Kinecam and expired Ilford FP4 Plus film which he processed himself.

The original soundtrack was created by Greg Marshall, the film was scanned by James Holcombe.

23 – The Black Path

Read a history of The Black Path here

Tarmac – a fortunate accident

Edgar Purnell Hooley was the county surveyor for Nottingham. One day in 1901 he was travelling along a road, close to the Denby ironworks in Derbyshire. He saw that a barrel of tar had fallen from a cart and had burst open onto the road, someone had then covered the sticky mess with slag from the nearby iron works. Hooley noticed that the effected section of road was now dust-free and unrutted by the traffic.

Inspired by this, Hooley went away and experimented, mixing tar and slag to produce a durable road surface. In 1902 he obtained a British patent for a new road surfacing material which he named Tarmac and on 17th June, 1903 he founded the Tar Macadam (Purnell Hooley’s Patent) Syndicate Limited.

Hooley set up a works to manufacture tarmac at Ettingshall in Derbyshire utilising the waste slag from two local ironworks. Unfortunately Hooley was not a very good business man and the business ran into financial difficulties due lack of promotion and the failure to attract orders for the new product.

In 1905  Sir Alfred Hickman, Ironmaster and MP for Wolverhampton, realised the potential of the new product and bought the company from Hooley. Hickman re-launched the company as Tarmac Ltd. Orders then began to pour in to the point where demand began to outstrip production. In 1914, a new factory was opened at Middlesbrough, near to the North Eastern Steel Company.


Death of Steel 1875-2010 Ray Lonsdale

Death of steelii

High and dry in twenty ten. The options roll out but none appeal. he needs his son to feel alive

Seven Pounds of Hope and Five Ounces of Fear by Ray Lonsdale

Death of steeli

They may be men of steel but they are men with loves, responsibilities and nowhere to go. They are men who make things…things that have built countries.

Wipe Clean with a Soft Cloth by Ray Lonsdale

Death of steel

No more smoke, dirt, noise or ugly views and peaceful in the job centre queues.

An Arm Full of Sharp Things by Ray Lonsdale